Little Women (1994) Movie Script

My sisters and I remembered that
winter as our childhood's coldest.
A temporary poverty had hit
our family some years before.
The war made fuel
and lamp oil scarce.
The war made fuel
and lamp oil scarce.
But necessity is
the mother of invention.
Somehow in that dark time, the
March family created its own light.
Marmee's home!
We've expectorated you for hours!
- "Expected", featherhead !
- Marmee, you're frozen.
- So many people at Hope House!
- You finished the bundles?
So many this year! We handed out...
How's your cold?
We gave them out
as fast as we made them.
Now, Miss Amy,
what's in my pocket?
"Dearest family.
I am well and safe."
"Our battalion is encamped
on the Potomac."
"December is cold for us,
so far from home."
"I think of my girls day and night.
It comforts me."
"I pray your own hardships may not
be too great. Give them my love."
"Tell them I think of them by day,
pray for them by night."
I'm a selfish girl.
It's Christmas Eve.
Father wouldn't want us to be sad.
To bed, Miss Amy. Merry Christmas.
Merry Christmas.
- Merry Christmas.
- I love you.
- My Jo... Merry Christmas.
- Merry Christmas, Marmee.
- Don't sit up too late.
- I won't.
At night, my mind came alive -
- with voices and friends
as dear to me as my real ones.
I gave myself up to it,
longing for transformation.
What miraculous food ! Isn't this
just like the old days, Hannah?
- We should just look at it!
- Jo, come down.
I'm awake!
Horrible piano...
- Hannah's made a Christmas miracle.
- Is that sausage?
Butter! Isn't butter divinity?
God, thank you for this breakfast.
Fetch Marmee. She went out at dawn
to see some Germans.
"Hummel," the boy said.
No English. His dad's gone.
Six children, and another coming.
May as well take them firewood,
they haven't any. Or breakfast.
We could send the Hummels
our bread.
And the butter, too.
It's not much use without bread.
- Wonderful snow!
- Wouldn't you like to roll in it?
Once one of our finest families.
- Lovely weather for a picnic.
- Come on, Theodore. We'll be late.
Jo, let them speak first.
What Will they think of us?
Don't look back!
"Knights and ladies,
monks and flowergirls, -
- all mingled in the dance."
"Pauline cried out
as the groom's mask fell."
"It was not her lover Ferdinand,
but his sworn enemy Count Antonio."
"Revenge is mine," quoth he.
- "Continued in the next edition."
- Excellent, Mr. Snodgrass!
- I love forbidden marriages!
- You ought to publish it, Jo.
What's wrong with our newspaper,
Mr. Tupman?
"One periwink... Advertisement."
"One periwinkle sash has been
abscondated from the wash line."
"A gentleman desires any reports
leading to its recovery."
Gentlemen of the press:
Hear, hear!
"I call your attention to
Mr. Tupman's History of the Squash."
- This is a recipe, Beth !
- I never know what to write.
The first rule of writing is,
never write what you know.
What do you think of the boy?
Is he a captive like Smee
in "Nicholas Nickleby"?
He looks lonely.
Maybe he has a secret.
A tragic, European secret.
He was reared in Italy
among artists and vagrants.
He has a noble brow. If I was a boy,
I'd like to look like that.
Imagine giving up Italy to come
and live with that awful old man.
I'd be terrified to live with him.
I'd like to live in
such a fine house with nice things.
It doesn't seem like Christmas
without presents.
I'm desperate for drawing pencils.
I wish I didn't have to work
for Great-Aunt March.
What's your Christmas wish, Beth?
I'd like the war to end,
so Father can come home.
- Sweet Beth ! We all want that.
- They have a beautiful piano.
When I'm a writer,
I'll buy you the best piano ever.
Or else you can play on mine. When
I marry, I'll be disgustingly rich.
What if the man you love
is poor but good, like Father?
It's not like being stuck with a
dreadful nose. One can choose.
I wouldn't marry for money.
What if his business goes bust?
The Eagle pays five dollars a story.
I have ten in my head right now.
Gentlemen !
I dislike all this money talk.
If lack of attention to finance
is refinement, -
- then the Marches are
the most elegant family in Concord.
We'll all grow up one day, Meg.
We might as well know what we want.
That'll do.
- Put the carriage away. Quickly!
- Merry Christmas.
I have a wonderful feeling.
Tell me all about Belle Gardiner.
About her nose and her ring.
Annie says it's an emerald.
Everyone's lucky but me!
I'm glad I don't have to go and be
with all those frightening people.
Jo, don't eat much at supper, and
don't shake hands... Your dress!
You stand too close to the fire.
Just keep your back to the wall.
- What cunning little heels!
- They're rather small.
