Little Men (1940)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Little Men, Louisa May Alcott's followup to her successful novel Little Women, has never truly adapted well to the screen, though this 1940 version is better than most. Kay Francis stars as the all-grown-up Jo March, now in charge of a private school for young boys. Her most contentious charge is rebellious Dan (Jimmy Conlin), who finally learns the rudiments of gentlemanly behavior from the firm-but-gentle Jo. Despite its huge and talented cast, the film is handily (and appropriately) stolen by Jack Oakie as an affable con artist named Willie the Thief. Also on hand is the original Elsie the Cow (but where's Elmer and his glue?) A loser at the box office, Little Men is currently in wider circulation than ever before thanks to its Public Domain status (also available in the P.D. market is the 1933 version of Little Men, produced by Monogram).
Classics , Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
RKO Pictures


George Bancroft
as Maj. Burdie
Isabel Jewell
as Stella N.
Kay Francis
as Jo March
William Demarest
as Constable
John Burke
as Silas
Jack Oakie
as Willie
Carl Esmond
as Professor
Paul Matthews
as Stuffy
Sarah Edwards
as Landlady
Stanley Blystone
as Bartender
Anne Howard
as Daisy
Duke York
as Poker Player
Sammy McKim
as Tommy
Bobbie Cooper
as Adolphus
Fred Estes
as Emmett
Elsie the Cow
as Buttercup
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Critic Reviews for Little Men

All Critics (1)

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Full Review… | January 2, 2005

Audience Reviews for Little Men

Little Men (1940) -- [6.0] -- This particular adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's book ends on a morally ambiguous note (I don't think children should ever be lied to), but the film is otherwise passable family entertainment. Jimmy Lydon does a decent job as Dan, the angry young man who comes to live with Jo March at her experimental school/farm for boys. The film works best when it focuses on Jo and the children, less so when it jumps to the B-storyline featuring George Bancroft and Jack Oakie as a pair of swindlers. There are some sugar-coated moments that may test your gag reflex, but the scene where Jo punishes Dan by forcing him to lash *her* hands with a switch rings true.

Scott Schirmer
Scott Schirmer

Huh? I don't remember any bank robbers in the book, or whatever they were. This was a really strange adaptation.

Erica Gillespie
Erica Gillespie

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