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USA 1933
Directed by
George Cukor
117 minutes
Rated G

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars

Little Women (1933)

Katharine Hepburn in her fourth film, following her first Best Actress Oscar win for Morning Glory (1933), steals the show in this faithful adaptation of the Louisa May Alcott novel about the four daughters of a Northern Civil War soldier.

Although a highly sentimental tear-jerker that milks the teat of religious piety for all it’s worth (it was released at the height of the Great Depression), it is also a quality production that won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for Sarah Y. Mason and Victor Heerman and was nominated for Best Picture and Best Director. Cukor’s direction is impressive with many striking tableaux (including one long gauzy close-up of Hepburn that looks almost out-of-focus) and is ably supported by Henry Gerrard’s photography and Max Steiner’s music. Acknowledged as “woman’s director”, Cukor and Hepburn subsequently collaborated with great success on a number of films including Holiday and The Philadelphia Story.




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