Little Women (1994) Script

[♪♪♪]

[♪♪♪]


GIRL: Is this too fast? BOY: Harder!

[BOTH GIGGLING]

JO: My sisters and I remember that winter...

...as the coldest of our childhood.

A temporary poverty had settled upon our family some years before.

The war had made fuel and lamp oil scarce...

...but necessity is indeed the mother of invention.

Somehow in that dark time...

...our family, the March family...

...seemed to create its own light.

Marmee! Marmee's home!

[♪♪♪]

AMY: Marmee! JO: Marmee!

We waited and waited! We've been expectorating you for hours!

Have you, my darling? "Expecting," featherhead.

Oh, Marmee, you're frozen. Yes.

If you could see the people lined up outside Hope House in this bitter cold.

Your cheeks are so warm. Thank you, Cricket.

Are you finished the Christmas bundles?

So many this year. We were handing out--

Oh, how is your cold? Better.

Good. We were handing out food as quickly as we could make up the baskets.

Miss Amy, what is this in my pocket? AMY: Father!

[AMY GASPS THEN MARMEE CHUCKLES]

"My dearest family, I am well and safe.

Our battalion is encamped on the Potomac."

Potomac. Potomac.

"December makes a hard, cold season for all of us so far from home.

I think of my girls day and night...

...and find my best comfort in your affection.

I pray that your own hardships will not be too great to bear.

Give them all my dear love and a kiss.

Tell them I think of them by day, pray for them by night."

Poor father. I'm a selfish girl.

Aw. Little ones.

It's Christmas Eve. Father wouldn't want us to be sad now.

[PIANO PLAYING]

ALL: ♪ Ding-dong merrily on high In heaven the bells are ringing ♪

♪ Ding-dong merrily the sky Is riven with angels singing ♪

♪ Gloria ♪

♪ Hosanna in excelsis ♪ To bed, Miss Amy. Merry Christmas, sweetheart.

Merry Christmas.

♪ Let steeple bells be swungen ♪

♪ And io, io, io ♪ MRS. MARCH: Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas.

♪ Gloria ♪ Merry Christmas, Beth.

Love you. I love you.

♪ Hosanna in excelsis ♪ My Jo. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas, Marmee.

♪ Hosanna in excelsis ♪♪ And don't sit up too late.

I won't.

♪ May you beautifully rhyme ♪

♪ Your eve-time song, ye singers ♪♪

[♪♪♪]

JO: Late at night, my mind would come alive with voices and stories...

...and friends as dear to me as any in the real world.

I gave myself up to it, longing for transformation.

Oh, what miraculous food.

Isn't this just like the old days, Hannah? Oh.

[BOTH CHUCKLING]

We shouldn't eat it. We should just look at it.

I'm going to eat it. Ha-ha-ha.

Jo? Jo, come down.

[PLAYING UPBEAT TUNE]

JO: I'm awake! Horrible piano.

Hannah's put together an absolute Christmas miracle.

Is that sausage?

MEG: Wait.

AMY: Butter! Oh, isn't butter divinity?

Oh, God, thank you for this breakfast.

Jo, angel, fetch your Marmee.

She went out at the crack of dawn to see some Germans.

Hummel, the boy said. Not a word of English.

His da's gone. Six children, and she's about to issue another.

May as well take them a stick of firewood.

Sure they haven't got any.

Or breakfast either.

Perhaps we could send the Hummels our bread.

Might as well send the butter too. Butter's not much use...

...without bread to put it on.

[♪♪♪]

Oh, wonderful snow.

Don't you wish you could roll about in it like dogs?

Once one of our finest families.

JO: Lovely weather for a picnic!

MR. LAURENCE: Come along, Theodore. We'll be late for church.

Jo, you should let them speak first. What will they think of us?

Oh, don't look back.

♪ Here we come a-wassailing Among the leaves so green ♪

♪ And here we come a-wandering So fair as to be seen ♪

♪ Love and joy come to you And to you your wassail too ♪

♪ And God bless you And send you a happy new year ♪

♪ And God send you A happy new year ♪♪

[GIRLS LAUGHING]

[♪♪♪]

JO: Knights and ladies, elves and pages, monks and flower girls...

...all mingled gaily in the dance.

Pauline cried out in horror as her bridegroom's mask fell...

...disclosing not her lover, Ferdinand...

...but the face of his sworn enemy, Count Antonio.

'Revenge is mine,' quoth he."

Continued in the following edition.

Excellent installment, Mr. Snodgrass.

Oh, I love forbidden marriages. You ought to publish it, Jo.

Really. Not just in the Pickwick Portfolio.

Mr. Tupman, are you demeaning our fine newspaper?

Mr. Winkle. AMY: Ahem.

[CLEARS THROAT]

"One periwink-- Advertisement."

"One periwinkle sash belonging to Mr. N. Winkle...

...has been abscondated from the wash line...

...which gentleman desires any reports leading to its recovery."

Gentlemen of the press, hear, hear.

[KNOCKING]

I call to your attention our Mr. Tupman's "The History of the Squash."

Oh, don't read mine. Beth, this isn't a story. It's a recipe.

Oh, dear, I never know what to write.

First rule of writing, Mr. Tupman, is never write what you know.

What do we think of the boy?

Is he a captive like Smee in Nicholas Nickleby?

He looks lonely. You don't think he'll try to call?

Maybe he has a secret. A tragic, European secret.

He's had no upbringing at all, they say.

He was reared in Italy among artists and vagrants.

Doesn't he have a noble brow?

If I were a boy, I'd wanna look just like that.

Imagine giving up Italy to come live with that awful old man.

Oh, Jo, please don't say "awful." It's slang.

I'd be terrified to live with him.

[PLAYING SLOW TUNE]

MEG: I shouldn't mind living in such a fine house, and having nice things.

Oh, it doesn't seem like Christmas this year without presents.

I'm desperate for drawing pencils.

I wish I didn't have to work for Great-Aunt March, that crabby old miser.

And you, Beth. What's your Christmas wish?

I'd like the war to end so father can come home.

Oh, sweet Beth. We all want that.

They do have a beautiful piano.

Wait till I'm a writer. I'll buy you the best piano in creation.

And if she doesn't, you can come over and play mine.

When I marry, I'm going to be disgustingly rich.

And what if the man you love is a poor man, but good like father?

