**/**** Image B Sound C-
starring Katharine Hepburn, Joan Bennett, Paul Lukas, Edna May Oliver
screenplay by Sarah Y. Mason & Victor Heerman, based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott
directed by George Cukor
by Walter Chaw A scant six years after The Jazz Singer introduced talking to the motion picture, George Cukor's Little Women came to the screen with the awkwardness of a foundling art form (silent-picture burlesque and stage melodrama) in tow. It's extremely difficult to view the film unjaundiced by a modern opinion of performance, script, and direction: Although the adapted screenplay by Sarah Y. Mason and Victor Heerman won an Oscar that year, Little Women is impossibly dated and difficult to swallow. Part of the problem is the casting of actresses (each one at least a decade too old for her role), whose performances are such sweeping caricatures that it takes some effort to remind oneself that they were once acceptable simulacrums of reality.