It's only one night. Will anyone
notice they're from the rag bag?
You have to have heels.
What's that strange smell?
Like burnt feathers...
- Heavens above!
- You've ruined me!
You shouldn't have had me do it.
I spoil everything.
- I can't go out like this.
- Good. I'm not going either.
We'll place my bow in front.
Yes, that covers it.
I'll never have suitors.
I'll be an old spinster.
You don't need scores of suitors,
only one. The right one.
- Listen to the child !
- Meg won't be married right away.
With Jo's help, I never will.
- You must be so happy!
- It's enchanting.
I'd best go help Mama.
Excuse me.
- Jehosephat! I'm sorry.
- Stay! It's a good hiding place.
I feel awkward just
standing and staring at people.
should I put on my jacket?
I don't know the rules.
I'm Laurie.
Theodore Laurence... called Laurie.
Jo March.
So, who were you staring at?
- At you. What game was that?
- I don't know, but I think I won.
Who else?
I was quite taken with... that one.
That's Meg.
That's my sister.
She's completely bald in front.
Is it true you lived in Italy
among artists and vagrants?
My mother was Italian. A pianist.
- Grandfather disapproved of her.
- I saw a play like that.
Do you like the theatre?
Were you born there?
- Where . .? In Italy.
- Do you speak French or Italian?
English at home. Francais a l'ecole.
Music Conservatory, -
- but Grandfather got me a tutor.
He insists I go to college.
I'd commit murder to go to college!
Actually, I'm going to Europe.
At least, I hope I am.
My great-aunt says she'll go soon.
I work as her companion.
I have to read to her for hours.
But I do all the voices.
Were I not going to be a writer, I'd
go to New York and pursue the stage.
- Are you shocked?
- Very!
Sorry! Meg makes me
take the gentleman's part.
A shame you don't know
the lady's part!
Are you looking
at the back of my dress?
You promised you wouldn't look!
- I've sprained my ankle.
- It's the shoes. Does it hurt?
- No! I'm quite well.
- This is our neighbour Laurie.
- I'll get Mrs. Gardiner.
- No, she'll think it's the punch.
- A perfectly good party ruined.
- Let me take you home.
Thank you !
Here, lean on me.
Thank you, Mr. Laurence.
- Bye, Laurie!
- Wherever did you get this shoe?
Did you ride in his carriage? You're
so lucky. Is he very romantic?
- Not in the slightest.
- He's a dreadful boy.
He was wise to use snow.
He put snow on her ankle?
With his own hands?
- Stop being so swoony.
- You mustn't be silly about boys.
- Does this hurt?
- Everything lovely happens to Meg.
Don't be soppy about Laurie.
I hope we'll be good friends.
- With a boy?
- He isn't a boy. He's Laurie.
The young ladles are
unusually active, if I may say so.
girls need exertion just like boys.
Feminine weakness is the result -
- of keeping them at home, bent over
needlework, in restrictive corsets.
Your young student is an athlete.
He is, thank you. A good one.
But he's an unruly scholar.
I regret that his grandfather
is away much.
One hopes that your girls
Will be a gentling influence.
Must you speak to everyone
about corsets?
Do I?
Blast these wretched skirts!
- Don't say "blast".
- Amy, don't be such a ninny-pinny.
I wish I was Beth,
so I could stay home.
If you like laundry and housework!
- Blast!
- Amy, hurry. I'll be late for work.
There's Mrs. King.
I'm tardy again.
- Lovely children !
- Meg, must I go to school?
I'm so degradetated.
I owe at least a dozen limes.
- Are limes the fashion?
- It's nothing but limes now.
Everyone keeps them in their desks
and trades them for beads.
If you don't bring limes, you're
nothing. I can't pay anyone back.
No wonder you don't learn anything.
I know how it feels to do without
luxuries. We're not destitute yet.
Here's a quarter. Marmee
gave me the rag money this month.
the immortality of the soul -
- is asserted to be in consequence
of its immateriality, -
- as in all leipothymic cases -
- consistent with
the idea of immortality."
"And immorality and physicality..."
...and I think
you finally dozed off.
There's a draught!
Is it Father?
Teacher struck me.
He put the limes out into the snow.
May Chester said
my limes were for the homeless.
So I said
she wouldn't get any from me.
So she told Mr. Davis they were
in my desk, and he struck me.
- I'll beat the tar out of him !
- Jo, we must not embrace violence.
- I Will write him a letter.
- That'll show him.
You didn't say they were forbidden.
A month's rag money!
- I shouldn't have given it to you.
- I'm sorry. All those lovely limes.
- I'm perfectly desolated.
- It's a frivolous concern.
You're more concerned with your nose
than your character.
It's an appalling school.