Well, it isn't like being stuck with the dreadful nose you get.

One does have a choice to whom one loves.

BETH: You have a lovely nose.

Well, I wouldn't marry for the money.

I mean, what if his business goes bust?

Besides, down at the Eagle, they pay $5 for each story they print.

Why, I have 10 stories in my head right now.

Gentlemen, I dislike all this money talk. It isn't refined.

Well, if lack of attention to personal finances is a mark of refinement...

...then I'd say the Marches are the most elegant family in Concord.

[CHUCKLES]

We'll all grow up someday, Meg.

We might as well know what we want.

[♪♪♪]

That'll do, that'll do. Put the carriage away, and look smart about it.

MAN: Very good, sir.

BOY: Merry Christmas.

MEG: I have the most wonderful feeling about tonight.

Meg and Jo, you have to tell me everything about Belle Gardiner.

What her nose looks like and about her ring.

Annie Gardiner says it's an emerald.

Can you imagine? Everyone's lucky but me.

I'm glad I don't have to go and be with all those frightening people...

...and try to think of things to say. Hush now.

Oh, mind you, Jo, don't eat much at supper.

And don't shake hands with people. It isn't the thing anymore.

Jo, your dress! Oh, I know!

You always stand too close to the fire.

Oh, dear. Well, just keep your backside to the wall.

Meg, look. What cunning little heels.

BETH: They're rather small.

MEG: That's all right. It's only for one night.

You don't suppose anyone will notice they came out of the rag bag, do you?

Mm-mm. You have to have heels.

Ow.

[SNIFFING]

What's that strange smell?

Like burnt feathers.

[SNIFFING]

[ALL SCREAMING]

HANNAH: Heavens above. You've ruined me.

I'm sorry. I'm sorry. You shouldn't have had me do it.

Meg, don't worry. It'll grow back. JO: I spoil everything.

[GASPS]

I can't go out like this.

Well, good! I'm not going either.

AMY: Here, we'll place my bow in front. Ooh.

BETH: Yes, that covers it. AMY: It's very becoming, Meg.

I'll never have any suitors. I'll just be a dried-up old spinster.

You don't need scores of suitors. You only need one, if he's the right one.

Listen to the child.

Meg isn't going to be married right away, is she?

[MEG SCOFFS]

With Jo's help, I never will.

[♪♪♪]

Oh, you must be so happy. Oh, Belle, it's enchanting.

[UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYING]

Well, I best go and help Mama. Excuse me.

WOMAN 1: I think it's Mrs. Barkley.

She's going to try it. Watch her.


WOMAN 2: Oh, yes, I would like it very much. That's very kind.

WOMAN 3: Ooh! Ooh.

[GASPS]

Jehoshaphat! I'm sorry.

No, no, stay. It's not a bad hiding place, is it?

You see, I don't know anyone...

...so I feel awkward just standing and staring at people.

Should I put on my jacket? I never know the rules.

Uh, um, I'm Laurie.

Theodore Laurence, but I'm called Laurie.

Jo March. Um--

So who were you staring at?

You, actually. What game were you playing?

Ha, ha. I don't know, but I think I won.

Who else? Well, I was--

I was quite taken with that one.

[WALTZ MUSIC PLAYING]

That's Meg. That's my sister.

She's completely bald in front.

Is it true that you lived in Italy among artists and vagrants?

Heh. Well, my mother was Italian. A pianist.

Grandfather disapproved of her. Truly?

I saw a play like that once. Do you like the theater?

Oh, yes. Were you born there?

Where? In-- Heh. In Italy.

Do you speak French or Italian? English at home.

[SPEAKS IN FRENCH]

The music conservatory in Vevey.

But grandfather's having me tutored now.

He insists I go to college. Oh, I'd commit murder to go to college.

Mm.

Actually, I'm going to Europe.

Well, at least I hope I am. My Great-Aunt March says she'll go one of these days...

...and she has to take me with her because I work as her companion.

I have to read to her for hours and hours.

But I do all the voices. Heh. Heh, heh. I'll bet you do.

If I weren't going to be a writer, I'd go to New York and pursue the stage.

Are you shocked? Very.

[UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYING]

MEG: Ow. Sorry.

[JO & LAURIE LAUGHING]

I'm sorry. Meg always makes me take the gentleman's part at home.

It's a shame you don't know the lady's part.

[JO SHRIEKS THEN BOTH CHUCKLING]

Are you looking at the back of my dress, you cheat?

LAURIE: It doesn't look so bad. Honestly.

JO: You promised you wouldn't look.

Oh, Jo. Jo, I've sprained my ankle.

I shouldn't wonder, in those shoes. Does it hurt?

Oh, no, no. I'm quite well, thank you.

Well, this is our neighbor, Laurie, the captive.

Oh, poor Meg. I'll go tell Mrs. Gardiner.

Oh, no, Jo. She'll think I've been sampling the punch.

A perfectly good party ruined. Well, I have my carriage.

Let me take you home. Oh, yes!

Oh, no, thank you.

[MOUTHS]

Thank you.

MRS. MARCH: Here, lean on me.

Thank you, Mr. Laurence. That's very kind of you.

LAURIE: Not at all. JO: Goodbye, Laurie.

Good night, Mrs. March. Meg, wherever did you get this shoe?

Did you ride in his carriage? Oh, you two have all the luck.

Oh, Jo, is he very romantic? Not in the slightest.

Well, we're very much obliged to him, but he's a dreadful boy.

Well, he did a good deed putting snow on this ankle.

He put snow on your ankle? To bed, Miss Amy.

With his own hands? Oh, stop being so swoony.

I won't have my girls being silly about boys. To bed. Jo, dear.

Does this hurt?

Everything lovely happens to Meg. Oh, yes indeed!

You mustn't be soppy about Laurie any more than you should be soppy...

...about those silly girls at school.

I hope we shall be good friends with him. With a boy?

He isn't a boy. He's Laurie.

[♪♪♪]

[GRUNTING]

JO: Faster!

Faster! Ha, ha.

Faster! AMY: Laurie!

[AMY YELLING]

[GIRLS LAUGHING AND LAURIE GRUNTING]

[LAUGHING]

Your young ladies are unusually active, Mrs. March...

...if I may say so. MRS. MARCH: Ha.

You may indeed, Mr. Brooke.

It's my opinion that young girls are no different than boys...

...in their need for exertion.

