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Little Women is a coming-of-age drama tracing the lives of four sisters: Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. During the American Civil War, the girls father is away serving as a minister to the troops. The family, headed by their beloved Marmee, must struggle to make...
1933's Little Women's originates some of the scenes used in 1949's, but if you've seen one, you haven't necessarily seen the other, as they do deviate from one another. 1933's Depression era adaptation, for example, starts with Marnee giving clothing to the poor, a scene that would not exist in another big theatrical adaptation until Gerwig's. We spend more time with Jo's play, and less time than ever with the Little Women who aren't Jo. This is very much Jo's story, and by the time we get into the Little Wives section, all the other girls become "news from home" essentially, with Amy and Laurie's situation glossed over in the most frustrating way. Meg? Who's Meg? She's the one that's not Beth, although they're kind of the same except that one plays the piano and dies. So it's all on Katharine Hepburn's shoulders and even she can't help but push it into melodrama (as most of these performances are). Still better than 1994's freight train, but definitely a one-sided "Little Woman".
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