Your spelling's atrocious.
Mr. Davis said it was as useful
to educate a woman as a cat.
I'll strangle Mr. Davis!
"Mr. Davis... What right have you
to strike a child?"
"In God's eyes we are all children.
If you hit and humillate a child, -
- the only lesson she Will learn
is to hit and humillate."
Can you discipline yourself to
learn at home, as Beth has done?
- I withdraw Amy from your school.
- Serves him right!
Jo Will now
supervise your education.
Jo, Tell me what happens next.
After the duke renounces his fortune
and saves Lady Zara...
I don't know. It's all murder.
The damsel's in distress.
I love your damsels in distress.
Beth, truly, I don't know if
I could ever be good like Marmee.
I rather crave violence.
If only I could be like Father,
and go to war and fight injustice.
- So Marmee does, in her own way.
- Yes...
I want to do something different.
I don't know what, I'm on the watch.
You'll find it, Jo.
Jo! Come over here! You too, Meg !
It's dead as tombs around here.
One doesn't shout at ladies
like cattle.
My apologies!
What do those girls do all day?
Over the mysteries of female life
is drawn a veil -
- best left undisturbed.
"Dear Countess, pray for me, -
- for I have sinned against myself
and my brother Roderigo."
You've got to say "sinned"
as if you've really sinned.
Roderigo: You arrive,
seeking the Duke of Lancashire.
Hark, ye! Who goes there?
I forgot the cymbals.
It's Roderigo!
I want to be Lady Violet.
I'm exhaustified of being the boy.
"The play's the thing," Amy.
You're too little to be Lady Violet.
- Be the Countess de Montanescu.
- You've no lines.
Besides, who'd be Roderigo?
I propose a new member for
our theatrical soclety:
Theodore Laurence.
- He'll laugh at us.
- He'll think it's only a game.
- He won't. I promise.
- We'd have to guard our conduct.
We bare our souls and Tell secrets.
- He would find us improper.
- Teddy would certainly not!
Please! Let's try him, shall we?
- Traitor!
- Artists! May I present myself... an actor, musician, -
- and a loyal and humble servant
of the club.
In token of my gratitude
and to promote communication, -
- shouting from the windows
being forbidden, I shall provide -
- a post office in our hedge.
To further encourage
the baring of our souls -
- and the Telling of our secrets.
I do pledge never to reveal
what I hear in confidence here.
well then...
- Do take your place, Roderigo.
- Sir Roderigo.
So Laurie was admitted
into our soclety.
And we enjoyed the daily novelty
of having our own real brother.
- I want to go to the theatre!
- No. Where are the opera glasses?
You're just hogging Laurie.
Please, can't I go?
Laurie only reserved four seats.
Do I look shabby?
It's not a coronation, just Laurie
and that awful Mr. Brooke.
- Ask him for another ticket.
- No.
- You've a cold. Rest your eyes.
- We'll make ginger tea.
You're weeks behind in algebra.
I won't have an ignorant sister.
Don't sulk,
you look like a pigeon.
You'll be sorry, Jo March !
Thank you.
Mrs. Neil Watson,
wasn't she a wonderful swooner?
- If only I were the swooning type.
- And I the catching type!
Young Laurence says you are
an aficionado of the theatre.
I enjoy reading plays.
I find it most pleasurable myself.
But I am distracted at the theatre,
thinking of actors' peculiar lives.
With such immodestles, one wonders
what sort of lady wants such a life.
Meg is a sensational actress.
We put on wild theatricals.
It's just something that we play at.
well, as a matter of fact,
at school...
What do you think of that?
Let's see what they do!
I had a wonderful time, Mr. Brooke.
It was a most delightful evening.
- Thank you very much. Goodnight!
- Goodnight!
- That was rude.
- You plastered yourself on him.
- It's proper to take a man's arm.
- How was the theatre?
It was wonderful. I was absolutely
inspired by the love scene.
You look flushed.
Was the theatre overcrowded?
Still sulking?
Where did I put my manuscript?
I didn't do it!
I'm going to kill you !
How could you do this to me?
Jo, stop it!
You're hurting her.
- Let her go. What's happened?
- I hate you !
Don't touch it, just let it go.
You're dead ! You're nothing !
I never want to see you again !
It's a great loss.
You have every right to be put out.
But don't let the sun go down on
your anger. Forgive each other.
- Begin again tomorrow.
- I'll never forgive her.
I'm sorry, Jo.
Looks like the last ice this year.
- Say "go".
- Wait for me.
Ignore her.
Ready... Blast!
Hold on !
Hold on, Amy!
Get a rail !
Grab it, Amy!
Hold on !
There we go.
That's it, that's it.
Josephine March, you walked from
Walden Pond in just bloomers?