Feminine weakness and fainting spells are the direct result...

...of our confining young girls to the house...

...bent over their needlework in restrictive corsets.

[WHISPERS] Marmee. Oh.

BETH: Laurie. Your young student is an athlete.

He is, thank you, a good one.

But he makes an unruly scholar.

I regret that his grandfather is away much.

[LAURIE GRUNTS AND GIRLS LAUGHING]

One hopes that your girls will be a gentling influence.

Indeed, Mr. Brooke. LAURIE: No!

Marmee, must you speak to everyone about corsets?

Oh, Meg.

Do I?

[LAURIE & GIRLS LAUGHING]

JO: Blast these wretched skirts!

AMY: Don't say "blast" and "wretch."

Amy, don't be such a ninny-pinny.

I wish I was Beth so I could stay home and do pleasant things.

Oh, if you call doing laundry and housework pleasant.

Blast.

MEG: Amy, hurry. I'll be late for work.

There's Mrs. King. I'm tardy again.

Lovely children.

Oh, Meg, must I go to school? I'm so degradatated.

I can hardly hold my head up. I owe at least a dozen limes.

Limes? Are limes the fashion now?

Of course they are. It's nothing but limes now.

Everyone keeps them in their desks, and trades them for beads and things.

And all the girls treat each other at recess.

If you don't bring limes to school, you're nothing. You might as well be dead.

I've had ever so many limes, and I can't pay anyone back.

Well, no wonder you don't learn anything at that school.

I know how it feels to do without any little luxuries.

Meg!

But we are not destitute, not yet.

Here's a quarter. Marmee gave me the rag money this month.

Go on.

[♪♪♪]

JO: "Secondly, 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...."

[WHISPERING] And I think you finally dozed off.

[SNORING]

[CRYING]

[♪♪♪]

AUNT MARCH: Josephine, there's a draft!

[DOG BARKING]

[AMY CRYING]

Is it father?

Teacher struck me.

He put the limes out into the snow. Oh....

[KISSES]

May Chester said my limes must have been donated to Hope House.

And then I said that she wouldn't get a single lime from me.

And then she told Mr. Davis they were hidden in my desk...

...and then he struck me.

We ought to go over there and beat the tar out of him with his own stick!

Jo, we must not embrace violence.

No, I will write this man a letter. A letter? That'll show him.

MEG: You failed to mention to me they were forbidden.

A whole month's rag money?

Amy, I shouldn't have given it to you. I'm sorry.

All those lovely limes. I'm perfectly desolated.

MRS. MARCH: Well, I'm not sorry you lost them.

It's a frivolous concern in times like these.

You are more intent upon reshaping your dear little nose...

...than in fashioning your character.

JO: It's an appalling school. Your spelling's atrocious...

...your Latin absurd.

Mr. Davis said it was as useful to educate a woman as to educate a female cat.

I really must strangle Mr. Davis.

"Mr. Davis.

What right have you to strike a child?

In God's eyes, we are all children and we are all equals.

If you hit and humiliate a child, the only lesson she will learn...

...is to hit and humiliate."

Amy, do you think you can discipline yourself...

...to learn at home as Beth has done?

"I withdraw my daughter Amy from your school."

It serves the scoundrel right.

Jo will now supervise your education.

[SIGHS]

[♪♪♪]

Jo, tell me what happens next...

...after the duke turns his back on his family fortune and saves Lady Zara.

Don't know. It's all murder and gore.

The damsel's in distress. Oh, I love your damsels in distress.

Oh, 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 stand up to the lions of injustice.

And so Marmee does in her own way.

Yes.

But I want to do something different.

I don't know what it is yet, but I'm on the watch for it.

You will find it, Jo.

Hello! Jo!

Come over here. You too, Meg. It's dull as tombs around here.

Mr. Laurence, one doesn't shout at ladies as if they were cattle.

[LAUGHING]

My apologies!

[CATS MEOWING]

All right.

[WRITING]

[SIGHS AND WRITING STOPS]

What do those girls do over there all day?

Over the mysteries of female life...

...there is drawn a veil best left undisturbed.

[♪♪♪]

[MR. BROOKE HUMMING]

MEG: Oh, dear countess, pray for me...

...for I have sinned against meself and me brother Rodrigo.

You've got to say "sinned" as if you've really sinned.

Sinned. Sinned.

Rodrigo.

You arrive seeking the Duke of Lankershire.

Hark ye. Who goes there?

Oh, I forgot the cymbals.

Why it's-- It's Rodrigo!

Rodrigo. I want to be Lady Violet.

I'm exhaustified of being the boy.

The play is the thing, Amy. You're too little to be Lady Violet.

Here, be the Countess de Montanescu.

You don't have any lines. Besides, who would be our Rodrigo?

Ahem. Gentlemen. Ahem.

I propose the admission of a new member to our theatrical society.

Theodore Laurence. We'll put it to a vote.

Nay. He'll laugh at our acting, and poke fun at us later.

He'll think it's only a game.

No, he won't. Upon my word as a gentleman.

Jo, when it's only ladies, we don't guard our conduct in the same way.

We bear our souls and tell the most appalling secrets.

He would find us improper.

Oh, Teddy would do nothing of the sort.

Oh, please. Let's try him.

Shall we?

[LAURIE LAUGHS THEN GIRLS GASP]

Jo! AMY: Jo, you traitor!

Fellow artists, may I present myself...

...as an actor, a musician, and a loyal...

...and very humble servant of the club. We'll be the judge of that.

In token of my gratitude, and as a means of promoting...

...communication between adjoining nations...

...shouting from 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 most appalling secrets.

I do pledge...

...never to reveal what I receive in confidence here.

Well, then...

...do take your place, Rodrigo.

Sir Rodrigo.

[♪♪♪]

[ALL LAUGHING]

JO: And so Laurie was admitted as an equal into our society...

...and we March girls could enjoy the daily novelty...

...of having a real brother of our very own.

[GASPS]

I want to go to the theater. I never get to go anywhere.

You're too little. Beth, where in tarnation are Marmee's opera glasses?

AMY: I'm not too little. You're just hogging Laurie.

Please, can't I go?

Oh, Amy, I'm afraid Laurie only reserved four seats.

Do I look too shabby?

Oh, Jehoshaphat, Meg, this isn't a coronation.

It's just Laurie and that awful Mr. Brooke.

