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Little Women 49

June Allyson , Peter Lawford , Mervyn LeRoy    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 70.08
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Product Description


This sumptuous 1949 film adaptation of the beloved Louisa May Alcott novel isn't as good as the 1933 Katharine Hepburn version, or even the 1994 remake starring an Oscar-nominated Winona Ryder, but it does offer its own pleasures, especially in seeing an all-star cast put through its paces. Erstwhile tomboy June Allyson stars as Alcott's famed heroine Jo, the budding writer in Civil War New England who pines for adventure, independence, and her own career. With Father off to war, it's up to Jo, practical older sister Meg (Janet Leigh), frail sister Beth (Margaret O'Brien), and vain sister Amy (Elizabeth Taylor) to help Marmee (a saintly Mary Astor) keep the home fires warm while dealing with the rigors of adolescence. It's all poured on with a generous amount of syrup, including lavish sets, hoop skirts, and petticoats, but anyone who's ever read Alcott's book will take comfort in its familiar story line. The dialogue is clunky but earnest, but you'd have to have a heart of stone not to get caught up in Jo's plight. And rarely do you get to see such stars go at it with such gusto: Allyson and Peter Lawford (as neighbor and rich boy Laurie) are a match made in B-movie heaven, Taylor is spunky and hilarious in an early comic performance, and Leigh does the matronly thing with aplomb. And nobody, but nobody, cries and suffers like Margaret O'Brien! Watch it in the wintertime, with a fire roaring. --Mark Englehart

