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Trivia / Little Women

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The book:

  • Adaptation Overdosed: Little Women has been made into several stage plays, movies, TV miniseries, anime, an opera and a Broadway musical.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: Contrary to popular belief, and despite what you may have heard on The Simpsons, the final line of the book is not "They were no longer little girls; they were little women." (The Title Drop actually comes in the first chapter, when Father March closes his letter with, "...and I know I shall be prouder than ever of my little women.")
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  • Creator Breakdown: Jo's Boys was written in segments over several years towards the end of Alcott's life that were fraught with illness and the deaths of loved ones. On the last page, she breaks the fourth wall and writes that she is strongly tempted to destroy Plumfield and all its inhabitants in an earthquake, but she won't.
  • Executive Meddling: Alcott's original intent was to have Jo live unmarried, but her publishers objected. Nan does instead.
  • Fandom Nod: Chapter 3 of Jo's Boys, Jo's Last Scrape, as well as Laurie's proposal in Little Women when he tells Jo "Everyone expects it!"
  • Fanon: Amy's name being short for Amelia. It isn't short for anything.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes:
    • The 1981 anime's original master tapes were damaged, so it has not released on DVD, though it has been released on VHS. The French dub, however, has been released on DVD, as episodes are of noticeably higher quality.
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    • The English dub of this series after the first three episodes are nowhere online.
  • Life Imitates Art: Elizabeth Alcott died before Anna (Meg's real life counterpart) married. Years after the second part of Little Women was published, May (Amy's real life counterpart) married the man who had comforted her when Abba Alcott died, just as Amy married Laurie who had comforted her after Beth March died.
  • Magnum Opus Dissonance: Alcott was astonished at the work's bestseller status. It was only a hastily written story about herself and her sisters that she wrote for the money.
  • Missing Episode: The two silent film versions, made in 1917 and 1918 respectively, are now considered lost.
  • Writer Revolt: Alcott grew weary of readers' rampant Shipping of her characters, as this discussion shows.

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The 1949 film:

  • Actor-Inspired Element: Beth became the youngest sister to accommodate Margaret O'Brien.
  • Dawson Casting: June Allyson was thirty-one playing Jo at fifteen. Elizabeth Taylor was about sixteen as Amy and Janet Leigh was twenty-one as Meg. Margaret O'Brien by contrast was just eleven.
  • Enforced Method Acting: Ground ice was used for the exterior scenes, which the director credits with making the actors seem genuinely cold.
  • Hide Your Pregnancy: June Allyson was pregnant during filming.
  • Prop Recycling: Beth carries around a basket that is actually the same one Dorothy had carried in The Wizard of Oz. Margaret O'Brien had starred alongside Judy Garland in Meet Me in St. Louis, and both films were produced by Mervyn LeRoy.
  • Reality Subtext: The four actresses playing the March sisters got on extremely well, resulting in a natural chemistry on screen.
  • The Shelf of Movie Languishment: It was set to be released in 1948 but was pushed back until March 1949, as MGM wanted to make it part of the Silver Anniversary Celebration.
  • Those Two Actors: Mary Astor as Marmee and Leon Ames as Mr. March who starred in several movies together, most notably Meet Me in St. Louis where Margret O'Brien, who plays Beth in this movie, also played one of their daughters.
    • This was the third time in three years that June Allyson and Peter Lawford had starred opposite each other after 1946's Two Sisters from Boston and 1947's Good News.
  • Throw It In!: June Allyson's tears when Beth says she doesn't mind dying were real. She was so moved by Margaret O'Brien's performance that she had to be sent home early.
  • What Could Have Been: The film was to be produced by David O Selznick - starring Jennifer Jones as Jo, Bambi Lynn as Beth, Rhonda Fleming as Meg, Diana Lynn as Amy, John Dall as Laurie, Anne Revere as Marmee, Charles Coburn as Mr Lawrence and Constance Collier as Aunt March. Selznick decided he couldn't tackle such a big production so soon after Duel In The Sun — and Mervyn LeRoy directed instead. Elizabeth Patterson (Hannah) would have been part of Selznick's version too.

The 1994 film:

The 2017 Miniseries:

The 2019 film:


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