|Jo and Laurie|
|Beth, Meg, Jo, Amy, and Marmee|
The 1948 version was based both on the original novel and the Academy Award-winning screenplay
|Beth thanks Mr Laurence|
|Janet Leigh is a lovely Meg|
But the real strength of this version centers around O'Brien's Beth. This remarkable young actress -- and it's amazing to realize that she was twelve -- shows with riveting clarity the development of her character, from her shy and fearful beginnings, to her shock at the death of a child she cared for, through to her wistful acceptance
|Margaret O'Brien, brilliant as Beth|
|Amy, Meg, Jo, and Beth on Christmas Morning|
|Elizsabeth Taylor as a grown-up Amy|
(It's too bad none of these films really had the time to go into the Professor's friendship with the girls' father, and their enjoyable talks about philosophy, but you can't have everything.)
What all the movies -- and, I venture to say, all the dramatizations -- do share is the final coming together of Jo and her Professor.
No one would dream of changing the scene of the two of them standing in the pouring rain, or their lines of dialog. Because Alcott was one heck of a writer, and she knew exactly what she was doing.
"I have nothing to give but my heart, which is so full -- and these empty hands --"
"Not empty now!"