Heartwarming Story of Four Sisters October 31, 2001
Deep down inside many women, there is a person who wishes she
lived in a simpler time. When people tied letters in ribbons,
took cooking, sewing, knitting and quilting seriously and men
brought women flowers. Yes, that still all happens today, but
somehow some of us dream of the romance of the era. A time, long
gone, as we rush towards the future.
No time for a tea party, dressing up in lace, wearing gloves.
How about finding time to sit on a park bench and steal a kiss?
Then there are those wonderful attics, filled with mementos and
treasures, just waiting to be discovered. Well, at least we can
find time to escape into a movie and live the daydream through
the characters. I have never had a sister, but when watching
this movie, I always think how wonderful it would have been to
have had a sister.
To provide some background for this movie: Little Women was
written in 1868 and the story takes place during the early
1860's. Many Americans were moving Westward and women like Jo
March in this story, embraced the changes as they rode the wave
into the new future. Because men had to go off to war (Civil War
1861-1865), women became more self-reliant and Marmee (Jo's
Mother) represents a woman who faces the challenge with dignity
and resolve. She is determined to make life wonderful for her
Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) was ahead of her time. Her main
ambition in life was to relieve her family of financial
heartache and Jo also strives for this in Little Women. Her
writing talents eventually did help to support her family. When
her Boston publisher suggested she should write a story for
girls, she decided to try the experiment. The girls she knew
best were herself and her three sisters, so she based her book
on her family and created Jo March as her own fictional
Like Louisa, Jo struggles to conceal her strong-willed nature
in a time when women were much more docile. She is the real Jo
march. Anna (Meg) is Louisa's older sister. Elizabeth (Beth) was
ill for two years before she died in 1858. May (Amy) became a
painter in Paris and actually illustrated the first edition of
Little Women in 1868. Abba (Marmee) is Louisa's mother who
understood her daughter and encouraged her to be all she could
Bronson Alcott, Louisa's father had a vision for an ideal
world, but often he tended to ignore the realities of life. In
this movie, he goes off to war and is injured.
In Concord, Massachusetts, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David
Thoreau and Nathaniel Hawthorne helped to kindle Louisa's
ambitious nature. She was the first woman registered to vote in
Concord, Massachusetts. The March family home in the story is
actually the Alcotts Orchard House in Concord, Massachusetts
where the family lived for 20 years.
There are two versions of this story that have been brought
to the screen most wonderfully, in my own opinion. I have not
seen all the movies made, but think perhaps if they were all
combined into one, the perfect movie will have been created.
There are quite a few details left out of this one that I really
missed. Some should be in this movie to give it more depth and
were included in the 1949 movie.
This version of 1994 and the 1949 movie are my absolute
favorites. To know the full story, you must watch both. If you
also read the book, you can fill in the tidbits that are not
The story begins in winter when there are to be no presents
for Christmas and a family in need is blessed by the March
family giving them their entire breakfast. The women in this
story are like angels, they strive to be good and have such
This movie is delightfully filled with kittens, fall leaves,
books, lace gloves, romantic letters, snow, opera, art and tea
parties. It is truly the most beautiful adaptation of the
classic story. The New England countryside around Concord is
incredible in the Autumn. The seasons change as the characters
lives evolve and as life moves on.
Jo is the main character and has a mind of her own, we follow
her story as she finds out who she really is and what she wants
from life. She occasionally seems to burst from her quietness
with such exuberance for life. She would have been quite happy
running off to war and is a bit of a tomboy, but seems just
quite modern to women today. She is so unaware of her own deep
desires (except wanting to be published) until she experiences
losses that bring her to a new understanding of her own need for
The four sisters have such fun at home acting out the stories
Jo writes, that their neighbor Laurie wants to join their
society. He is infatuated with Jo, but she only feels a love of
friendship for him.
When Jo leaves to go to N.Y. she meets a more mature man who
intrigues her. She shares her love of writing with him until one
day he slightly criticizes her work and deeply hurts her when he
says: "There is more to you than this, if you have the
courage to write it." We think that perhaps Jo will never
grow up and find love.
Will Jo ever find what she is looking for and will she be a
successful writer? If you are looking for a movie that is
perfect for winter viewing, this will warm your heart! If you
love this movie, you must also see Gone with the Wind.
Watch this movie at night with candles. Oh, and have some
oranges close by. ;>