Little Women (1949 film)
Australian Theatrical Poster
|Directed by||Mervyn LeRoy|
|Produced by||Mervyn LeRoy|
|Written by||Louisa May Alcott (novel)
Sarah Y. Mason
C. Aubrey Smith
|Music by||Adolph Deutsch|
|Cinematography||Robert H. Planck
Charles Edgar Schoenbaum
|Editing by||Ralph E. Winters|
|Release dates||March 10, 1949|
|Running time||121 minutes|
Little Women (1949) Technicolor release was directed by Mervyn LeRoy and is based on Louisa May Alcott's novel of the same name. The screenplay was written by Sally Benson, Victor Heerman, Sarah Y. Mason, and Andrew Solt. The original music score was composed by Adolph Deutsch. The film also marked the American film debut of Italian actor Rossano Brazzi. Sir C. Aubrey Smith, whose acting career had spanned four decades, died in 1948; Little Women was his final film.
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- June Allyson as Josephine 'Jo' March
- Peter Lawford as Theodore 'Laurie' Laurence
- Margaret O'Brien as Elizabeth 'Beth' March
- Elizabeth Taylor as Amy March
- Janet Leigh as Margaret 'Meg' March/Brooke
- Rossano Brazzi as Professor Bhaer
- Mary Astor as Marmee March
- Lucile Watson as Aunt March
- Sir C. Aubrey Smith as Mr. Laurence
- Richard Stapley (Richard Wyler) as John Brooke
- Leon Ames as Mr. March
- Harry Davenport as Dr. Barnes
- Connie Gilchrist as Mrs. Kirke
- Ellen Corby as Sophie
Originally intended as a 1948 release, the premiere of Little Women was delayed until March, 1949, when it was presented as the Easter attraction at New York's Radio City Music Hall. It is believed that the reason for the delay was to make the movie part of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's Silver Anniversary Celebration.
Little Women became one the top grossing films of 1949. According to MGM records it earned $3,425,000 in the US and Canada, and $2,495,000 overseas resulting in a profit of $812,000.
- 1950 - Academy Award for Best Art Direction - Set Decoration (Cedric Gibbons, Paul Groesse, Edwin B. Willis, Jack D. Moore)
Changes from the novel
- In this version, Beth March (Margaret O'Brien) is portrayed as being several years younger than Amy March (Elizabeth Taylor), while in the book she is a year older.
- Instead of first meeting at a New Year's Eve party, Jo and Laurie first see each other when the March girls are taking their breakfast to the Hummels, and Jo visits Laurie while he is sick and confined to the house before as well.
- When the girls attend the New Year's Eve party, all four of the girls go, rather than just Meg and Jo as presented in the novel. They leave early because Beth is upset over her and Amy hearing from other people that Mrs. March had plans to marry them off well, instead of Meg spraining her ankle while dancing.
- Also, at the beginning of the book, when the March sisters are each given a dollar to spend at their pleasure, they decide to all buy something for their mother, or "Marmee", as she is called. In the film, while they eventually do buy presents for their mother, they initially purchase things for themselves.
- In the book, Amy is pulled out of school when her teacher, Mr. Davis, strikes her across the hand with a ruler when she hides limes in her desk; but in the movie, she is in trouble for drawing pictures on her slate, and she is not struck.
- Several other scenes are left out, such as the group picnic, when Amy falls through the ice after following Jo and Laurie to the river, and when Amy and Laurie fall in love in Europe.
- Jo and Laurie, while they are best friends in the book, Jo even having a special nickname for him ("Teddy"), have a still somewhat close but much less intimate relationship in the film.
David O. Selznick was originally going to produce the film. Filming began in September 1946 but Selznick decided he could not tackle a major production so soon after the ordeal of filming Duel in the Sun (1946) so he sold the property and script to MGM. The cast for the David O. Selznick version included Jennifer Jones (Jo), Diana Lynn (Amy), Bambi Linn (Beth), Rhonda Fleming (Meg), and Anne Revere (Marmee).
- The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
- Variety film review; February 23, 1949, page 10.
- Harrison's Reports film review; February 26, 1949, page 34.
- "NY Times: Little Women". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-12-20.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Little Women (1949 film).|
- Little Women at the Internet Movie Database
- Little Women at allmovie
- Little Women (1949 film) at the TCM Movie Database