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The classic LITTLE WOMEN, which is based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott, follows four sisters who live in New England during the Civil War. With their father absent, the girls must learn to fend for themselves. This two-part presentation features appea
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Robert Young did a wonderful job playing Laurie's grandfather. I thought it most appropriate for the screenplay writers to flesh out the story of Laurie and his grandfather. I was also pleased that this version included an episode from Meg's marriage. I found the story about his coat and her dress very touching. Part II or Good Wives or Little Wives as it's been dubbed had many wonderful stories and we lose out on those when the movie concentrates more on the early years.
I didn't fall in love with Eve Plumb as Beth. I enjoyed all the other Beths much more. The others seemed to embody both Beth's shyness and her saintliness--you found yourself loving Beth especially when she let love prevail over fear and embraced Laurie's grandfather when he gave her the piano. But this charming scene was left out in this version. And some of their Christian faith was left out. That beloved line which Beth used with Jo in the book and other versions of the movie, "I think I shall be lonesome for you even in heaven" was eliminated as were some of the other references to God and the hymn singing which should be part of any enactment of Little Women.
Amy was much better than some of the reviews promised. I thought she transitioned well from the child to the adult Amy, but I do agree that the writers changed Amy in this version. I really believe that they felt that one ultra-feminine young woman was enough (Meg) and so they made this Amy more outspoken. Amy would never have espoused feminist theories as this one did after the Susan B. Anthony lecture. Alcott's Amy was a traditional woman and reveled in her femininity. Nevertheless, I liked this Amy, and I felt that she was perfect for Laurie.
I loved Laurie! He seemed very much like the Laurie I pictured when I read the book--playful, exuberant, tender. I think William Shatner as Professor Bhaer is my least favorite of the actors who have played him. Perhaps I just kept thinking of Star Trek when I looked at him. He didn't seem much like a professor to me.
Dorothy McGuire as Marmee was wonderful. It was good that she talked about her own temper. I loved Susan Sarandon as Marmee in the 1994 version, but she never admitted to having a temper and come to think of it I don't think the other actresses who played Marmee did either. This new addition was certainly in keeping with Alcott's Marmee who did admit to having problems with controlling her temper.
The movie definitely grew on me because I noticed that for much of Part One I was critiquing the movie and feeling at odds with small details that didn't seem quite right--I didn't feel into it--and then towards the end of Part I and all through Part II I felt much more comfortable with the characters and I was rooting for them and crying with them. I was led to believe that they changed the rain to snow at the end when Jo and her professor meet. But there was plenty of rain before it started to snow. It was appropriate that the story was fleshed out a bit here and marriage was actually mentioned and that Jo actually gets to introduce her fiance to the family.
This is another version for my library which I will treasure. The colors and landscapes are just beautiful and the snow may be fake but it's lovely! And most of the time I didn't find the violin music intrusive--sometimes I found it soothing. Great movie!
This Dey/McGuire/Plumb/Baxter version seems to step right out of the pages of the book. It's fresh, genuine, and the actresses do a great job. Susan Dey captures the essence of Jo to a "T." The March family home is full of charm and the rest of the cinematography is a feast for an Alcott lover's eyes. Love this movie!!!
Having been made for television, putting it on dvd they should have fixed the breaks. I Prefer the Susan Sharadon/Winoa Rhyder version.