Book vs. Film: Little Women

# SPOILER WARNING!!! I know I don’t normally do this, but in this case I will discuss much of the plot in both the book and movie ‘Little Women’.


This is a breakthrough 52 Books in 52 Weeks post and will count as number 14. I wanted to do a special post on this book and its movie adaption, but it will still count towards my count 🙂

So those that have been following me for awhile would know well my love of the book Little Women. In fact it is one of my favourite books and definitely one of my favourite movie adaptions. I realised that I had not read it in many years and so when I saw it at work I grabbed it and once again lost myself in this beautful story. It is one of the few books I have cried in and I am not ashamed to admit that I still welled up, not so much in the sad parts, moreso in the extremely joyous parts like the return of their father after he fell ill in the war. Interestingly I never noticed before that in the book they say he fell ill, but I am pretty sure that in the movie he was injured – doesn’t really matter. The coming home was beautiful and joyous and I welled up… I totally blame the pre-baby pills hahaha.

I have pondered for awhile about doing some book vs. movie posts and so I guess this will become my first 🙂 First of all as I have stated previously I loved both the book and the movie (1994 version), there was a lot cut out of the book (let’s face it, it is pretty long) and mushed together in the movie, but I think it works. So let’s talk about differences.

  • In the book both the Father and Mr. Lawrence have a much larger role in the plot. Mr. Lawrence certainly has a closer relationship with the family in the book. In the movie I didn’t really notice Mr. Lawrence so much except to wish I had a Mr. Lawrence to give me an awesome piano (well that was when I first watched it… I was pretty young. Later on I just wished for Laurie 🙂 ). Looking at it now I don’t think this is a terrible thing, yes he was a great character in the book, but I also felt that the movie was more centred on being entirely about the girl’s relationships with each other and their experiences. I think sacrificing the film time of those characters for the sake of this is worth it.
  • Where was Aunt Carroll in the movie? She doesn’t exist in the movie. To be honest I totally get this, she is basically a non character in the book (harsh I know, but true), basically her entire reason for being in the book was to be a catalyst for Amy to go to Europe. By taking her out and putting Aunt March in this role they made her a more important part of the girls lives which I think made the willing of Plumfield to Jo more believable.
  • I loved how Laurie was portrayed in the movie, I think it was done so well and to me stayed true to the character in the book. I think this character developed beautifully throughout the book. In the book the relationship development between he and Amy makes a lot more sense than in the movie. To be honest in the movie I didn’t totally buy that he loved her at first, I thought it was kinda like he married her and the love grew later.

    OMG Princess Daisy is going to make out with Batman - somebody call Luigi!!!

    OMG Princess Daisy is going to make out with Batman – somebody call Luigi!!!

  • I love that the book goes on to years later so you see what happened with them, how their journey is going and whether they got their castles in the sky. This was lacking in the movie, but it ended in true Hollywood fashion with two attractive people making out in the rain, so I suppose that is cool too 🙂
  • The death of Beth was handled so lovingly in both the book and movie, I can’t fault it and don’t want to look for faults in it.
  • I do wish Beth’s character had been a little more fleshed out in the movie than it was. She was so beautifully and perfectly depicted in the book. Meg in the movie was interesting too, gone were the unattractive character traits like spending beyond her husbands means and lusting after a rich lifestyle and how she deals with those faults of character. Jo’s character was pretty much like she is in the book, wild, wooly and abrasive on the outside – warm, tender and loving on the inside 🙂
  • This film combined with ‘Interview with the Vampire’ began my love for Kirsten Dunst 🙂

I think the thing that made the movie adaption so great for me was that the cast was just wonderful, seriously that casting director needed a raise. Not only were they great in their own roles, but their interactions with other members of the cast were poignant, purposeful and moving.



Don’t expect me to always provide such glowing reviews, but every now and then you might get one. Obviously this review is completely biased by my childhood love of this movie which undoubtedly has lots to do with the fact I grew up with two rough and tumble brothers and desperately wanted a sister hahaha.

What is your fave book to film adaptation?


About DitchTheBun

I wear many hats; Librarian, Mum, Wife, Sister, Daughter Friend, Health and Knowledge Seeker. Here is where I explore the many aspects of me and try new things on my journey. View all posts by DitchTheBun

23 responses to “Book vs. Film: Little Women

  • Amy M.

    I love the book and movie too, and haven’t read/seen either in soooo long!! I should find them both again! Did you know there was a cartoon for a while as well? I don’t remember what year, I just know I was fairly young (10-ish?).

