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Little Men (1940)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama | 29 November 1940 (USA)
Jo March and her husband Professor Bhaer operate the Plumfield School for poor boys. When Dan, a tough street kid, comes to the school, he wins Jo's heart despite his hard edge, and she ... See full summary »

Director:

Norman Z. McLeod

Writers:

Mark Kelly (screen play), Arthur Caesar (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kay Francis ... Jo
Jack Oakie ... Willie
George Bancroft ... Maj. Burdle
Jimmy Lydon ... Dan
Ann Gillis ... Nan
Carl Esmond ... Prof. Bhaer (as Charles Esmond)
Richard Nichols ... Teddy
Casey Johnson Casey Johnson ... Robby
Francesca Santoro Francesca Santoro ... Bess
Johnny Burke ... Silas
Lillian Randolph ... Asia
Sammy McKim ... Tommy
Edward Rice Edward Rice ... Demi
Anne Howard Anne Howard ... Daisy
Jimmy Zahner Jimmy Zahner ... Jack (as Jimmy Zaner)
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Storyline

Jo March and her husband Professor Bhaer operate the Plumfield School for poor boys. When Dan, a tough street kid, comes to the school, he wins Jo's heart despite his hard edge, and she defends him when he is falsely accused. Dan's foster father, Major Burdle, is a swindler in cahoots with another crook called Willie the Fox. When the Plumfield School becomes in danger of foreclosure, the two con men cook up a scheme to save the home. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 November 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Louisa May Alcott's Little Men See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Russ Powell (Railroad Conductor) and Lew Kelly (Postman) are in studio records/casting call lists as cast members, but they did not appear or were not identifiable in the movie. See more »

Goofs

At about five minutes, the Baby turns completely around in its box between shots. See more »

Quotes

Major Burdle: [to Willie] I won't lose his love and respect, not even if i have to steal the money to prove than I'm honest.
See more »

Connections

Version of Shirley Temple's Storybook: Little Men (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

Jeanie With the Light Brown Hair
(1854) (uncredited)
Written by Stephen Foster
Played by Schuyler Standish on violin
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not nearly as good as Little Women
18 February 2009 | by PudgyPandaManSee all my reviews

I was a little disappointed in this one as it didn't live up to my expectations. It was not nearly as good as Little Women - also written by Louisa May Alcott.

Part of the problem was the poor quality of the film itself on TCM. It had lots of scratches and white spots, as well as a soundtrack that dragged at times (especially noticeable during music). There was also frequent jumping to the film which was distracting.

I wonder the reason they replaced Katherine Hepburn's character, Jo March, with Kay Francis? Hepburn made the character so spirited - whereas Francis played it like milquetoast. The only resemblance was when Jo says the familiar "Christopher Columbus!" exclamation.

Jo March is married now with children. Her and her husband run Plumfield School Boarding school for children. George Bancroft plays a former shyster, Major Hurdle, who is "bequeathed" a baby boy, Dan, from a former hoodlum who was murdered. He grows fond of the boy and tries to live straight. When he is finally made to enroll Dan in school, he takes him to Plumfield.

There is one scene that was meant for humor - but I didn't find it at all funny. Hurdle's crooked buddy that visits the school with him gets his coat stuck in the school safe when he accidentally opens it. They go on and on with him trying to get it unstuck, finally cutting his coat loose, then trying to even the coat up - yawn, yawn, yawn.

The best thing the film has going for it is an adorable boy named Teddy (Richard Nichols) and Elsie the cow, who has the biggest, most expressive eyes. Apparently she was quite famous from the New York World's Fair and Borden milk ads.

Overall, I found the plot boring and the pace extremely slow. Not much to see here - unless you are a huge fan of Alcott and want to complete more of her film adaptations.


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