- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Sentimentality at Its Best
- jim tanton
I've read the other reviews, and they all have something to contribute. The 1949 version reflects progress in film technology since 1933; it's glossy, colorful, and star-studded. Yet outdoor scene settings look faked, even cramped, and though obviously care has been taken to re-create an 1860s home, the overall effect is too polished for my taste. For me, the 1933 version retains authentic elements from the sentimental novel better than the prettified remake fifteen years later-despite fine acting by almost everyone. This family had money troubles, and these are more suitably reflected in the sparse (and less-cluttered) studio settings from the 1933 film. There is an aura of dreadfear of povertythat appears more immediate, or sincere, than in the remake (despite frequent references to it), as well as an undercurrent of human impulse and emotionwhat one reviewer called intimacymissing from the 1949 version. Also, in these reviews I did not see reference to the fine performance of Paul Lukas as the awkward, and impoverished, Prof. Baer; or to the famously lyrical and sentimentalized music score by the great Max Steiner. (Note that for the most part, Steiner's score is retained for the remake.) As mentioned elsewhere, "over-the-top" and exaggerated acting was typical of the early sound movies. We need to keep this in mind when viewing these oldies, thus respecting the context when relevant-as it is in this 1933 talkie. As for Hepburn's role: Is not this emphasis closer to the plot of the novel? Of course it is. jwt
Cukor's version of Alcott's famous novel. Hepburn, Bennett, Dee and Parker are the March sisters who overcome struggle during the Civil war. Cukor's version does a better job on emotion and intimacy than the 1949 version. Enjoyable, heartfelt and one of the best adaptations of the story. I give it a 4.5/5.
- David H.
This version of Louisa May Alcott's American classic is almost perfect. Katharine Hepburn heads a cast which give uniformly fine performances. The main determent to the film for me is trying to pass off 23-year-old Joan Bennett as a schoolgirl. If the school scene had been eliminated or a child actress had been used, this film would have been perfect.
Original & Best!
The RKO version of the Alcott classic beats the MGM remake in every way, even without the Technicolor glitz of 1949. Perfectly cast and utterly charming. One of Hepburn's best.
Cukor and His Little Women
George Cukor's production of Louisa May Alcott's classic American novel "Little Women", has many qualities that tend to be overlooked. The way Cukor directed Kathrine Hephburn in this drama is rather odd, Certain camera angles and movements make Hephburn appear somewhat awkward and out of place, though she did do the best that she could do with the material in most cases. Hephburn does tend to overact the role of Jo March, which was at first suprising to me because Hephburn is a stellar performing artist, but we must remember that this is one of her early films. As a matter of fact, Hephburn was coming directly from Broadway around this time, so it is not unusual that she would perform the role with the grand gestures and exaggeration that she would have projected on the stage, and we also must remember the fact that in 1933, sound in film was still new, actors did not really know what to do with it. This is a time in which Hollywood sent off to Broadway for directors who could direct diolouge. If you view other films that were produced around this time, you will notice that some actors are not as natural as they would have been otherwise because of the burden of sound. The supporting cast is passable to a certain degree, I say that because this film was coordinated as a star vehicle for Hephburn and more time and work went into creating her performance than in creating the performances of her supporting players. The chemistry is not obvious between the stars and the acting is on a great many different levels. Though this film is not the definitive production of "Little Women", it is well made. This was Cukor's first film, he was brought from Broadway to Hollywood to direct diolouge, and he made the most of it. The screenplay is a work of art, it is very faithful to the novel. Since Cukor was an expert at directing women, it makes since that the women outshine the men in this film. They are the glue that holds this production together and keeps it going.
this is a great movie and as a high school student not many classic films catch my eye but this one did absolutly amazing
- Cynthia B.
Love this movie!. All takes on it. Love Marmie and the girls how they cope with every thing round them.
Little Women (1933)
- Mark Sutch
- Ray Marlitz
"6 Young Women cope with father in Civil War"
33 vs. 49 versions
- Jarrod McDonald
My opinion has changed about this one. I think the acting is much more overwrought here. Also, it seems to reflect the Depression era more than the Civil War era. I think the 49 version is more accurate, and the scenes are more polished. The set for the March home is better in the 49 version, and Lucille Watson outshines Edna May Oliver, and Mary Astor outshines Spring Byington in their respective roles. The other difference is that the 33 version is more about providing a starring vehicle for Hepburn and it comes at the expense of the other characters. The sequence where she goes off to live in the city is much more extended and drawn out. But the 49 version keeps it much more succinct and returns the action back to the March household and the rest of the sisters as soon as it can. The more I look at these two, I don't think Cukor reigned in Hepburn like he should've, and I think Allyson plays off her costars much better and in more of an ensemble way. Finally, Peter Lawford is the ideal Laurie; Margaret O'Brien is wonderful as Beth and Elizabeth Taylor is perfect as Amy, while Janet Leigh brings poise and chemistry to her role.
Little Women (1933)
The second best version (the 1994 is the best) of the three major productions of the story. Great film, although Hepburn is good, I feel she overacts a bit too much. Excellent direction, good art direction and costumes.
Definitive Film Version
- Jeffrey Kenison
I kind of like this movie version. It has its sentimental moments. Oustanding cast. I like Katharine Hepburn this one. Paul Lukas, Henry Stepenson, Frances Dee and the other cast members weren't so bad themselves.
I think its not easy to make a film adaptation of a novel with certain success. However George Cukor made it. Its tender, very near to the spirit of the book and the lead performances, perfect. Everybody in the movie gets connecting viwers, but especially Katherine Hepburn, divine as Jo March. I like a lot Paul Lukas as Fritz Bhaer, with his tics and charming in spite of that touch of absentminderness, and shyness, far from his habitual roles of casanova. I like to see this movie just when I enjoy the next versions, 1949, 1994 and think this is what I prefer. One of my favourite moments, when Lukas sings, Tchaikostky Nur weir die ... (None but the lonely heart) and later translate it into English..for Hepburn. George Cukor is George Cukor, and Katie and Paulie were two irrepeteable players.
Katharine Hepburn was wonderful in this version.
I watch this when i was young, 60yrs ago.I still watch it every chance I get!!