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Little Women Movie Review

Director: George Cukor

Starring: Katharine Hepburn, Joan Bennett, Frances Dee, Jean Parker, Spring Byington, Douglass Montgomery, Paul Lukas, Edna May Oliver, Henry Stephenson, John Davis Lodge, Samuel S. Hinds, Nydia Westman, Harry Beresford, Mabel Colcord, Marion Ballou

Oscar Wins: Best Adapted Screenplay

Other Nominations: Best Director, Best Picture

OK, confession time. Every book lover has a list of books they’ve lied about reading, right? I certainly do – and Little Women tops that list.

It’s not that I don’t want to read it, in fact after seeing this movie, I want to read it even more. I just wanted you all to know that I went into this movie basically knowing nothing. OK, now that’s out of the way.

That being said, I LOVED THIS MOVIE. I was skeptical at first because I’m not a big Katharine Hepburn fan, but I really enjoyed her in this role. For those of you who have also lied about reading this book, here’s a very brief synopsis:

The March family has hit some hard times. After a few bad investments, their status in society has been downgraded, further complicated by the fact that Mr. March is off fighting in the Civil War. This leaves Mrs. March tending to her four daughters – Jo (Hepburn), Amy (Joan Bennett), Meg (Frances Dee) and Beth (Jean Parker).

Each of the sisters excels in a trade common to us womenfolk. Jo is a gifted writer with an independent spirit, Amy is an artist who is a bit spoiled and snobby, Meg is the domestic goddess and Beth is the shy and demure musical prodigy.

All of the sisters get along swimmingly and, as they continue to grow and learn, a boy next door stirs things up by befriending the family, one or two sisters in particular. Love blooms, love fades. Jo moves to New York by herself to become a writer, breaking up the tight family dynamic and kind of clunking up the last quarter of the movie; however, this move is instrumental to Jo’s growth as a person. And when Jo doesn’t get her expected ending, her maturity shines through – which never would have happened if Jo didn’t take that brave step towards creating her own path forward.

Surprisingly, this 1933 version of Little Women was the third adaption, following two silent versions in 1917 and 1918. It was remade again in 1949 and 1994 and yet ANOTHER version is set to release later in 2019. Clearly this is a story for the generations, one families can relate to no matter what the time or circumstance.

Going into this movie, the only thing I knew for sure was the fate of Beth (thanks, Friends) but had no idea how the story actually ended. I really loved this interpretation and made me even more excited to cross Little Women off my “books I’ve lied about reading” list.


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