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Little Women [Import]
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Louisa May Alcott's famous novel of the March family, brought to the screen.
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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
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 morePublished on Feb. 21 2011 by Dolphin
one of my all time favorites and I would love to watch it when it actually arives.Published on Sept. 14 2010 by lynette
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 morePublished on Sept. 30 2004 by Hillary Reid
I loved the book, I loved the Hepburn version, liked the Ryder version, but this...it just bored the tar out of me! Read morePublished on Feb. 12 2004 by Lizzy
I wasn't expecting to enjoy this as much as the 1994 version with Ms. Ryder as Jo March--I was surprised. Read morePublished on Jan. 17 2004 by kristy cacciapaglia
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... Read morePublished on Jan. 17 2004 by Rachel
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 morePublished on Nov. 27 2003
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... Read morePublished on Oct. 25 2003
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