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Friday, March 3, 2017

Little Women (1933)

Set in Massachusetts during the Civil War, a mother (Spring Byington) and her four daughters (Katharine Hepburn, Joan Bennett, Frances Dee, Jean Parker) struggle to hold their family together while their father (Samuel S. Hinds) is off at war. Based on popular novel by Louisa May Alcott that has spawned 4 other film versions as well as several TV adaptations. While I have a personal preference for the 1949 MGM film and the 1994 film is probably the best film version, this George Cukor version is a lovely film. It's main strength is Hepburn's feisty Jo, a character she seems born to play. Joan Bennett is adorable as the vain Amy, Edna May Oliver a perfect Aunt March and Paul Lukas brings a gentle charm to the Professor but other performances are rather stiff. Douglass Montgomery as Laurie is thoroughly charmless and Jean Parker's Beth is a little too wan. I guess what keeps me from fully embracing it is the Victorian quaintness seems overdone. With Henry Stephenson, John Davis Lodge and Nydia Westman.

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