Jo, can't you ask Teddy to get another ticket?

No.

You have a cold, dear. Rest your eyes.

Evangeline and I will make you some ginger tea.

You're weeks behind in algebra.

Now, I want you to do all the pages that I've marked.

I won't have a sister who's a lazy ignoramus.

And don't sulk. You look like a pigeon.

[COOING]

Good night. Mm.

You'll be sorry for this, Jo March!

[♪♪♪]

[CARRIAGE APPROACHING]

MAN: Whoa. Whoa, there.

Oh. Thank you.

Oh, Mrs. Nell Watson. Wasn't she a wonderful swooner?

If only I were the swooning type.

If only I were the catching type.

Young Laurence informs me that you are an aficionado of the theater, Miss March.

Well, I.... I enjoy reading plays. Yes.

I find it most pleasurable, myself.

Though, I confess, I'm distracted at the theater...

...thinking of the peculiar lives of the actors themselves.

When one considers the immodesties Mrs. Nell Watson suffers...

...one wonders what sort of lady would seek such a life.

Meg is a sensational actress.

We're always putting on wild theatricals.

Oh, it's just something that we play at.

[LAURIE LAUGHS]

MR. BROOKE: Well, as a matter of fact, at school, I engaged in debating.

What do you think of that? Let's see what they do.

[BOTH LAUGHING]

[MR. BROOKE SPEAKING INDISTINCTLY]

I had a wonderful time, Mr. Brooke. As did I.

It was a most delightful evening.

And I'd very much like-- Thank you very much. Good night.

Oh, good night. Good night.

[SIGHS]

That was rude. You plastered yourself on him.

It's proper to take a gentleman's arm if it's offered.

MRS. MARCH: How was the theater? Amusing?

It was wonderful. I was absolutely inspired by the love scene.

You look flushed, Meg, dear. Was the theater overcrowded?

Still sulking?

[SIGHS]

[WHISPERING] Beth, where did I put my manuscript?

Beth.

[♪♪♪]

[IN NORMAL VOICE] No. No. No.

AMY: I didn't do it!

I'm gonna kill you! I'm gonna kill you!

AMY: Marmee, help me! JO: I'm gonna kill you! Do you hear me?

How could you do this to me? AMY: Marmee!

Marmee! Jo!

Jo, stop it. You're hurting her. Marmee! Aah!

Marmee! MRS. MARCH: Jo! Jo! Let go of her!

What's happened? Jo. All right. I hate you! I hate you!

Jo. No, Jo!

Don't touch it. Let it go, sweetheart.

Come, just let it go.

[AMY SOBBING]

You're dead! You're nothing!

I never want to see you again!

[♪♪♪]

It is a very great loss, and you have every right to be put out.

But don't let the sun go down upon your anger.

Forgive each other. Begin again tomorrow, huh?

I will never forgive her.

I'm sorry, Jo.

[♪♪♪]

[CHATTERING INDISTINCTLY]

JO: Looks like the last ice we'll have this year.

Say "go."

Laurie, Jo, wait for me!

Ignore her.

Ready-- Blast! LAURIE: Ha-ha-ha.

JO: You cheat! LAURIE: Whoa!

AMY: Jo, please.

[BOTH LAUGHING]

[ICE CRACKING]

Aah!

[AMY SCREAMS]

AMY: Jo! Amy!

AMY: Jo! JO: Hold on! I'm coming!

[SCREAMS]

JO: Hold on, Amy.

Get a rail!

JO: Grab the stick, Amy.

Grab it! LAURIE: Come on!

Oh!

LAURIE: Hold on! JO: Hold on. Hold on.

[AMY COUGHING AND JO GRUNTING]

JO: There we go. That's it, that's it. LAURIE: All right.

JO: There we go.

Josephine March, you walked all the way from Walden Pond...

...in only these bloomers? As if she even noticed.

Dear Amy. How could I have been so horrible?

Thank God for Laurie.

AMY: Jo, do you love Laurie more than you love me?

Oh, don't be such a beetle.

I could never love anyone as I love my sisters.

I'm not a beetle.

Oh, look out. You're leaving out the best part.

When Lady Zara succumbs to the duke's rival.

Oh, right, yes.

Sir Hugo.

I quite prefer him, myself.

[♪♪♪]

[CHUCKLING]

JO: In the spring, we turned Orchard House upside down...

...with preparations for Meg to attend Sally Moffat's coming out.

Myself, I'd sooner have been hung by the neck than attend a fancy ball.

Wait till all of Boston sees you in this dress, Meg.

I told Laurie he has to show you off...

...and keep you from being a wallflower upon penalty of death.

Oh, where is that miserable glove?

AUNT MARCH: Abigail, I shake my head at the way you're managing Margaret.

How is she to be married without a proper debut?

Now, auntie, in our present circumstances--

Your circumstances will not change with your husband's return.

My nephew is as foolish with money as he is in his new philosophies.

The one hope for your family is for Margaret to marry well...

...though I don't know who marries governesses.

Marmee!

And this one has entirely ruined her disposition with books.

Oh, are those for me, Josephine?

No. Meg's taking them to the Moffats'.

Marmee, Meg's frantic. She lost her glove and she only has one pair.

Now, she cannot go without gloves. The Moffats are society.

You're absolutely correct. Tell Meg she may borrow mine.

JO: Meg, you can take Marmee's!

Oh, dear.

Oh!

More tea? No, thank you.

[♪♪♪]

Sally Moffat, you won't be able to draw your laces.

At my coming out party, I didn't eat for weeks beforehand.

[CLEARS THROAT]

Oh, Meg, I do like that color on you.

It's just like forget-me-nots.

The nicest I've seen that kind of fabric since the war broke out.

But you had it made up so plain.

Well, I do my own sewing, and--

Mrs. Finster's on Charles Street carries silk pieces ready-made.

Tomorrow I'll take you there. Marches haven't bought silk in years.

They have views on slavery.

Meg, isn't it true that your father's school had to close...

...when he admitted a little dark girl?

The silk of Mrs. Finster's isn't milled in the South.

It's made right here, over in Linfield. This isn't China silk?

They use little children for labor. All the silk mills do.

The poor are always with us.

You are so good to remind us.

May I tell you something?

This is an afternoon dress.

I'm going to make you my pet.

Hortense?

[BOTH SPEAK IN FRENCH]

Tonight, Miss March shall have as many conquests as she likes.