- As if she noticed ! Dear Amy.
- How could I be so horrible?
- Thank God for Laurie.
- Do you love him more than me?
Don't be a beetle! I could never
love anyone as I love my sisters.
You left out the part where Lady
Zara succumbs to the duke's rival.
Right! Sir Hugo...
I quite prefer him myself.
ln the spring, we prepared for Meg
to go to Sally Moffat's coming-out.
Myself, l'd sooner be hung
than attend a fancy ball.
Wait until all Boston sees you !
I told Laurie to keep you from being
a wallflower upon penalty of death.
Where is that miserable glove?
Abigail, I shake my head
at how you're managing Margaret.
How is she to be married
without a proper d?ut?
Things Will not change
with your husband's return.
My nephew is as foolish with money
as with his new philosophies.
The one hope for your family
is for Margaret to marry well.
Though I don't know
who marries governesses.
And this one is entirely ruined
with books. Are those for me?
They're for Meg to take with her.
Marmee, she's lost a glove!
She can't go without gloves.
They're soclety.
You're right. She may borrow mine.
- Meg ! You can take Marmee's!
- Oh, dear...
- More tea?
- No thank you !
Sally Moffat, you won't be able
to draw your laces.
At my coming-out,
I didn't eat for weeks.
- I do like that colour on you.
- It's just like forget-me-nots.
I haven't seen such fabric
for years.
- But you had it made up so plain.
- well, I do my own sewing, and...
Mrs. Finster has silk pieces
ready-made. I'll take you there.
The Marches don't buy silk.
They have views on slavery.
Didn't your father's school close
when he admitted a dark girl?
Mrs Finster's silk isn't from
the South. It's from Linfield.
- This isn't China silk?
- The silk mills use child labour.
"The poor are always with us."
You're so good to remind us.
May I Tell you something?
This is an afternoon dress.
I'll make you my pet.
Hortense, viens ici.
Tonight, Miss March
shall have many conquests.
You have no corset!
The next dance is the polka.
With me.
I would dance with you,
but I fear for my new slippers.
My credo is: Don't tread on me!
Miss March... I thought your family
were temperance people?
Don't cover up. Maybe someone
hasn't seen all your charms.
And I promised Jo I'd show you off.
- The girls dressed me. I like it.
- It reveals a whole new Meg.
What do you call this?
I'm sorry.
Please don't Tell Jo
how I've behaved.
If you won't Tell about me.
I just wanted to see how it felt
to be Belle Gardiner.
- Ail those proposals and gloves.
- You're worth ten of those girls.
Have you seen the way the March girl
went after the Laurence heir?
This ridiculous dress!
I keep tripping over it.
tle some of it around your neck,
where it can do some good.
I don't like people speculating
about Laurie and Meg.
Nothing provokes speculation
like a woman enjoying herself.
- Why may Laurie flirt and drink?
- And no one thinks less of him?
For one practical reason:
Laurie is a man.
So he may vote, hold property
and pursue any profession.
And so he is not so easily demeaned.
- Who cares what people think?
- I do.
It's nice to be praised and admired.
I couldn't help but like it.
I only care
what you think of yourself.
If you feel your value lies
in being decorative, I fear -
- one day you may think that's all
you are. Time erodes beauty, -
- but not
the wonderful workings of your mind.
Your humour, your kindness...
and your moral courage.
These are the things
I cherish in you.
I wish it was a just world. I know
you'll make it a better place.
No, I don't want them.
Keep the music too.
You need your books in college.
Here's Dombey and Son.
Honestly, I won't need
all of Dickens at Harvard.
No, you'll have
more important things to read.
Nothing's going to change, Jo.
- I wish I could go.
- I wish you could, too.
You'll come back knowing things
I don't know, and I'll hate you !
As it happens, I already know
something you don't know.
About Meg
and a certain former tutor, -
- soon to be employed
at Laurence and Laurence.
Has Meg mislaid a certain personal
article, such as...
...a glove?
- John Brooke stole your glove!
- What glove? The white one?
He's had it forever.
He keeps it in his pocket!
- Don't you think he must return it?
- What I think doesn't matter.
A telegram from Washington Hospital.
Your father's been wounded.
- You'll have enough for the month.
- Don't worry.
- Look in on the Hummels for me.
- I will.
Where's Jo?
Battling Aunt March
for Marmee's ticket.
- John... Mr. Brooke.
- I Will escort your mother.
Cook packed supper, and there's
a bottle of spirits for Mr. March.
Mr. Brooke is here.
I'm no longer a tutor. Mr. Laurence
has work for me in Washington.
- We couldn't let you travel alone.
- How kind of you !
- We'll take the six o'clock train?
- Yes, I sent Jo...
