Little Women (1933)
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Top Customer Reviews
Deftly directed by George Cukor, the film tells the story of the March family, whose patriarch has gone off to fight in the Union Army during the Civil War. Mrs. March is left to raise her four daughters, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, in nineteenth century New England. The film focuses on the personal interactions family members have with each other, as well as with their friends and neighbors, in order to create a portrait of an idealized, loving family held together during trying times. It is also a very poignant coming of age film.
The film primarily revolves around the March sisters, with the focus on independent and headstrong Jo, an aspiring writer, as well as a tomboy and second oldest of the four sisters. In addition to the March family, a wealthy neighbor's nephew, Laurie, plays a prominent role in the life of the March family, with a lesser one played by the family's wealthy Aunt March.
This film is beautifully cast, with a luminous Katherine Hepburn perfect in the lead role. As Jo March, Ms. Hepburn captures the essence of this beloved character. Feisty, independent, loving, and intelligent, her characterization of Jo is inspired, though Ms. Hepburn may not have strayed too far from her own persona.Read more ›
Hepburn won the Cannes International Film Festival award as Best Actress of 1934, and it seems reasonable to suggest that her performance in "Little Women" helped Hepburn win her first Academy Award for "Morning Glory," which had come out the previous year (much as Diane Keaton was helped by having done "Saving Mr. Goodbar" the same year as "Annie Hall" when she won her Oscar). "Little Women" was nominated for Best Picture that year, because the team behind the camera of this RKO film was equally as strong. The film was produced by David O'Selznick and director George Cukor was nominated for an Oscar as well, although surprisingly none of the actors received nominations. The film's one award went to Y. Mason and Victor Heerman, who most deservedly won for Best Screenplay Adaptation.
This is arguably Hepburn's best performance in her first dozen films, although some dismiss it as being too close to home for the actress. It would be decades before critics decided that when Katharine Hepburn played herself no one could equal her, and "Little Women" certainly foreshadows her later successes.Read more ›
Under George Cukor's inspired direction, Hepburn gives one of her best and most celebrated performances. As the quick-witted, sharp-tongued and accident-prone Jo, Hepburn is wonderful.
She later remarked that Jo was a role she always dreamt of playing. She believed that she and Jo were not that different - both were the tomboy and both were highly dramatic.
The supporting cast is first-rate. Spring Byington, Joan Bennett and Paul Lukas are put to good use here, as is the wonderful Frances Dee.
Later re-made with June Allyson, and more recently with Winona Ryder, LITTLE WOMEN is a timeless story of sisterly love and utter devotion.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not my favorite rendition.... but its a classic and hepburn is great as alwaysPublished 9 days ago by Delilah M.
I watched this again last night because I had misplaced my 1949 version. There is no comparison this 1933 version though a sentimental favorite for many; has a ridiculous portrayal... Read morePublished 3 months ago by audrey