You have no corset.

[GASPS]

[GIGGLES]

[WALTZ MUSIC PLAYING]

[PEOPLE CHATTERING AND CHILDREN GIGGLING]

Come on.

WOMAN 1: No, thank you. WOMAN 2: Yes, it's charming.

Not for me, thank you. I believe the next dance is the polka.

With me. I would dance with you, Mr. Parker...

...but I fear for my new slippers.

My credo is, "Don't tread on me."

[MEN & MEG LAUGHING]

Miss March. I thought your family were temperance people.

Laurie.

[MAN CLEARS THROAT]

MAN: What was that? No, no, don't cover up.

There may be one or two gentlemen here who haven't seen all of your charms.

And I did promise Jo I would show you off.

The girls dressed me up, and I rather like it.

Yes, well, it reveals a whole new Meg.

What do you call this?

[WHISPERING] Meg.

I'm sorry.

Please don't tell Jo how I've behaved.

Of course not.

If you won't tell anyone how I've behaved.

I was only playing a part...

...to see how it felt to be Belle Gardiner...

...with four proposals and 20 pairs of gloves.

You're worth 10 of those other girls.

WOMAN 1: Did you see the way this March girl...

...has gone after the Laurence heir?

WOMAN 2: Best thing that could happen to the Marches.

[BOTH LAUGHING]

Oh! This ridiculous dress.

I've been tripping over it all night.

Tie something around your neck where it could do you some good.

[BOTH CHUCKLE]

JO: I don't like people speculating about Laurie and our Meg...

...as if they were characters in some play.

MRS. MARCH: Heh, heh. And nothing provokes speculation more...

...than the sight of a woman enjoying herself.

Why is it Laurie may do as he likes, and flirt and tipple champagne--?

And no one thinks the less of him?

Well, I suppose for one practical reason:

Laurie is a man, and as such...

...he may vote, and hold property and pursue any profession he pleases.

And so he is not so easily demeaned.

Why should anyone care what they think?

I do.

It's nice to be praised and admired. I couldn't help but like it.

Of course not.

I only care what you think of yourself.

If you feel your value lies in being merely decorative...

...I fear that someday you might find yourself...

...believing that's all that you really are.

Time erodes all such beauty. But what it cannot diminish...

...is the wonderful workings of your mind.

Your humor, your kindness...

...and your moral courage.

These are the things I cherish so in you.

I so wish I could give my girls a more just world.

I know you'll make it a better place. Hm?

[♪♪♪]

JO: Resounded. Resounded with song of the nightingale.

With a gush--

With a gush--

No.

[SIGHS]

No, I don't want them now.

And keep the music. I won't be going near a piano for ages.

You need your books in college. Here's your Dombey and Sons.

I could've sworn there was another volume.

Honestly, Jo. I won't be taking all of Dickens to Harvard with me.

Oh, no. You'll have much more important things to read.

[CHUCKLES]

Nothing's going to change, Jo.

I wish I could go.

I wish you could too.

You'll come back knowing all sorts of things I don't know...

...and then I'll hate you.

Oh.

Well, as it happens...

...I already know something you don't know.

About Meg and a certain former tutor of mine...

...soon to be employed at the firm of Laurence and Laurence.

Liar.

Has Meg mislaid a certain personal article...

...such as a glove?

Meg, John Brooke stole your glove.

What glove? Not my white one?

Brooke's had it forever. Laurie says he keeps it in his pocket.

You must tell him to return it. Hannah, don't you think he ought to give it back?

It isn't what I think that matters.

MRS. MARCH: Jo? Meg?

It's a telegram...

...from Washington Hospital.

Your father's been wounded.

[JO & MEG GASP AND WHIMPER]

[♪♪♪]

Come on, Amy. That's it. There are six.

The household account is in this ledger.

It should see you through to the end of the month.

Of course. Don't worry about us. Oh, Beth?

Dear, look in on the Hummels for me, will you?

I will, Marmee.

Where's Jo? It's almost 6.

Doing battle with Aunt March for Marmee's railway ticket.

MRS. MARCH: Amy, would you carry a letter to Mrs. Juba at the Hope House?

John. Mr. Brooke.

I've come to offer myself as an escort to your mother.

Cook packed this up, and grandfather sends a bottle of spirits for Mr. March.

Oh, that's lovely, Laurie. Thank you. MEG: Marmee.

Mr. Brooke is here. Mrs. March.

MRS. MARCH: Mr. Brooke.

As young Laurence no longer requires a tutor...

...Mr. Laurence has commissions for me in Washington.

I should like to be of service to you there.

We couldn't let you travel alone. Oh, Mr. Brooke, how kind of you.

May I? Are we to go on the 6:00 train? Thank you.

Yes, I sent Jo off, but she hasn't re-- JO: I'm here!

Jo. Finally.

Twenty-five. Can Aunt March spare this?

I couldn't bear to ask her.

I sold my hair. Jo, how could you?

Your one beauty. It won't affect the state of the union.

It'll grow back. BETH: It suits you.

Tell Father that we love him.

[♪♪♪]

BETH: Tell him we pray for him. AMY: Bring him home.

HANNAH: I'll never forget his kindness. Oh, Hannah, thank you.

[♪♪♪]

Oh, I shall miss my little women.

[JO SOBBING]

Are you thinking about Father?

No. My hair.

[BOTH LAUGHING]

Aww....

[CHILDREN LAUGHING AND CHATTERING]

GIRL: Harder. BOY 1: Yeah, I hit him on the noggin.

BOY 2: Wait for me!

Blast! Oh, dear.

This stove. BETH: We'll eat them anyway.

There's no more cornmeal nor coffee.

The grocer won't let us have any more on account.

What can I bring the Hummels? Oh, fry the Hummels.

You spent hours there last week. The boys are sick.

I mustn't write of this to Marmee.

She has enough burdens now. I hate money.

AMY: Your potatoes!

Come on! Here!

MEG: Air the beds. And be careful cleaning.

JO: And don't forget your studies, Amy. AMY: I won't. I will. Go!

[CHILDREN SPEAKING IN GERMAN]

Beth. Christine.

[SPEAKING IN GERMAN]

I don't understand. I brought you a potato.

[SPEAKING IN GERMAN]

[BABY CRYING]

[CONTINUES SPEAKING IN GERMAN]

[SIGHS]

[SNIFFS]

Laurie's home for the weekend! In need of funds, no doubt.