Finally... 25!
Can Aunt March spare it?
I couldn't bear to ask her...
- I sold my hair.
- Jo, your one beauty!
- It'll grow back.
- It suits you.
Tell Father that we love him.
Tell him we pray for him.
I shall miss my little women !
Are you thinking about Father?
No, my hair...
Wait for me!
- Blast! This stove...
- We'll eat them anyway.
There's no corn meal or coffee.
We can't get credit.
- What can I bring the Hummels?
- Oh, fry the Hummels!
- The boys are sick.
- I mustn't Tell Marmee.
I hate money!
Your potatoes!
I don't understand.
I brought a...
- Laurie's home!
- He must need funds.
We'd get a week's food
from his billiard money.
Meg, I sold "The Lost Duke of
GIoucester"! Five whole dollars!
- I'm an author... Beth?
- The Hummel baby is sick.
I feel so strange.
She's hot, but she feels cold.
She's thirsty, but won't drink.
- Arsenic? Belladonna?
- I saw the Hummels.
Two children are dead from scarlet
fever. You and Miss Jo have had it.
But, Miss Amy...
We must send you away.
She won't die, Will she, Laurie?
God won't let her die.
I don't want to go away.
I'll come every day, I swear.
You won't be alone.
I'm afraid of Aunt March.
If she's unkind to you,
I'll take come and take you away.
- Where Will we go?
- Paris?
If I die of scarlet fever, give Meg
my box with the green doves on it.
- Jo can have my turquoise ring.
- I'll see to it.
I don't want to die.
I've never even been kissed.
I've waited my whole life
to be kissed. What if I miss it?
I'll Tell you what...
I promise to kiss you
before you die.
Marmee mustn't leave Father.
- Beth needs her.
- What if Father gets worse?
And how would we pay for the train?
"That he profane not
my sancteraries..."
- Sanctuaries.
- Sanctuaries.
"For I the Lord do sanctify them."
"And Moses told it unto Aaron,
and to all the children of Israel."
Go on.
"And the Lord said to Moses..."
Jo, Mr. Laurence is here.
If we may, my personal physician
Will examine the little girl.
There's nothing to be done.
If I bleed her, it Will finish her.
Best to send for the mother.
I've already done so.
Mrs. March arrives tonight.
Cricket, Marmee's here.
Icy cold !
Jo, fetch a basin of vinegar, water,
and some rags. Meg, my kit.
We'll draw the fever down
from her head.
And so our Beth came back to us,
although fever weakened her heart.
We did not know
that a shadow had fallen.
We prepared for another Christmas
without Father.
- Try each corner.
- No! One bow's enough.
- I'm so sorry!
- It happens all the time.
- Here she comes.
- What shall I do with the bows?
The house is beautiful.
Friends of mine from college.
Freddy Vaughan, Averill Watson.
They won't bite.
- No, don't sit there, sit...
- Here!
- Sit here, child. Merry Christmas!
- Merry Christmas!
I should have given it to you
long ago.
It belonged to my little girl.
She left us when she was very young.
But now it Will make music again.
Thank you, Mr. Laurence.
Merry Christmas.
- Play something, Beth.
- shall I?
That was good.
I fear you'll have
a long engagement.
John must get a house first
and do his service.
John? Marry?
That pokey old Mr. Brooke?
How did he sneak into this family?
- He visits Father every day.
- He's dull. Find someone amusing !
He is good, kind and serious.
I'm not afraid of being poor.
You can't just let her go
and marry him.
Better to be a poor man's wife
than to lose one's self-respect.
- You don't mind that he's poor?
- No. But I'd rather he had a house.
Why marry?
Why can't things stay as they are?
It's a proposal,
nothing need be decided.
Let's not spoil the day.
- Father . .? Father!
- What a wonderful present!
Beth... Thank God you're well.
Give him room !
My wild girl !
This could become the fashion.
- Be very careful.
- Don't coddle me too much.
- Hannah... It's good to see you.
- It's good to have you home.
Let me look at my girls.
Cholera took more men than the rebs.
Agriculture isn't taught,
and it should be.
- What happened with you and John?
- Never you mind.
- Isn't it wonderful, Jo?
- Yes, it's wonderful.
Change comes like the seasons,
and twice as quick.
We make our peace with it as best
we can. Or, as Amy once said:
"We'll all grow up someday. We
might as well know what we want. "
But her landscapes lack emotion.
I think she'd benefit from study.
But she won't get it around here.
- What do you suggest?
- Cape Cod? But Europe is best.
You were supposed to come tonight.
Hail the conquering graduate!
- Is Grandfather proud?
- Yes. But he wants me in an office.
Why can Amy paint china, and you can
scribble, while I set music aside?
