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Little Women (1933) (1933)

Katharine Hepburn , Joan Bennett , George Cukor  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Katharine Hepburn, Joan Bennett, Paul Lukas, Edna May Oliver, Jean Parker
  • Directors: George Cukor
  • Writers: Alfred Block, Charles Brackett, David Hempstead, Del Andrews, G.B. Stern
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Georgian, Chinese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Turner Home Ent
  • DVD Release Date: November 6, 2001
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005NRO2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #172,865 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Little Women (1933)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Isolated music cues: Main Title, Main Title Alternate, The Witch's Curse, Polka Medley, Bluebird Polka
  • Notes on the Hepburn & Cukor collaboration
  • Awards

Editorial Reviews

Louisa May Alcott's beloved story, focusing on the joys and sorrows of four sisters growing up in New England during the Civil War, is given a grand Hollywood treatment. Katharine Hepburn, Joan Bennett, Paul Lukas, Frances Dee, and Edna May Oliver star. 115 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English, Chinese, French, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish; filmographies; theatrical trailer; scene access.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEAUTIFUL ADAPTATION OF A BELOVED BOOK... May 8, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
Based upon Louisa May Alcott's beloved book of the same name, this black and white film lovingly captures its charm. It is also a pretty faithful adaptation of Ms. Alcott's classic. Though there may be a half dozen adaptations, of the three that I have seen this one is, undoubtedly, the best. Its writing deservedly won the Academy Award in 1933 for Best Screenplay Adaptation. It is unfortunate, however, that although the film was also nominated for the Best Picture Award, it lost to "Cavalcade", a largely forgotten, lesser film.
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.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
This 1933 version of Louisa May Alcott's Civil-War era classic remains the best film version of "Little Women." After all, it offers Katharine Hepburn as Jo March, whereas later versions have offered June Allyson, Meredith Baxter Birney (for TV), and Winona Ryder in her place (Although Claire Dane's deathbed scene in the 1994 version is magnificent). But the entire cast of this film is superb from top to bottom: Joan Bennett as Amy, Jean Park as Beth, Frances Dee as Meg, and Spring Byington as Marmee, with Paul Lukas as Professor Bhaer, Douglass Montgomery as Laurie, and Edna May Oliver threatening to steal every scene she is in as Aunt March.
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.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars delightful experience May 18, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Katharine Hepburn stars as the tomboy Jo March in the first screen version of Louisa Allcot's classic LITTLE WOMEN.
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.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Jo March July 21, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Yes, once you have seen this 1933 version of "Little Women", you only ever see Katharine Hepburn in your mind's eye as you re-read the novel. I've seen this one, of course, as well as June Allyson's, Susan Dey's, and Winona Ryder's, and a PBS one years ago which featured an extremely pouty gal with a protruding lower lip as Jo. Interestingly enough, though, one evening I rented both Kate's and June's and played them back to back to determine how each measured up against the other. While Kate brings a quality of haplessness to the role that June doesn't, I found to my surprise that OVERALL I preferred the June Allyson movie. Why? Better film quality, color as opposed to black and white (shouldn't make a difference, but it was attractive), and a cast better known to me from other pictures than Kate's; the 15 years between the pictures makes a great difference for more modern audiences in that respect--imagine, Elizabeth Taylor as Amy!. For more on the June Allyson version, see my full review treatment there. Back to Kate for now. As I mentioned, Kate's haplessness is right out of the book, one of the overriding characteristics of Jo March. Like many of Selznick's earlier pictures (see "David Copperfield"), there is an antique quality to the movie and some of the acting is a wee bit too dated and histrionic. Depending on whom you watch the movie with, that may matter. The first half of the movie, prior to Jo's moving to NY, is the better part. I have always loved the scene where she is being chased over the hills and fences by Laurie with Max Steiner's score cheerily bouncing away, only to come upon her sister Meg trying to be so dignified with her beau Mr. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great family movie
Good movie.
Not too fond of K. Hepburn.
Good family movie.
In some ways, it was very close to the book.
Published 12 days ago by Missy Hamilton
5.0 out of 5 stars Great old movie
Wonderful rendition of Louisa May Alcott's book about 4 sisters dealing with life during the Civil War. One of and the first of three great versions.
Published 1 month ago by Celia Scheer
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best
Can't say enough about "Little Women" - one of the best movies - all the others are good as well but this is a classic.
Published 1 month ago by Sheila Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Christopher Columbus!
Katharine Hepburn loved playing Jo March. The 1949 had a blond Elizabeth Taylor, and that is the best about it. And the TV version with Susan Dey was Meh.
Published 1 month ago by Jennifer Butler
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyment!!
Day in the life of Little Woman and of them growing up. I remember reading somewhere that Kate Hepburn was a shoe in for this part. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Lis
5.0 out of 5 stars Favorite
This is my favorite version of this story...... No one plays Jo like Katharine Hepburn......NO ONE!!! It's also a holiday staple.
Published 2 months ago by Rosemary Carter-molnar
4.0 out of 5 stars Little Women (1933)
What can anyone say about a classic movie? Katharine Hepburn was young at the time and already very talented. She's been a favorite of our family through the years. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Tony Hermann
5.0 out of 5 stars Little Women
this is a classic, well worth the purchase. it will be added to my Christmas move collection for years to come.
Published 3 months ago by Laura
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good!
I still like the one with Elizabeth Taylor more! But, I enjoyed it, Katherine Hepburn is such a unique actress!
Published 3 months ago by Tori
5.0 out of 5 stars The classic by which newer versions should be measured
The "old-fashioned" version makes it more authentic for me. I love this version. I have seen a re-make or two and live theatrical performances. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Susan Gilley
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