Product Description

Louisa May Alcott's famous novel of the March family, brought to the screen.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Christopher Columbus! Jan. 17 2004
Format:VHS Tape
I wasn't expecting to enjoy this as much as the 1994 version with Ms. Ryder as Jo March--I was surprised. The only slight scarring to this 1949 version of the film was the small appearances of Mr. March, his acting was quite horrible. But, June Allyson does fill the screen with perfection as Jo March. I thought that Margaret O'Brien portrayed a wonderful Beth also. I was very moved to tears when she shook off her shyness to thank the elder Mr. Laurence for the piano. Elizabeth Taylor played Amy March to all her selfish perfection. It was defintitely the most delightful to watch June Allyson though.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Version Jan. 17 2004
By Rachel
I loved the Little Women and after seeing this version I fell even more in love with the book. Although June Allyson wasn't the best Jo I have ever seen she is pretty close the depiction of Beth was magnificent and the version of Meg was beautiful but the star was Elizabeth Taylor's adaption of Amy although she was a little old looking for the roll but you have to admit that no one plays a brat like Elizabeth Taylor it was absoulutley perfect. This movie is a wonderful adaptation of a wonderful book that speaks to men and women of all ages because of it's timeless beauty. I hope that you enjoy this movie as much as I did!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Version! Oct. 25 2003
By A Customer
I like this version (with June Allyson) much better than the Katherine Hepburn (whom I think really *overacts* in her version, often using a forced deep voice that doesn't work at all) or the Wynona Ryder (whom I think really can't act at all...she's just been fortunate to be in some *really* good films) versions. June Allyson is ideal as Jo. She seems like she really was a tomboy as a girl, but yet has a sensitivity that is perfect for the adult Jo. The supporting cast is wonderful too. Elizabeth Taylor is so funny as Amy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievably Touching! Sept. 28 2003
Format:VHS Tape
A sweet, charming, non-stop entertainment film. My only regret is that Rossanno Brazzi is in it, but that's okay. This 1949 ACADEMY-AWARD WINNING version of the beloved classic was incredibly done; with a script and cast to die for.
June Allyson plays the tom-boy writer, Jo March ("Look at me! Dying to go fight by father's side, and here I am--sitting and knitting...like a poky old woman."). Allyson never stopped being the character, and is such fun to watch.
Margaret O'Brien plays little Beth March, the frail and sickly child in the family ("We are a lot better off than a lot of people. Orphans, for instance. We have father, and Marmee, and each other."). I cried like a baby in the end of the film, when our poor Bethy dies from Scarlet fever.
Elizabeth Taylor made me laugh out loud so many times in this movie, portraying Amy March ("When one is in Europe, one feels that the dirt there is so picturesque!"). She can't stop eating, and she feels that her nose is unshapley. Hm.
Janet Leigh played Meg March, the most sensible of the girls, and the oldest ("I haven't changed [Jo]! But it's about time YOU had!!"). She is confused by her love for the nasal-voiced Mr. Brookes, and ends up marrying him, in spite of all Jo's begs for her not to.
Lastly, Mary Astor plays Marmee as gracefully as...well, gracefully ("God bless and keep us all."). Sometimes, I wish that she could be my mother too! (no offense, mom).
This film made me laugh hysterically (such as when the girls rehearse a play; or when Jo gets mad at Amy for eating too much), or sob uncontrallably (when Beth dies, and when Jo finds out her aunt is taking Amy to Europe instead of her). I would definitely reccomend this to ALL movie-goers, fans of the book, or fans of anyone in the cast. It is superb.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A CLASSIC COMES TO LIFE - WONDERFUL TRANSFER Aug. 30 2003
By Nix Pix
"Little Women" (1949) is the delightful coming of age story that follows the exploits of the March sisters, Jo (June Allyson), Beth (Margaret O'Brien), Amy (Elizabeth Taylor) and Meg (Janet Leigh) as they mature from the angst of childhood into their unsuspecting futures as young women of merit and substance. Jo is a tomboy, defying all convention and propriety in her quest to live a life of enchantment and excitement. That excitement leads Jo first into the arms of the very wealthy, Theodore (Peter Lawford), who she rejects, then the penniless, but infinitely better suited, Professor Bhaer (Rossano Brazzi), who eventually wins her heart. This was the second time Louisa May Alcott's novel had been filmed - the first, in Technicolor. As Jo, June Allyson's performance holds up quite well against Katherine Hepburn's indelible original. Allyson is properly pert, plucky and disdainful all at once. She makes the part her own. Mary Astor is tender as Mrs. March. Also in the cast is C. Aubrey Smith, making his final screen appearance as the stoic but loveable Mr. James Lawrence and veteran curmudgeon, Lucille Watson as Aunt March. This is a wonderful tale no matter the age and the acting in this version is perhaps the finest ever realized.
Warner Video gives us an absolutely gorgeous looking transfer. Colors are rich, bold and vibrant. Flesh tones have been nicely balanced. Black and contrast levels are dead on. Only in a few scenes does the transfer tend to lose fine detail. The audio is mono but nicely mixed and fresh sounding. There are no extras.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Movie July 24 2003
I loved this movie. The costumes and sets are beautifully done and the characters have such strong personalities and yet so different from each other while keeping that strong sister hood. I also love Pride and Prejudice and Anne of green Gables all movies where you can escape the havoc of today and spend a few hours in a world less complicated!!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Favourite Film Version and Closest to the Book !
I have seen practically every filmed version of Little Women and I must say that I disagree entirely with the Amazon editorial review. This version is my absolute favorite. Read more
Published on Feb. 21 2011 by Dolphin
5.0 out of 5 stars little woman
one of my all time favorites and I would love to watch it when it actually arives.
Published on Sept. 14 2010 by lynette
5.0 out of 5 stars Best ever
This is my favorite movie ever. As a child i would sit and watch it almost every week. I didnt own it on VHS, but taped off the TV. Read more
Published on Sept. 30 2004 by Hillary Reid
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring :(
I loved the book, I loved the Hepburn version, liked the Ryder version, but this...it just bored the tar out of me! Read more
Published on Feb. 12 2004 by Lizzy
1.0 out of 5 stars Spare Yourself the Pain and Watch the 1994 Version...
After seeing the 1994 version, this film seemed simply horrendous. The charaters do not match the descriptions in the book, and on a whole it does not capture the feeling of Louisa... Read more
Published on Nov. 27 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars My Review of Little Women
The book, Little Women, was written by Louisa May Alcott in 1868-1869, which was an autobiographical novel of her childhood. Read more
Published on Aug. 7 2003 by Roberta L. Weir
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Perfect!
Although I do not consider this version of Little Women to be the best, I do consider it to be my favorite. Why? I'm not exactly sure. Read more
Published on June 19 2003 by Andrew J. Budgell
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