We'd have a week's groceries with what he spends on billiards.

Oh, Jehoshaphat.

[GASPS]

[LAUGHS]

Meg! Meg, you won't believe it!

I've sold The Lost Duke of Gloucester!

Five whole dollars!

I'm an author!

Beth?

The Hummel baby is sick.

[♪♪♪]

I feel so strange.

MEG: She's burning up, but she says that she's freezing.

She has a terrible thirst, but she won't drink.

Sounds like Arsenicum, but she looks more like belladonna.

HANNAH: I saw the Hummels.

Two children taken up to Jesus. Scarlet fever.

You and Miss Jo won't be harmed.

You had it when you were babies.

But, Miss Amy, we have to send you away.

[♪♪♪]

AMY: She won't die.

Will she, Laurie? God wouldn't let her die.

I don't wanna go away.

I'll come and see you every day.

I swear it. You won't be alone.

I'm afraid of Aunt March.

If she's unkind to you...

...I'll come and take you away. Where will we go?

Paris?

[CHUCKLING]

If I get scarlet fever and die...

...give Meg my box with the green doves on it.

And Jo must have my turquoise ring. I'll see to that.

I don't wanna die.

I've never even been kissed.

I've waited my whole life to be kissed.

And what if I miss it?

I tell you what.

I promise to kiss you before you die.

[CHUCKLES]

[♪♪♪]

[KISSES]

[HORSE SNORTS AND DOG BARKING]

MAN: Whoa.

[SHIVERING]

MEG: I don't know. I don't think Marmee should leave Father.

Beth needs Marmee. She depends on her.

But what if we send for her and Father gets worse?

How in the name of all that's holy would we pay for the train?

AMY: "That he profane not my sancteraries--"

AUNT MARCH: Sanctuary. AMY: "Sanctuaries.

For I, the Lord, do sanctify them.

And Moses told it unto Aaron and to his sons...

...and unto all the children of Israel."

Go on.

"And the Lord spake unto Moses saying--"

[GRUNTS]

MEG: Jo, Mr. Laurence is here.

If we may, I wish my personal physician, Dr. Bangs...

...to examine the little girl.

[♪♪♪]

There's nothing to be done.

If I bleed her, it would finish her.

Best to send for the mother. LAURIE: Forgive me.

I've already done so. Mrs. March arrives on the train this night.

HANNAH: Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed--

[♪♪♪]

MRS. MARCH: Jo!

Cricket. Marmee's here.

Icy cold. Jo.

Jo, fetch a basin with vinegar water and some rags.

Meg, my kit.

Must draw the fever down from her head.

It's all right.

It's all right.

It's all right now. That's my love.

[BIRDS CHIRPING]

[♪♪♪]

[SOBBING]

JO: Beth.

[SNIFFLING]

[♪♪♪]

JO: And so our dear Beth came back to us...

...although the fever had weakened her heart forever.

We did not know then that a shadow had fallen.

We prepared for another Christmas without Father.

Try each corner. Thank you.

AUNT MARCH: No, no! One bow is enough!

AMY: Mr. Laurence. Thank you.

Oh, I'm so sorry. It happens all the time.

LAURIE: How's this?

Here she comes. LAURIE: Come on. Come on.

What should I do with these bows?

AUNT MARCH: Don't scare her to death. She's been sick, you know.

Hide the chairs. Just hide them, Amy.

LAURIE [WHISPERS]: Quick.

[ALL GIGGLING]

The house is beautiful. HANNAH: Ha-ha-ha.

[CHUCKLES]

[IN NORMAL VOICE] They're friends of mine from college.

Freddy Vaughan and Averill Watson.

They won't bite.

No, don't sit there! Sit--

Here. Sit here, child.

Merry Christmas! AUNT MARCH: Merry Christmas, Beth!

JO & AMY: Merry Christmas, Beth!

I should've given it to you long ago.

It belonged to my little girl who had to leave us...

...when she was very young.

But now it will make music again.

[♪♪♪]

Thank you, Mr. Laurence.

Merry Christmas. LAURIE: Merry Christmas.

Play something, Beth.

Shall I?

[PLAYING "DECK THE HALLS"]

ALL: ♪ Deck the halls with boughs of holly ♪

♪ Fa la la la la La la la la ♪

♪ 'Tis the season to be jolly ♪

♪ Fa la la la la La la la la ♪

♪ Don we now our gay apparel ♪

♪ Fa la la la la la La la la ♪

♪ Troll the ancient yuletide carol ♪

♪ Fa la la la la La la la la ♪ AUNT MARCH: ♪ See the blazing yule before us ♪ ALL: ♪ Fa la la la la La la la la ♪

♪ Strike the harp and join the chorus ♪

♪ Fa la la la la La la la la ♪

♪ Follow me in merry measure ♪

♪ Fa la la la la la La la la ♪

♪ While I tell of yuletide treasure ♪

♪ Fa la la la la La la la la ♪♪ That was good.

[ALL CHUCKLE]

MRS. MARCH: I fear you would have a long engagement.

Three or four years. John must secure a house before you can marry.

And he must do his service to the union. John? Marry?

You mean that pokey old Mr. Brooke?

How did he weasel his way into this family?

Jo.

John has been very kind to go visit Father in the hospital every day.

Oh, he's dull as powder. Meg, can't you at least marry someone amusing?

I'm fond of Mr. Brooke. He's a good man. He's kind and serious.

And I'm not afraid of being poor.

Marmee, you can't just let her go and marry him.

MEG: I'd hardly just go and marry anyone.

I would rather Meg marry for love and be a poor man's wife...

...than marry for riches and lose her self-respect.

[INDISTINCT CHATTERING NEARBY]

So you don't mind that John is poor?

No, but I would rather he have a house.

Why must we marry at all?

Why can't things just stay as they are?

MRS. MARCH: It is only a proposal. Nothing need be decided. Now, girls.

Let's not spoil the day.

[PIANO RESUMES PLAYING]

GROUP: ♪ Hark the herald angels sing ♪

♪ Glory to the newborn king ♪

♪ Peace on earth ♪♪ MEG: Father? Father!

MR. MARCH: Merry Christmas, everyone. What a wonderful Christmas present!

Father! Oh, Father, you're home! Oh!

