Little Women

1978
6.7| 0h30m| en
Synopsis

The two part miniseries chronicles the lives and loves of the four March sisters – Jo, Meg, Amy and Beth – growing up during the American Civil War. While their father leaves for battle, the sisters must rely on each other for strength in the face of tragedies both large and small.

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Reviews

Hellen I like the storyline of this show,it attract me so much
Cathardincu Surprisingly incoherent and boring
Sarentrol Masterful Cinema
Chirphymium It's entirely possible that sending the audience out feeling lousy was intentional
Red-125 Little Women (1978) was directed by David Lowell Rich. I've learned that this complete two-part version of Little Women was a "pilot" for a TV program, which apparently was terrible. What I'm reviewing is the 194-minute film that's available on DVD.Louisa May Alcott's novel has been filmed many times, both before and after this 1978 version. The 1949 version was basically a remake of the 1933 version. Both of these films were made for theaters, and they featured Hollywood stars. Katherine Hepburn played Jo in the 1933 movie, and June Allyson played the role in the 1949 version.This version was made for TV, so it featured TV actors--Meredith Baxter-Birney as Meg, Susan Dey as Jo, Eve Plum as Beth, and Ann Dusenberry as Amy.Veteran actors had supporting roles: Dorothy McGuire as Marmee, Greer Garson as Aunt Kathryn, Robert Young as Grandfather James Lawrence, and William Shatner as Prof. Bhaer. The only two actors who were outstanding, in my opinion, were Richard Gilliland as Laurie Lawrence, and Dorothy McGuire. Gilliland was better than the Laurie as shown in the earlier versions. He was young enough to be believable in the early scenes, and his acting made us believe that he had really matured into adulthood by the end of the film. The good news is that there were no weak links, and the cast acted very well in ensemble.Because the movie was over three hours long, it allowed us to see more scenes from Louisa May Alcott's novel. (The 1933 version and the 1949 version both had to severely delete or diminish some of the key parts of the plot.)On the other hand, having more film time at his disposal allowed Director Rich to add some scenes that don't appear in the novel. It always amazes me to think that the filmmaker finds it necessary to improve on the original. "Little Women" was never out of print from the time it was written until the time it was filmed. Couldn't he trust the author?Despite those extra scenes, I found this version of "Little Women" to be well worth watching. It has great acting, great production values, and, of course, is based on a great novel.The 1978 Technicolor process turns all the colors into DayGlo. I don't understand the technical reasons for this. Maybe that was state-of-the-art in 1978. It's not really a problem, but it's different. This movie was made for TV, so it works well on the small screen. It's well done, and I recommend it.
rebekahrox I was surprised and delighted by this 1978 TV miniseries. Shocked, more like it. One of my favorite authors commented in a blog that this series had a huge influence on her as a writer. I was intrigued by this statement and got it out from the library. I didn't expect much considering the sit-com actresses cast in the key roles, not to mention William Shatner as Professor Bhaer. But much to my satisfaction and bemusement, they all did their roles proud. A special shout out to Eve Plumb, as Beth. She was very affecting. Her death was handled with grace, and even beauty. Equally surprising was William Shatner, who was very appealing in the role, tamping down, as he did, his habitual bombastic style. Needless to say, the luminous Dorothy McGuire was a perfect Marmee. And the great Greer Garson added an extra dimension to her Aunt March. The writing was fantastic: sensitive and delicate in places, and very faithful to the book. Due to the miniseries format, it included more of the book's content and was leisurely paced though it never dragged. The 1994 Winona Ryder led film has always been my favorite, and probably will continue to be, but this one came very very close, and in some ways, surpassed it, in my view.
rickofoly98503 Well, my opinion of this film is much higher than the previous poster. Having been raised on the book and read it numerous times this version of the story is one of my favorites. The script writers took liberties but nothing that would ruin Alcotts famous work of literature. When I original heard the cast list I was devastated by the "little women." But after watching it I feel all of the cast nailed the characters with gusto. Susan Dey is the ultimate Jo in my book. She surprised me with her acting and how much she became the character. The rest of the cast is good as well but I must applaud Ms Dey for her efforts. She made me cry again. The television series that followed wasn't as terrible as previous poster led to believe. That was the era of making a point of being good and telling morals to stories. That was one of Jo Marchs downfalls to her writing, always a moral. Same with Alcott she seemed to be the embodiment of JO. I have read ALL of her works. Enjoy
LindaY The LITTLE WOMEN miniseries of 1978 was so well-received that NBC tried to make a series of it. A few of the original cast members from the miniseries (Dorothy McGuire, William Schallert, Robert Young, Ann Dusenberry) returned, but the key role of Jo was recast. Unfortunately they tried to modernize the series by adding "socially relevant," preachy scenes. The characters were made to act like no one would think of acting in the late 1800s. In one episode Laurie got sick and Jo crawled into bed with him to keep him warm or some such nonsense! Plus everyone had loved Eve Plumb as Beth, so they returned Plumb to the series as the Marches' Southern cousin Lissa who was Beth's lookalike. Urgh! Viewable only as a curiosity.