12 thoughts on “Woman Crush Wednesday: Jo March

  1. Gotta be the Winona Ryder version with those amazing Colleen Atwood costumes.
    It was the most faithful adaptation and the casting was perfect. I also liked the Kate Hepburn version.

    Really don’t remember seeing any of the others, except a vague memory of June Allyson being not quite right, having read the book in a version suitable for the young. And wondering if all women in 1860s wore makeup. I was very young.

    1. Actually, the Susan Dey version is the book practically word for wird. The Simons Rider version has to much modern concepts to be a true version. But it’s still a good version.

  2. I think Little Women really needs to be made into a miniseries. I like the 1994 version except for the casting of Winona Ryder (she’s a fine actress but too petite and dainty to be Jo), but everything happens so quickly and they have to cut out so many important (and fun!) details.

  3. LOVE the most recent version. Winona is probably too pretty for Jo, but she delights my soul in the role. I always cry through several scenes though; when Beth dies, yes, but also when Jo finds the trunk with all their old things in it.

    Aw, crap. I’m tearing up right now just thinking about it! :P

  4. I loved the costumes of the most recent version but of all the film versions I think Katherine Hepburn captures my impression of Jo better than any of the others. Winona just didn’t do it for me.

  5. Reading this makes me sad that Alcott’s “Hospital Sketches” and “Transcendental Wild Oats” haven’t been made into movies or TV miniseries. (If I’m wrong, please direct me to the appropriate links!)

    The costuming for “Transcendental Wild Oats” would be fascinating, as it would have to be both period and feature nothing that can be construed at cotton, silk, wool or other animal based materials.

  6. Without a doubt, it’s the 1994 movie version.
    The music, casting, costumes, and I think ultimately the fact that I was 13 myself when it was released, make it my absolute favourite.
    My year group at secondary school actually had an excursion to go see it at the cinema as an end-of-year treat / break for the teachers. I still remember the collective “eww” that erupted from the audience after Jo and Laurie kissed when he proposed :P

  7. Hepburn is a pretty wonderful Jo; she captures the character’s quirkiness and sense of self. I loved the 1994 movie, though, especially when Susan Sarandon’s Marmee–god, what an awful maternal nickname–tells Meg and Jo that it’s all right to make mistakes, because that’s how we learn; a woman behind me in the theatre started crying, and then I did as well.

    (If only some production companies would finance a mini-series remake, with Gillian Armstrong directing again.)

  8. I suppose that Jo March was a huge icon for a girl growing up in the United States. Not so much elsewhere; the reason I know about her is because I was twelve when the Winona Ryder version came out, and suddenly we all wanted to be a March sister. :)

    I did LOVE the 1994 movie version, however. All of the girls were wonderful, even though people hate some of them (or at least Amy) for no reason other than that they’re growing up and making mistakes… Like all of us…

    Katharine Hepburn was absurd in the role. She looked older than her mother, and had a voice that cemented her as far too mature for the part.

    Winona Ryder was wonderful. I’m not sure how “right” she was in comparison to the book (I’ve only read excerpts), but she managed to be modern at the same time as historical, and I’ve watched her portrayal so many times. The scene where Beth dies always makes me want to cry a bit.

    Didn’t she receive an Oscar nomination for it?

  9. if you want a version that is almost the book itself, watch the 1978 version with Meredith Baxter and Susan Dey. now THAT one is the closest to the book. the 1994 version is VERY good, but the feminist bits the director and Susan Sarandon put in are jarring and preachy. and NO woman back then would discuss her “unmentionables” to a strange male back then! and certainly NOT as a passing comment! Katharine Hepburns version is exceptional and June Allyson’s is
    a remake using the same script. I always thought June did a competent job, but was a tad “perky” for Jo.

  10. Only a monster doesn’t cry when Beth dies. and Yes, The March sisters are an American ideal.

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