Meg. Ha!

BETH: Oh, you're more handsome than ever.

Beth, my little cricket.

Thank God you're well. AUNT MARCH: Clear the way.

Give the man room to breathe. MR. MARCH: Jo!

Oh, my wild girl!

Well, this could become the fashion.

[ALL LAUGH]

MRS. MARCH: Watch his arm. I'm not used to this.

Be careful. Be very careful now.

Don't coddle this soldier too much. Oh, now, Father, it's time to coddle.

AMY: Oh, Father! Hannah, God bless you.

It's good to see you.

HANNAH: It's good to have you home. Oh!

Now, let me look at my girls. Take them and give them--

[♪♪♪]

The cholera took more men than the rebs, as I understand it, sir.

Agriculture isn't taught, and it should be. It should be required.

Perhaps the freedmen should be given land in the west.

What happened between you and John Brooke?

Never you mind.

Isn't it wonderful, Jo? Yes, it's wonderful.

[♪♪♪]

AMY: Welcome home, soldier.

Would you like some water, sir?

[CHATTERING INDISTINCTLY]

ALL: ♪ For the love which from our birth ♪

♪ Over and around us lies ♪

♪ Lord of all, to thee we raise ♪

♪ This our hymn of grateful praise ♪ JO: Change will come...

...as surely as the seasons and twice as quick.

We make our peace with it as best we can.

Or as Amy once said when she was still a little girl:

"We'll all grow up someday. We might as well know what we want."

♪ And stars of light ♪

♪ Lord of all, to thee we raise ♪

♪ This our hymn of grateful praise ♪

♪ Lord of all, to thee we raise ♪

♪ This our hymn of grateful praise ♪♪

AUNT MARCH: So you feel our Amy has talent?

Oh, Miss March excels at drawing.

But, you know, her landscapes lack emotion.

I definitely feel Amy would benefit from further study.

But she won't get it around here. AUNT MARCH: Where do you suggest?

ART TEACHER: Cape Cod has a fine artist colony.

But Europe, Europe is the best place.

Teddy! Teddy!

Your houseman said you wouldn't be home till night.

LAURIE: I couldn't wait so long.

JO: Hail the conquering graduate.

Is grandfather exceedingly proud? Yes.

And exceedingly bent on locking me up in one of his offices.

Why is it Amy may paint China and you can scribble away...

...while I must manfully set my music aside?

Why must you?

If I don't, I'd have to defy Grandfather.

Yes, and not the whole of society.

I can't go against the old man. Oh....

When I imagine myself in that life...

...I can think of only one thing...

...that would make me happy.

Oh, no. Teddy-- Teddy, don't.

No, wait, Teddy.

We have to talk about this reasonably.

I have loved you...

...since the moment I clamped eyes on you.

What could be more reasonable than to marry you?

We'd kill each other. Nonsense!

Neither of us can keep our temper. I can. Unless provoked.

We're both stupidly stubborn, especially you. We'd only quarrel.

I wouldn't!

You can't even propose without quarreling.

Jo.

Dear Jo. I swear I'll be a saint.

I'll let you win every argument. Heh, heh.

I'll take care of you and your family.

I'll give you every luxury you've ever been denied.

You won't have to write. Unless you want to.

Grandfather...

...wants me to learn the business in England.

Can't you see us bashing around London?

London.

Oh, Teddy, I'm not fashionable enough for London.

You need someone who's elegant and refined.

I want you.

Teddy, please don't ask me.

Teddy, I'm desperately sorry. No, don't.

I do care for you. No.

With all of my heart. You're my dearest friend.

I just can't go be a wife.

You say you won't, but you will.

I won't. I won't. One day...

...you'll meet some man.

A good man.

And you will love him tremendously.

And you will live and die for him.

Teddy, please. You will.

Jo.

I know you.

And I'll be hanged...

...if I stand by and watch.

[♪♪♪]

Jo, are you ill?

She has refused Laurie.

Well, I'm sure she can take it back. It's just a misunderstanding.

No.

No.

[CLASSICAL MUSIC PLAYING ON PIANO]

Oh, listen to him.

I must get away.

Of course.

Aunt March is going to France.

France!

That's ideal! I'll put up with anything to go!

Jo, Aunt March has asked me to go.

To Europe?

My Europe?

When?

It was decided just today.

Well, I am her companion now.

She wishes me to study painting abroad...

...and hopes I might make a good match there.

Oh....

But perhaps she wouldn't mind if you stayed at Plumfield...

...while we are gone.

Of course Aunt March prefers Amy over me. Why shouldn't she?

I'm ugly and awkward, and I always say the wrong things.

I fly around throwing away perfectly good marriage proposals.

I love our home, but I'm just so fitful, and I can't stand being here.

I'm sorry. I'm sorry, Marmee.

There's just something really wrong with me.

I want to change, but I.... I can't.

And I just know I'll never fit in anywhere. Oh, Jo.

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 talent.

Although, I don't know what I shall do without my Jo.

Go and embrace your liberty.

And see what wonderful things come of it.

[♪♪♪]

JO: Laurie sought his refuge in London and abroad.

Marmee helped me find a place in the great city of New York.

So I stepped over the divide between childhood and all that lay beyond.

Mrs. Kirk?

Josephine.

JO: Yes. How do you do?

MRS. KIRK: Kitty, Minnie! This is Miss March.

Her father was Colonel March. He knew your papa.

It was cold!

MRS. KIRK: Watch your feet, Mr. Costigan.

Oh, do come in, my dear. MAN: Oh, you're making that up.

JO: Dear Beth.

Marmee's friend, Mrs. Kirk, has made me feel quite at home.

My little students, Kitty and Minnie, are dear girls.

[CLATTERING AND MEN ARGUING INDISTINCTLY]

How curious to grow up in a busy boardinghouse with no father...

...and your own mother the innkeeper.

[CHATTERING INDISTINCTLY]

I felt bold on leaving Concord.

But I confess I find New York rough and strange...

...and myself strange in it.

Can you pass these down the table?

Thank you kindly, professor.

Mrs. Kirk believes that I am here for a brief interlude...

...of sensational experience before succumbing to a matrimonial fate.

MAN 1: Excuse me, miss.

And while there's surely no lack of sensational experience...

...of every kind available in such a city...

MAN 2: Come in!

...I hope, though I've had no luck yet...