Why must you?
If I don't...
I'd have to defy Grandfather.
Yes, and not the whole of soclety.
I can't go against the old man.
When I imagine myself in that life -
- I can think of only one thing
that would make me happy.
Teddy... don't.
We have to talk reasonably.
I have loved you -
- since I first saw you. What is
more reasonable than to marry you?
We'd kill each other.
We can't keep our tempers.
- I can... unless provoked.
- We're stubborn and quarrelsome.
You can't even propose
without quarrelling.
Jo... dear Jo.
I swear I'll be a saint.
I'll let you win every argument.
I'll take care of you
and your family.
I'll give you every luxury.
You need write only if you want to.
Grandfather wants me to
learn the business in England.
Can't you see us
bashing around London?
I'm not fashionable enough. You
need someone elegant and refined.
I want you.
Teddy, please. Don't ask me.
I'm desperately sorry.
I do care for you.
You're my dearest friend.
- But I can't go be a wife.
- You say you won't, but...
- You Will !
- I won't, I won't.
One day...'ll meet some man,
and you Will love him tremendously.
And you Will live and die for him.
You Will !
I know you.
And I'll be hanged
if I stand by and watch.
Are you ill?
She has refused Laurie.
I'm sure she can take it back.
It's just a misunderstanding.
Listen to him...
- I must get away.
- Of course.
- Aunt March is going to France.
- France! That's ideal !
- Aunt March asked me to go.
- To Europe?
My Europe.
- When?
- It was decided just today.
I am her companion now.
She wishes me to study painting
and make a good match.
But perhaps she wouldn't mind
if you stayed at Plumfield -
- while we're gone.
Of course Aunt March prefers Amy.
I'm ugly and I say the wrong things.
I fly around throwing away
good marriage proposals.
I love our home, but I'm so fitful.
I can't stand being here.
I'm sorry. I'm sorry, Marmee.
There's something wrong with me.
I want to change,
but I can't, and I...
I just know
I'll never fit in anywhere.
Jo, you have
so many extraordinary gifts.
How can you expect to lead
an ordinary life?
You're ready to go out and
find a good use for your talents.
Although I don't know
what I'll do without my Jo.
Go... and embrace your liberty.
And see what wonderful things
come of it.
Laurie sought refuge in London
and abroad.
Marmee helped me
find a place in New York.
So I crossed the line between
childhood and what lay beyond.
- Mrs. Kirk?
- Josephine!
- How do you do?
- Kitty, Minnie! This is Miss March.
Her father, Colonel March,
knew your papa.
Watch your feet, Mr. Costigan.
Come in, dear.
Dear Beth, Mrs. Kirk has
made me feel quite at home.
My little students,
Kitty and Minnie, are dear girls.
How curious to grow up in a
boarding-house with no father.
I felt bold leaving, but I confess
I find New York rough and strange -
- and myself strange in it.
Mrs. Kirk believes l'm here
for an exciting interlude -
- before succumbing to matrimony.
But, while there's no lack of
sensational experiences here, -
- I hope that any experience
I gain may be strictly literary, -
- and that romantic or sensational
events are confined to the page.
Our subscribers do not like
sentiment and fairy stories.
- They're not fairy stories.
- Try one of the ladies' magazines.
You know, when first I saw you,
I thought:
- "She is a writer."
- What made you think so?
I know many writers.
In Berlin,
I was a professor at the university.
Here I'm just a humble tutor,
I'm afraid.
No, please, sit down.
You're far from home.
Do you miss your family?
Very much. My sisters especially.
- And Laurie.
- She's your sister?
No, he's a friend.
- You like your coffee?
- It's very strong... I like it.
You have quite a library.
- Did you bring them from Germany?
- A few.
- May I?
- Of course.
Most of these
I could not bear to leave behind.
I sold everything I owned
to get my passage.
But my books... Never.
Some books are so familiar
that it's like being home again.
Will you be returning to Berlin,
Professor Bhaer?
Friedrich. Call me Friedrich.
No. Sadly, the fatherland of
Goethe and Schiller is no more.
I adore Goethe. My father used to
read me all the German poets.
My mother and father were part of
a rather unusual circle in Concord.
- Do you know "transcendentalism"?
- It's German romantic philosophy.
We throw off constraints and come
to know ourselves through insight.
- It's out of fashion now.
- Not in the March family.
But with this transcendence comes
much emphasis on perfecting oneself.
- This gives you a problem?
- I'm hopelessly flawed.
If only we could transcend ourselves
without perfection.
Like Whitman, who shouts poetry on
the street to the roar of the carts.
"Keep your silent woods, oh nature,
and your quiet places by the woods."
"Give me the streets of Manhattan."
I think we are all
hopelessly flawed.
He is poor, as one expects
of an itinerant philosopher.
Yet I see he is
unfailingly generous to all of us.
I am grateful to have a friend.
- Our nation was founded on it.
- It was a betrayal of our ideals.
A constitution that denies basic
rights to women and black people?
They've passed the 1 5th amendment.
They can vote.
- Black men can vote.
- A lady has no need of suffrage.
- I take wine only medicinally.
- Pretend you've got a cold.
If women are a moral force, can't
they govern, preach and testify?
What is it, Miss March?
It's poor logic to say that because
women are good they may vote.
Men do not vote because they
are good. Women should vote, -
- not because they are good,
but because they are human beings.
- You should have been a lawyer.
- I should have been many things.
- Friedrich? Oh, I'm sorry...
- No, please. Come in.
A newspaper published two of my
stories, and they want more.
This is wonderful !
"The Daily Volcano"?
"The Sinner's Corpse"...
by Joseph March.
Lunatics... vampires...
This interests you?
people like thrilling stories.
This is what the newspapers want.
I suppose that is true.
It Will buy a new coat for Beth.
She'll be grateful for it.
I do not want to be your teacher.
No, understand me...
I am saying only
that you should please yourself.
My opinion is of no importance.
- Do you forgive me?
- Of course.
Can I make a gift?
Do you like the opera?
I do! I mean, I think I do.
We don't get much opera in Concord.
- I have no opera dress.
- You Will be perfect.
Where we are sitting,
we shall not be so formal.
Leila is a goddess.
She has promised never to love.
If she breaks her vow,
all Will be lost.
- Look, trouble is coming.
- What Will happen?
The inevitable.
Leila's soul is opening.
She is drawn to an idea.
He says, "Love has a fatal power."
"Your heart understood mine."
"In the depth
of the fragrant night, -
- I listened with ravished soul -
- to your beloved voice."
"Your heart understood mine."
Laurie! You wicked...
We heard you were in Greece.
- You are occupied with business?
- Not just now.
Grandfather agreed
I should concentrate on music.
- You know Fred Vaughan.
- Good day, Laurence.
I see you're studying art.
Aunt March, you look splendid.
I cannot say the same for you,
my boy.
Amy, Will you be long?
I must retire.
Do come and see us.
- Are they engaged?
- Not yet.
How long would strychnine take to
dissolve in brandy? Eight minutes?
And is a dagger worn at the waist,
or is that a sabre?
In these novels, the dagger is
usually concealed in the boot.
By a man with a dark moustache.
Oh Laurie, how lovely!
It isn't what it should be,
but you improve it.
Don't. I liked you better
when you were blunt and natural.
It did not serve me well.
I find you changed.
I despise you. You laze about,
spending money and courting women.
- You aren't serious about music.
- My music is like your paintings.
Mediocre copies
of another man's genius.
Then why not go to Grandfather
and make yourself useful?
I should.
Why don't you reform me?
- I've someone else in mind.
- You do not love Fred Vaughan.
- He's stable and well-mannered...
- And has 40,000 a year.
I've always known
I would not marry a pauper.
- I expect a proposal any day.
- You'll regret it.
l'll regret it.
I'm reminded of a promise.
Didn't I say I would kiss you
before you die?
Do you hear from Jo?
She has befriended
a German professor.
No doubt he's showing her
the ways of the world.
I Will not be courted by someone
who is stiil in love with my sister.
- I'm not in love with Jo.
- Then why are you jealous?
I envy her happiness.
I envy his happiness.
I envy John Brooke for marrying Meg.
I hate Fred Vaughan.
If Beth had a lover I'd despise him.
Just as you knew you
would never marry a pauper, -
- I have always known I should be
part of the March family.
I do not wish to be loved
for my family.
Any more than Fred Vaughan wishes
to be loved for his 40,000 a year.
My darling Amy,
it is you I want, not your family.
I have gone to London
to make myself worthy of you.
do not do anything we shall regret.
Monsieur Vaughan, Mademoiselle.
May I show him in?
- Friedrich ! Did you read it?
- Yes...
It's well written, Jo. The first
novel. What a great accomplishment!
I'll show it to the publisher you
know. He liked "Sinner's Corpse".
What is it?
Mr. Fields is a good man.
He Will give you an honest opinion.
I see...
What's your honest opinion?
- I'm a professor of philosophy, Jo.
- I'd like to know.
You should be writing from life.
From the depths of your soul.
There is nothing here of
the woman I am privileged to know.
Friedrich, this is what I write.
I'm sorry it doesn't
live up to your standards.
There is more to you than this,
if you have the courage to write it.
Meg !
- Why didn't you Tell me?
- One hardly speaks of such things.
How wonderful.
- How is Beth?
- You Will find her much altered.
We couldn't send for you sooner.
The doctor's been many times, -
- but it's beyond all of us.
I think she's been waiting for you,
Drink up all this good broth.
- I'm glad you're home.
- So am I .
"Mr. Pickwick changed colour."
"well, that's important. There's
nothing more suspicious, then."
I feel stronger with you close by.
We'll get you better yet.
If God wants me with him,
there is none who Will stop him.
I don't mind.
I was never like the rest of you...
making plans to do great things.
I never saw myself as anything much.
I'm not a great writer, like you.
- Beth, I'm not a great writer.
- But you Will be.
Oh Jo, I've missed you so.
Why does everyone want to go away?
I love being home.
But I don't like being left behind.
Now I'm the one going ahead.
I am not afraid.
I can be brave like you.
But I know I shall be homesick
for you. Even in heaven.
I won't let you go.
"Aunt March is bedridden,
and would not survive the voyage."
"Amy must bide her time
and return later."
It's just as well.
Will we never all be together again?
Lovely morning.
Thank you, sir.
Dearest Laurie. You have not
heard our sad news of Beth. "
"Meg has entered her confinement,
and Amy must stay with Aunt March."
"This is far too great a sorrow
to bear alone. "
"Please come home, Teddy dear.
Your faithful Jo. "
I knew you would come.
The real charm was Beth's
happy face at the new piano -
- as she lovingly touched
the beautiful keys.
The rumour spread that Amy March
had 24 delicious limes.
I said they dressed me up, but not
that they made me a fashion plate.
As she spoke,
Jo took off her bonnet.
An outcry arose.
Her abundant hair was cut short.
Jo, how could you?
Your one beauty.
Nothing's going to change, Jo.
You have a daughter.
And a son.
I can't believe
you did this four times.
Yes, but never two at once,
my darling.
Meg, she's so beautiful.
And him ! He's handsome.
He'll look just like his papa.
He does look like John.
- Have you heard from the professor?
- No.
We did not part well.
John and I don't always agree,
but then we mend it.
Who could that be?
- Teddy! This is magic!
- You are absolutely...
...covered in flour!
Come in !
Not yet.
May I Tell you something, alone?
I'm glad you're the first to know.
May I present... wife.
Brussels lace!
I went to paint the great cathedrals
but I couldn't forget our home.
Look how Amy has captured
Orchard House. It's beautiful !
Not as beautiful as I wanted,
but I am stiil learning.
Dear little angel.
Jo, Tell me the truth,
as a sister, -
- which is a relationship
stronger than marriage...
- Do you mind at all?
- Oh, no.
I was surprised.
I was told that Teddy would never
love another, and now he's married.
It's good to hear you
call me "Teddy" again.
At last we're all family,
as we always should have been.
Promise to live close by. I couldn't
bear losing another sister.
Jo, it's so gloomy and chilly.
It would take an income just for
the coal. What was she thinking?
Most likely she felt sorry for me.
"Decrepit homeless spinster".
Poor Aunt. Living all those years
alone in this... useless old house.
Yes, her blessings became a burden.
Wouldn't this be a wonderful school?
What a challenge that would be!
Hello, Tuppy.
My book!
Someone's publishing my book!
Hannah !
Someone's publishing my book.
How did it arrive?
A foreign gentleman brought it.
Strange kind of name...
- "Fox" or "Bear"...
- Did you ask him to wait?
I thought it was one of
Miss Amy's European friends...
I said Miss March and Mr. Laurie
lived next door.
He said he had a train to catch.
Friedrich !
Thank you for my book.
When I didn't hear from you
I thought you hated it.
Reading it was like
opening a window to your heart.
James Fields took it
and would not give it back.
I said, "Such news
I have to give to her myself."
- well, it was a silly impulse.
- No, not silly at all.
It's so good to see you.
Come and meet my family.
Thank you,
but I have to catch a train.
I'm going to the West.
My ship leaves from Boston tomorrow.
The schools in the West are young.
They need professors, and...
...they're not concerned
about the accent.
I don't mind it, either.
My aunt left me Plumfield.
It isn't a field.
It's a rather large house.
All it's good for is a school.
And I want a good school.
One that's open to
anyone who wants to learn.
I'll be needing someone
who knows how to teach.
- Could I not persuade you to stay?
- I confess...
I was hoping I might have
a reason to stay, but...
Congratulations on your marriage.
Oh, no! That's Amy.
My sister, Amy, and Laurie.
I'm not married.
- Please don't go so far away.
- Jo...
Such a little name for...
such a person.
Will you have me?
With all of my heart.
But I have nothing to give you.
My hands are empty.
They're not empty now.