Film Club
Screening Dates
  • December 17, 2023 11:00

Like Alcott, Hepburn came from an old and progressive New England family, and she fit the part of Jo as no other actress ever has or perhaps ever will … Her Jo is not self-dramatizing (that’s Amy’s department) but unfiltered, all of her emotions right on the surface.”

Farran Smith Nehme, Library of America

Jo March, a hero driven by a spirit of independence and fierce devotion to her sisters, has endured in literature and on screen for over 150 years. Though each generation that has grown up with Louisa May Alcott’s characters might choose their own interpretation, Katherine Hepburn’s portrayal is one for all seasons, a performance that exuberantly leaps between the demanding, sometimes contradictory parts Jo must play for her family. She’s a young writer of sensational fiction, a protector and provider, a stage manager, and—to the disapproval of many—a creative speaker. Apologizing one moment and abusing slang the next, Hepburn maneuvers her voice in and out of a ladylike” register, asserting, at every available moment, her claim on a world that won’t be solely determined by marriage. Little Women was, to me, my youth,” Hepburn wrote in her autobiography.

Little Women will be preceded by Patched Together, a short film created by Momoko, Kiana, Sophie, and Ellie during The Cinematheque’s Learning & Outreach 2023 Cinelab summer filmmaking camp for youth aged 14–19.

Best Adapted Screenplay, Victor Heerman and Sarah Y. Mason
Academy Awards 1934

Ninety years later, Cukor’s wild Yankee heroine still casts the strongest light, obscuring all other Jos—perhaps because Hepburn, rather than being charming and timeless,’ lived a real life as an uncompromising, independent woman.”

J.E. Smyth, Cineaste

Surely the definitive version of Louisa May Alcott’s novel, sweet, funny, perfectly cast, and exquisitely evocative in its New England period reconstruction … Cukor mines a rich vein of sentiment, never overstepping the mark into slush, but it is Hepburn’s Jo, making a subversive choice of what she wants her life to be, who ensures that the cosiness isn’t everything.”

Tom Milne, Time Out

Upcoming in this Series

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