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Little Women (Collector's Series) (1994)

Susan Sarandon , Winona Ryder , Gillian Armstrong  |  PG |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (412 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Susan Sarandon, Winona Ryder, Kirsten Dunst, Claire Danes, Gabriel Byrne
  • Directors: Gillian Armstrong
  • Writers: Robin Swicord, Louisa May Alcott
  • Producers: Denise Di Novi, Robin Swicord, Warren Carr
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Portuguese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Georgian, Chinese, Thai
  • Dubbed: Spanish, Portuguese
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 25, 2000
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (412 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0767851013
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,641 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Little Women (Collector's Series)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • HBO Making-Of Featurette
  • Deleted Scenes with Director's Commentary
  • Costume and Production Design Gallery with Audio Commentary by Costume Designer Colleen Atwood
  • plus! Two Trivia Games & An Historical Timeline

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

The flaws are easily forgiven in this beautiful version of Louisa May Alcott's novel. A stirring look at life in New England during the Civil War, Little Women is a triumph for all involved. We follow one family as they split into the world, ending up with the most independent, the outspoken Jo (Winona Ryder). This time around, the dramatics and conclusions fall into place a little too well, instead of finding life's little accidents along the way. Everyone now looks a bit too cute and oh, so nice. As the matron, Marmee, Susan Sarandon kicks the film into a modern tone, creating a movie alive with a great feminine sprit. Kirsten Dunst (Interview with the Vampire) has another showy role. The young ensemble cast cannot be faulted, with Ryder beginning the movie in a role akin to light comedy and crescendoing to a triumphant end worthy of an Oscar. --Doug Thomas

