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Top Customer Reviews
The Wynona Ryder film, the third and latest version, was seriously flawed, especially by the inclusion of "politically correct" and contemporary social views like the scene in which Ryder, playing Jo, expresses feminist sympathies to young men in a bar. I've read the book: there's nothing like that in it. In fact, the book is practically a morality play and in the earlier film versions the girls' struggle to improve their characters is portrayed, if somewhat lightly. These struggles, which are necessary to the accurate portrayal of each character and the time in which they lived, was totally deleted from the most recent version.
Both the Hepburn version and the Allyson version use quite a bit of Alcott's original text in the screenplay and characters in both films follow the book almost to the proverbial "T." The Ryder film, on the other hand, is a blatant and successful attempt to "modernize" Louisa Alcott, resulting in a totally inferior production.
The members of the cast were superb in their roles. Margaret O'Brien gives a definitive performance as Beth. Mary Astor is the Marmee of the novel brought to life on the screen. Sir C. Aubrey Smith gives a moving performance as Mr. Lawrence. The scene between him and Beth would make a statue cry. (Unfortunately, this was the last film of his distinguished career. He died six months after the film was completed.)
The 1933 version had Katherine Hepburn but not much else.
The 1971 BBC version with its three and a half hours included more of the book, but the acting was lamentable, and even the BBC departed from its policy of faithfulness to literary works by substituting feminist advice when Marmee advises Meg on her marital problems. (Read this passage in Alcott's book. Its wisdom would save many a modern marriage.)
The 1994 version throws the book away, replaces all the characters with contemporary teenager types and turns Marmee into a radical feminist.
(Note that a novelization of this 1994 movie was published when the movie was released. It is simply the filmscript written into novel form, a hundred pages or so and, like the movie, bears little resemblance to Alcott's novel. Many people read that book, thinking they were reading the 800 page Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Possibly, this is the version that the Amazon reviewer read. Otherwise, it is impossible to explain his rather bizarre review. There are also abridgments in print. Caveat emptor. Such literary crimes ought to be against the law.)
But whether you care about the book or not, if you want a good family movie, this is it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have seen and I own most versions of this movie and there are things that I like and dislike about each version. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Anne
Little women is a great movie. June Allyson and all the rest done a wonderful job.Published 1 month ago by Janet Garoutte
This has been one of my favorite movies since I was a little girl!!Published 2 months ago by Elizabeth Yvonne
I love this version of the movie... the actors are simply perfection and embody the characters as close to the book as possible... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Delilah M.
Korean subtext on the packaging, and set to play with Korean subtitles on. No issues once the subtitles were turned off.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer