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to get totally irritated at the scene in Little Women where Wynona Ryder plays Jo where she cuts off her hair and they're all shocked and say "Jo, your one beauty!"

(66 Posts)
LittleBellatrixLeBoot Sat 18-Aug-07 17:47:00

Being as how Winona Ryder would have looked beatiful with a Sinead O'Connor hairdo?

Should I just accept that Hollywood can't deal with casting less than stunningly beautiful women in parts which explicitly call for plain ones?

themildmanneredjanitor Sat 18-Aug-07 17:48:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

turquoise Sat 18-Aug-07 17:48:31

I was thinking that! Like Kiera Knightley as Lizzie Bennett, ridiculous.

I thought Beth died? Is that another bit of Hollywood licence?

themildmanneredjanitor Sat 18-Aug-07 17:49:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FlameBatfink Sat 18-Aug-07 17:50:15

Nyeh, they always take off the "ugly" girl's glasses and she becomes stunning.

LittleBellatrixLeBoot Sat 18-Aug-07 17:51:46

No she dies in Little Women, but she recovers first and everyone thinks she's recovered.

LittleBellatrixLeBoot Sat 18-Aug-07 17:52:33

Yes and like Ugly Betty as well, where the woman is OMG, as fat as a size 10 with a brace and glasses, so obviously grotesquely hideous.

IsabelWatchingItRainInMacondo Sat 18-Aug-07 17:58:15

It has always been in my mind that Jo was ugly not because of her looks but because her manners where not up to the Age of Politeness in which she lived.

The only thing that made her femenine (the main attribute portrayed in the novel IMO) was having long hair.

LittleBellatrixLeBoot Sat 18-Aug-07 18:06:13


Now they've cast some gorgeous actor as Mr Baer or whatever his name was. Is that Gabriel Byrne? Whoever he is, he's a bit of all right and Jo's future husband was supposed to be a fairly plainish bloke, wasn't he?

Why must Hollywood do this?

tortoiseSHELL Sat 18-Aug-07 18:08:38

Beth dies in the book Good Wives - she recovers from Scarlet Fever, but had complications, possibly rheumatic fever, and dies in Good Wives.

LittleBellatrixLeBoot Sat 18-Aug-07 18:12:17

Does she really?

Your memory is better than mine. (Mind you it's over 30 years since I read them )

IsabelWatchingItRainInMacondo Sat 18-Aug-07 18:22:48

I'm positive Beth died from Scarlatine Fever in Little Women. Jo came back home to nurse her, that's when she wrote the book.

Laurie fell in love with Amy trying to distract her from her pain.

Both Amy and Laurie got married and Jo had the book published before the end of Little Women.

sugarmatches Sat 18-Aug-07 18:30:06

You are confusing the books and the films. The films covered both books.
Beth dies in Good Wives after being ill with fever. She is sick for a while, Jo comes back to nurse her and she just as everyone thinks she is better, she dies.
I can remember being nine years old and crying all day over it!!

tigermoth Sat 18-Aug-07 18:31:32

I seem to remember that Jo's hair got a lot of mentions in the book 'Little Women' I remember a passage describing how one day her hair caught the light and all the golden highlights were revealed - and this was a Very Good Thing.

I had the opposite view at the time. I was around 17 years old - as I was desperately trying to henna my golden brown hair dark, vivid red.

IsabelWatchingItRainInMacondo Sat 18-Aug-07 18:35:29

The think is, I only saw the film recently (didn't like it BTW) but it was my favourite book as child.

I have never read Good Wives

sugarmatches Sat 18-Aug-07 18:36:03

Actually the fever was in LW, but she was sickly in GW. Pretty much all of the grown up things happen in the second book.
I always knew the Laurie was taking Amy just to be near Jo.

themildmanneredjanitor Sat 18-Aug-07 18:40:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

themildmanneredjanitor Sat 18-Aug-07 18:40:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

IsabelWatchingItRainInMacondo Sat 18-Aug-07 18:44:44

Here, She died in Chapter 40 of Little Women.

There is also the following in Chapter 41:
While these changes were going on abroad, trouble had come at home. But the letter telling that Beth was failing never reached Amy, and when the next found her at Vevay, for the heat had driven them from Nice in May, and they had travelled slowly to Switzerland, by way of Genoa and the Italian lakes. She bore it very well, and quietly submitted to the family decree that she should not shorten her visit, for since it was too late to say goodbye to Beth, she had better stay, and let absence soften her sorrow. But her heart was very heavy, she longed to be at home, and every day looked wistfully across the lake, waiting for Laurie to come and comfort her.

Not sure if Louisa May Alcott decided to revive her for the second novel, though.

tortoiseSHELL Sat 18-Aug-07 18:58:35

No, chapter 23 is the last chapter of Little Women. Chapter 24 as marked on that website, as Part 2 is the beginning of Good Wives.

IReallyDoLoveHer Sat 18-Aug-07 19:01:44

She didn't die in little women.

I read the book when I was 10. It's still my favourite.

PrettyCandles Sat 18-Aug-07 19:06:20

No, she was very ill in the first book, having caught scarlet fever from a child in af amily she was visiting, and they called Marmee back when they thought Beth might die. But she recovered and was very frail afterwards. She dies in the second book.

In those days a woman's beauty was in her hair, her figure, her skin and her grace. Jo was a tomboy, atheletic and let her skin tan, so her only beauty was her hair.

IsabelWatchingItRainInMacondo Sat 18-Aug-07 19:10:46

I see, I never saw that reference before the books I have had were only titled "Little Women", good that I didn't set my self to find the next book!

oxocube Sat 18-Aug-07 19:13:45

There were 4 books weren't there? I remember them at my granny's house - they had been my mum's - and I was entranced by them. Little Women, Good Wives, Little Men and Jo's Boys. The first ever school book reviewi wrote, aged 10, was about the characters of Jo and Amy in Little Women

tortoiseSHELL Sat 18-Aug-07 19:19:28

Yes, 4 books. All based loosely round Louisa M Alcott's own childhood - she is Jo, but it is how she perceives her father wanted her to be, rather than how she actually was. Beth is based on her sister Elizabeth who died, Meg on her sister Anna, and Amy on her sister May. She also died I think, leaving Louisa to bring up her daughter.

The film with Winona Ryder tries to incorporate some of the 'real life' element, with the 'existentialist' leanings of Mr March, which was reminiscent of Bronson Alcott, her father.

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