Product Description

Winona Ryder (in an Oscar(r) nominated role) and Academy Award(r) winner Susan Sarandon (1995 Best Actress, Dead Man Walking) star in this "affectionate, superbly acted" (Los Angeles Times) family favorite. With her husband off at war, Marmee (Sarandon) is left alone to raise their four daughters, her Little Women. There is the spirited Jo (Ryder); conservative Meg (Trini Alvarado, Paulie); fragile Beth (Claire Danes, William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet); and romantic Amy (played at different ages by Kristen Dunst, Wag the Dog and Samantha Mathis, Broken Arrow). As the years pass, the sisters share some of the most cherished and painful memories of self-discovery, as Marmee and Aunt March (Mary Wickes, The Man Who Came to Dinner) guide them through issues of independence, romance and virtue. Gabriel Byrne (End of Days), Eric Stoltz (TV's Chicago Hope) and Christian Bale (The Portrait of a Lady) co-star in this "handcrafted valentine" (Newsweek) of a film.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
55 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great movie and a great remake!!! October 23, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
To start out, this is one of my favorite books. So I of course started out with an additude to begin with, muttering that the book was always better. In this case, I was so wrong. The characters portrayed in this film are the same ones I met in 5th grade when I first read "Little Women". The actors shine in their roles and truly embody everyone one of the literary creations they represents.
Playing the March matriarch, Susan Sarandon is great! She is able to maintain the feel of the period while bringing to Marmee an empowering bout of women's rights thoughts. Sarandon gives off warmth and knowledge wiht the apparent ease of someone completely familiar with the material.
Wynona Ryder is another standout here. She is the raging bundle of emotion that we have all come to know as Jo March. Playing down her usually unique features, Ryder plays the part with spunk and earnestness.
My favorite here is Christian Bale as the oft put uopn Theodore "Laurie" Lawrence. Quite a jump from his "Newsies" days, Bale is the best Laurie I have seen on screen to date. He has the mannerisms and lines down to perfection, while still maintaining the spontanaity that really is a huge part of Laurie's character. He also handles the age jump incredibly well.
Not until my most recent viewing of the movie did I realize Gabriel Byrne was Professor Bhaer. The native irishman does a great job of bringing Frerdrick to life, right down to his physical bumbling and poetic heart.
In my opinion, this movie was a complete triumph and a complete success from novel to film. All actors are fine in their roles, most exceptional, and it is such a joy to see an old favorite and all-time classic brought to life which such enthusiasm and talent. This is a must-see for any fan of the novel~although it will leave you yearning for "Little Men" and Jo's Boys" featuring this cast-which has yet to be done!!
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Capturing the Spirit of a Classic January 8, 2001
Little Women was my favorite book as a child, and I still re-read it at least yearly as an adult for the comfort it gives me. I've probably read it 50 times over the last 30 years. I have also seen every filmed version of the book that I could, and was never completely satisfied. I held my breath as this version of the story rolled onto the screen.
I was enchanted. It was all there, from the scenery to the costumes to the characters. Winona Ryder perfectly captured my fiery Jo, Kirsten Dunst the vanity of Amy, and Clair Danes the real depths of Beth, without any of them becoming a caricature. I loved the way Trini Alvarado, an actress new to me, potrayed the earnest, wistful, practical Meg. The passionate, fun-loving yet moody Laurie was perfectly found in Christian Bale, and the only difference between Gabriel Byrne and the professor I've always imagined is that Gabriel Byrne is more handsome. Aunt March had more dimensionality to her than in the book (and what a joy to see Mary Wickes in the role!). But the spirit that Louisa May Alcott gave to her book was caught ethereally in Marmee, as portrayed by Susan Sarandon. She was the real foundation of the film, and expanding her character was the wisest decision Gilllian Armstrong made. Yes, some of the things in the film were not in the book, but they were so consistent with the story, so central to the March family philosophy, that perhaps they should have been! I never thought that my beloved book could be improved upon, but it has been in this film. I also wish to mention the sets, the cinematography and the music, all which added so much to make my imagined world of Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy become real. Thank you to everyone who worked on this precious film.
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Version of the Classic Story November 16, 2004
Format:DVD
This version of Little Women is a classic in its own right. Armstrong did an amazing job here capturing the period and coaxing beautiful performances from her cast. Ryder, Dunst, Alvarado, Mathis, Sarandon, Byrne, Bale and a heartbreaking Danes are all in top form. Visually, the movie is just beautiful and the soundtrack is mesmerizing. A must see.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It is one of the best movies I have ever seen December 12, 1998
By A Customer
Format:DVD
I am 11 years old and I love to read. Louisa May Alcott is one of my favorite authors and Little Women is one of my favorite movies. I also love it because Winona Ryder is in it and i love her, she is perfect for the part of Jo March! I hope to own this movie one day! I love the whole story and they basically do not leave any of the main parts out! Some movies that are books are bad because they leave so much out but this one includes everything. My grandmother and I saw it after we read the book and it is terrific! It is a wonderful family film and I give it a definite five stars!!!!!!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart Warming Superb Classic August 17, 2006
Format:DVD
Louisa May Alcott's book has come to life in vivid detail and beauty. The casting is superb. The four sisters are a pleasure to watch and view as they develop into young ladies who experience both the pleasures and pains of growing into adulthood. The film depicts the changes in each character from adolescence and the growing pains associated with making independent decisions based on their personalities and values. As young ladies with education who grew up in a household where their opinions were heard and mattered, they stand in direct contrast with the majority of girls growing up at that time ...

In the attic, the sisters enact all the parts of a play which Jo had written ... it was a great moment when they invited Theodore Lawrence into their circle of friends. The individuality of each sister is quite evident. The film does a fine job of presenting each character, Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy as unique individuals who blossom, each into her own personality, when they are forced to make choices and deal with building their own lives. The film shows the flow of everyday life around the time of the Civil War, when their father was serving as a soldier. The film does a wonderful job of showing the social structure and class differences of the era. The language, speech and manners of the times are well acted ...

The close bonds of sisterhood are threatened by Beth's illness, and eventual death. The film presents Jo, Meg and Amy as they develop into responsible adults with independent lives and interests apart from the cocoon of the family. Meg's courtship and eventual marriage to a school teacher/tutor is done well, especially the birth of their twins.
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