  • EmilyMaine

    I loved this books so much growing up. I think after this I will sit down to read it again. I have been looking for the right book to pick up at the moment and I think this may be it. Thank you 🙂 I usually don’t like book to movie adaptations I must be honest so I am struggling to think of one where I felt no one was rippied off 😉

    • DitchTheBun

      I would love to hear your thoughts once you have re-read it. I loved it just as much as when I was little 🙂
      I know it is hard to do that isn’t it? I usually can whinge about most movie adaptions hahaha.

      • EmilyMaine

        Do you know what is bizarre? I just went to seek out the movie trailer for the original movie as I watched it on repeat when I was younger…and I had no idea it was in black and white! I remembered all the characters but I had totally coloured that movie in in my mind!!! So bizarre. I haven’t watched the more recent production but will save it for after the book now. My initial thoughts about the book is that I am struck by how young the girls all are (12, 13, 15, 16) – if you look at the girls in the original movie they look late teens at youngest, more like early 20s. Obviously it goes over a number of years but still, I am surprised they start so young 🙂

        • DitchTheBun

          Yes, I noticed that also (the ages). In the second movie they don’t really talk about how old the girls are. The actresses (with the exception of Kirsten Dunst) looked early 20s. Okay, you have me curious now, I am going to figure it out…
          Okay all these ages are for the year the movie was released because I am not sure how long it was in post-production…
          Winona Rider played Jo and was 23 , Trini Alvarado played Meg and was 27 , Claire Danes played Beth and was 15(?!) (didn’t see that coming), Kirsten Dunst who played baby Amy was 12, Samantha Mathis who played grown up Amy was 24. So young Amy was the right age and Beth was close. I think it might be a case of needing to use older actresses in order to ensure that they have the maturity to play the depth of the characters.
          To be honest I have never seen the earlier one, I am going to look at the trailer now 🙂

      • EmilyMaine

        Ok I’m on losing it – it was in colour!! Just the trailer online is in black ad white for some reason. Bah.

  • thebarrenlibrarian

    We are basically the same person. This has been my all time favorite movie basically since I was a little girl. Love love love the book too. I did several papers on Alcott in my English Undergrad-she had a troubled relationship with her father, which makes the idealized father figure in the book all the more interesting. You should read Eden’s Outcasts (I think that’s the title).

    Also, when hannah is ripping up the flowers in the movie and sprinkling them on the bed and the piano is playing the main theme in the background? I die. I sob. I want to lay on that bed and hug Beth like Jo does in the previous scene.

    Also, I got married in a victorian B and B and we used the music from Little Women as our processional and recessional.

    I could go on and on.

    • DitchTheBun

      Hahaha this statement is so funny because I have thought it before when reading your posts. Apart from the fact that whenever you post a pic I love your clothes 🙂 You have a cat named Dewey which is just uber cool (all our animals have names ending in ‘Y’s’ or ‘Y’ sounds) and yeah… that baby Cat… wouldn’t have been leaving my house either hahaha. That’s how we ended up with our last dog LOL. Someone handed him to us in a parking lot and 24 hours later I decided we were keeping him hahaha.
      Never heard of ‘Eden’s Outcasts’, I will go looking for it 🙂
      OMG that scene… all the feels. SO SAD!!!
      That is an awesome idea! I never would have thought of that! I am now listening to the soundtrack hahaha. Originally I was going to surprise Hubster by singing as I walked down the aisle, but was worried about the emotions taking over, plus coordination in heels hahaha so we went with ‘Signed, sealed, delivered’ as our processional and ‘Highway to Hell’ as our recessional (as a little joke) 🙂

  • Am I Thirty?

    Great post! Now I want to go back and reread the book and rewatch the movie.

  • Kat

    I’ve always loved this book! The movie was good, too. I just found a copy of the book given to K by a teacher, who was a dear friend of mine who passed away a few years ago. I was happy to add it to my collection.

  • Amy M.

    So I was just scrolling through the guide, and guess what just came on tv!!! 😀

  • Resolution re-commitment | Ditch the Bun

    […] ice cream (didn’t post on this), I created my own Easter Gifts and tags, I wrote my first Book vs. Movie post which was awesome!!! I intend to continue using this resolution to try new foods and healthy […]

  • It’s okay to be me | Ditch the Bun

    […] believe I have a lot to thank Jo March for. I have previously written about my love of both the book and movie and after reading back over this post I realise how big an impact my love of this character has had […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: