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Little Women (Collector's Series)
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Winona Ryder (in an Oscar nominated role) and Academy Award 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.
Winona Ryder and Claire Danes in Little Women
Louisa May Alcott (novel), Robin Swicord (screenplay)
Susan Sarandon, Winona Ryder, Kirsten Dunst, Claire Danes, Christian Bale, Samantha Mathis, Trini Alvardo, Gabriel Byrne
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.
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
- Aspect Ratio : 1.85:1
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : s_medPG PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
- Product Dimensions : 7.5 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches; 3.2 Ounces
- Item model number : 05044
- Director : Gillian Armstrong
- Media Format : Multiple Formats, AC-3, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
- Run time : 1 hour and 58 minutes
- Release date : April 25, 2000
- Actors : Winona Ryder, Gabriel Byrne, Trini Alvarado, Samantha Mathis, Kirsten Dunst
- Dubbed: : Spanish, Portuguese
- Subtitles: : English, Spanish, Portuguese, Georgian, Chinese, Thai
- Producers : Denise Di Novi
- Language : Unqualified, English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
- Studio : Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
- ASIN : 0767851013
- Number of discs : 1
- Customer Reviews:
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Gillian Armstrong's Little Women (1994) is a triumph of realistic acting from an outstanding cast. Robin Swicord's script is as tender and thoughtful as ever adapting Louisa May Alcott's novel.
Armstrong's direction is classic and steady with a care to always let the performances breathe on their own merits. She will allow an actress to perform uninterrupted for a whole line, only shifting camera perspective for a vivid reaction. Little Women still looks gorgeous and carefully made. The neat costumes, warm lighting, and Thomas Newman's beautiful score all work wonders together. Coming in at under 2 hours, Little Women never overstays its tender welcome.
Winona Ryder is excellent and endearing as the wild Jo March. She captures an earnest and passionate fervor that only Winona could have pulled off.
Gabriel Byrne is really interesting with a solid German accent as Prof. Friedrich Bhaer. He builds up a believable chemistry with Winona Ryder.
Christian Bale is so lively and likable as Laurie. His ecstatic joy for hanging out with his lady friends engage you as does his jealous hatred delight you. Bale has always been a great actor.
Speaking of a child actress, Kirsten Dunst is just heavenly as the precocious young Amy March. She is so funny and mischievous as Amy. I adore Kirsten Dunst and she really was impressive as a child actress in Little Women and The Interview with the Vampire, both released in 1994.
Similarly, Samantha Mathis really enchants you with her elegance and charm as the older Amy March. Her portrayal reminds me of Dunst's blunt desires and specific dreams that I think Mathis did a wonderful job as Amy.
Trini Alvarado is so sweet and quiet as Meg March. Her stalwart grace and steady charm foil Winona's fierce attitude and outgoing personality perfectly.
Claire Danes is really sympathetic as the sickly Beth March. She gives a powerful performance that makes me cry. When she receives a piano as well as her goodbye to Winona as Jo, I always get actually upset. Danes accomplishes so much emotional distress with so few lines.
I have to hand it to Eric Stoltz as the stuffy John Brooke for making such an overly annoying character into a genuine man of decency that is likable.
Lastly, Susan Sarandon is divine as Mrs. March. Her steadfast support of her daughters is admirable. She gives out the best advice too!
This is simply the greatest adaptation of Little Women ever!
However, then I watched this one, and I was amazed at how they chose some of the same scenes and dialogue, and some different scenes - and in every case this movie did it better. The scenes that were done in the newer version - were done much more charmingly in this one, and the scenes included here that were missing altogether from the new movie - seemed like key parts of the story that added greatly to the overall enjoyment. There was a more positive feel to this movie as well -- I felt the newer version had more negativity and complaining from the character of Amy and was completely unpleasant, whereas this older movie allowed her more of a full spectrum of pouting yet still some likability.
The Beth character was one dimensional in the newer movie - just wide eyed sad stares the whole movie (and I didn't even find myself caring when bad things happened), while in contrast in this older movie she was much more of a compelling beloved person that I did care about when things happened to her.
Laura Dern as Marmie was jarring and wrong, but Susan Sarandon as Marmie was great and very believable!