Louisa May Alcott’s lovely girlie classic Little Women has been filmed many times, and there are two super movie versions well worth sampling. The most modern is the 1994 movie, with the impressive cast of Winona Ryder, Susan Sarandon, Gabriel Byrne, Christian Bale, Kirsten Dunst and Claire Danes (probably best suited for the over 11s), but the most engaging is George Cukor’s 1933 film, a spirited, beautiful version that will simply thrill fans of the novel.
It’s the story, as every girl knows, of the March sisters. With their father away during the American Civil War, they are struggling, with beloved mother Marmee (Spring Byington), to make ends meet, while the older girls find first love, first disappointment and even tragedy in their lives. Hepburn is simply perfect as tomboy Jo, while Frances Dee, Joan Bennett and Jean Parker all make good impressions as Meg, Amy and Beth. Lovely stuff. If you can’t see this version, the 1949 adaptation with June Allyson, Elizabeth Taylor and Janet Leigh is an adorable, if sugary, alternative.
Is Little Women suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...