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Little Women (Collector's Series)

4.6 out of 5 stars 1,171 customer reviews

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(Apr 25, 2000)
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Editorial Reviews

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.

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

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

Product Details

  • Actors: Christian Bale, Trini Alvarado, Claire Danes, Kirsten Dunst, Gabriel Byrne
  • Directors: Gillian Armstrong
  • Producers: Denise Di Novi
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), 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: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,171 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0767851013
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,817 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Little Women (Collector's Series)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
This is a sensitive and exquisite remake of the timeless classic. Certainly better in every respect than any earlier version that I've seen. Unlike some earlier versions, it is robust, deeply engaging and fully satisfying. This movie delivers Louisa May Alcott's novel to new generations. Roger Ebert was right when he praised the film as "surprisingly sharp and intelligent." This is absolutely the case. Winona Ryder's radiant and appealing portrayal of Jo is the very heart of the film, but all the cast is superb. Susan Sarandon is flawless as the mother of the family; Kirsten Dunst is delightful as little Amy; Claire Danes gives a heartrending portrayal of Beth; but all the sisters are marvelously portrayed; Christian Bale as the neighbor Laurie is lovable and endearing; Eric Stolz is memorable as Laurie's tutor, and Gabriel Byrne is perfect, absolutely perfect, in his role as the wise and gentle German professor Jo meets in New York, who becomes a a mentor and friend. This is a wonderful film to watch during the holiday season. If you've been disappointed in overly sweet Christmas films, take a chance on this one. The production values are high throughout and even if you know nothing of Alcott or the novel, "Little Women," this film may likely engage you and delight you. I saw nothing in this film that would date it, though it is now almost twenty years old. On the contrary, I think it's destined to be a classic. DVDs would make great gifts for Christmas.
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