Film Review: Little Women- A Novel by Louisa May Alcott

The film was released on 10th March 1949 and it is based on the novel: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. The author wrote this book in 1968, the storyline is set in New England during the Civil War. The film is directed by Mervyn LeRoy. It is interesting to know the journey of the novel – the first versions were silent version in 1917 & 1918, and later George Cukor in 1933 adapted it into a regular film. Mervyn LeRoy followed by his own creativity, released Little Women in 1949; Lovell Rich did the same in 1978, and Gillian Armstrong in 1994.


The story of Little Women is set in Concord, Massachusetts-USA, 1862, when the nation was dominated by Civil War.  The main characters in the film belong to the Marches family.  The March sisters are Meg – played by Janet Leigh, Jo – played by June Allyson, Amy – played by Elisabeth Taylor, Beth – played by Margaret O'Brien. They are living with their mother, whom they called Marmee.  Their father is away from home, fighting in the Civil War.


The story of the lives and love of the four March sisters shows them as wise role models – who may have lacked money, but not the warmth of good human beings. Their mother (Marmee) copes with hard times, singly, and this must have been the case with many others of those times.  The March family comprises of members who evolve with courage to choose their life’s journey. There are challenges to be met, including, the death of one of the March sisters.  On the other hand, it is delightful seeing Jo, playing her boyish role and re-emphasizing her gusty mood and feelings by saying: Christopher Columbus!  


Little Women turned out to be one of the top-grossing films of its time. 


The premier of Little Women was delayed by a year; it is believed that the cause of the delay was to make the movie part of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayor’s Silver Anniversary Celebration. Turner Classic Movie presented Little Women on October 07, 2015 in remembering June Allyson (Jo) who would have been celebrating her 98th birthday.


The cinematography is by Robert Planck & Charles Schoenbaum. The running time of the film is 121 minutes and its cost of production was $ 2,776,00.  The collections at the box office were $ 5,910,000. It was distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.


Louisa May Alcott was an American-born author and poet, and it is believed that Little Women might be an autobiographical account of the author showing her growing-up years.

Geeta Chhabra

Geeta Chhabra Comment Form
Form a link. Comment inside the box below. Your views will be published in a coming edition.