...that any experience I gain here will be strictly literary.

And that all events of a romantic or sensational nature...

...will be entirely confined to the page.

Our subscribers are not interested in sentiment and fairy stories, miss.

They're not fairy stories.

Try one of the ladies' magazines.

[CHATTERING INDISTINCTLY]

[♪♪♪]

BOY 1: Come on, Will. Hurry up! BOY 2: I'm coming!

[BOTH GASPING]

FRIEDRICH: I'm so sorry. I'm so clumsy. Oh, no. No.

FRIEDRICH: You know that when first I saw you, I thought:

"Ah! She is a writer."

What made you think so?

Oh. Heh.

Yes, I know many writers.

Uh, in Berlin I was--

I was professor at the university.

Here, I am just a humble tutor, I'm afraid.

No, please. Sit down.

Thank you.

You are far from home, Miss March.

Do you miss your family?

Oh, very much.

My sisters especially. And Laurie.

She is your sister?

Ah. Oh, no. He's a friend.

[BLOWS]

Do you like your coffee?

Oh, it's just very strong.

I like it.

You have quite a library.

Did you bring all these books from Germany?

A few of them.

May I? Of course.

Most of these I could not bear to leave behind.

I sold everything that I owned to get my passage to come here...

...but my books, never.

Oh....

Shakespeare.

Some books are so familiar.

Reading them is like being home again.

Will you be, uh, returning to Berlin, Professor Bhaer?

Friedrich. Call me Friedrich. Friedrich.

No. Uh, sadly...

...the fatherland of Goethe and Schiller...

...is no more. I adore Goethe.

My father used to read me all the German poets...

...when I was a child. Really? That is most surprising.

Well, my mother and father were part of...

...a rather unusual circle in Concord.

Do you know the word transcendentalist?

But this is German Romantic philosophy!

We throw off all our constraints and we come to know ourselves...

...through insight and experience. But it got out of fashion now.

Heh. Well, not in the March family, I'm afraid.

It's just that with all of this transcendence...

...comes much emphasis on perfecting oneself.

Ah. This gives you a problem?

I'm hopelessly flawed.

If only we could...

...transcend ourselves without perfection...

...like your poet Walt Whitman...

...who rides up and down the streets of Broadway all day...

...shouting poetry against the roar of the carts.

Keep your silent woods, O, Nature.

- And your quiet places by the river-- And your quiet places by the woods.

By the woods. Woods. Yes.

- Give me the streets of Manhattan. Give me the streets of Manhattan.

I think we are all hopelessly flawed.

JO: He is as poor as one might imagine...

...an itinerant philosopher to be.

Yet, as the weeks go by, I see that he is...

...unfailingly generous to all of us who live in the house.

I am grateful to have a friend.

[CHILDREN SCREAMING AND LAUGHING]

[♪♪♪]


MR. BROOKE: It's the system our nation was founded on.

Come now. It was nothing short of a betrayal of our country's ideals.

Our country's ideals?

A constitution...

...that denies the basic rights of citizenship to women and black people?

They just passed the 15th Amendment, Jacob. They can vote.

JACOB: Black men can vote, Charles.

MR. BROOKE: A lady has no need of suffrage if she has a husband.

No, no.

You don't take wine? Only medicinally.

Well, pretend that you've got a cold. JACOB: I agree.

But if women are a moral force, shouldn't they have the right...

...to govern and preach, and testify in court?

CHARLES: Whoa, whoa, whoa!

What is it, Miss March?

I find it poor logic to say that because women are good...

...women should vote.

Men do not vote because they are good. They vote because they are male.

And women should vote, not because they are angels and men are animals...

...but because we are human beings and citizens of this country.

You should've been a lawyer, Miss March.

I should have been a great many things, Mr. Mayer.

[MEN CHUCKLING]

[VIOLIN PLAYING UPBEAT TUNE]

Friedrich. Oh, I'm sorry.

No, please. Please. Come in.

I have some good news.

A newspaper has published two of my stories, and they wish to see more.

This is wonderful. Right there.

The Daily Volcano.

"The Sinner's Corpse" by Joseph March.

Heh. Mm.

Lunatics. Vampires. This.... This interests you?

Well, people like thrilling stories, Friedrich.

This is what the newspapers want.

Yes. Yes, I suppose.

I suppose that is true.

Yes. Well, it'll buy a new coat for Beth, and I'm sure she'll be grateful to have it.

Jo, pl--

[KNOCKING ON DOOR]

JO: Oh....

I....

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?

Well, of course. Can I make a gift?

An experience. Do you like the opera?

Oh, I do.

I mean, I think I do. We don't seem to get a lot of opera in Concord.

Well, I don't have an opera dress.

You will be perfect.

Where we are sitting we shall not be so, uh, formal.

[♪♪♪]

[SINGING OPERA]

Leila is a goddess.

She has made a promise never to love.

If she breaks her vow, all will be lost.

Oh, look. Trouble is coming.

What's going to happen?

The inevitable.

Leila.... Leila's soul is opening.

She's 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."

[THUNDER SHEET CRASHES THEN JO GASPS]


[THUNDER SHEET RUMBLES AND AUDIENCE APPLAUDS]

[♪♪♪]

[ALL LAUGHING AND CHATTERING INDISTINCTLY]


[BOTH SPEAKING IN FRENCH]

Ha-ha-ha! Oh, Laurie! You wicked....

We heard you were in Greece or somewhere.

WOMAN: Laurie. Come, come.

You've been much occupied with business, I am sure.

I'm not pursuing business just now. Grandfather agreed...

...I should concentrate on my music for a while.

You know Fred Vaughan. Freddy.

Good day, Laurence. Yes.

And I see you've taken up a passion for art, Freddy.

Aunt March. You look splendid. I cannot say the same for you, my boy.

Amy, dear, will you be long? I must retire.

Yes, Aunt March. Do come see us.

[♪♪♪]

Are they engaged? Not yet.

GIRLS: Hop, hop, one, two, three, four.

Hop, hop, hop, turn. Hop, hop, hop, turn.

Friedrich, how long would it take strychnine to dissolve in brandy--? Oh....

About eight minutes?

And is a dagger worn at the waist, or is that a saber?

I think that in these novels the dagger is usually concealed in the boot...

...by a man with a dark mustache.

[DOOR CLOSES]

[♪♪♪]

[THUNDER RUMBLING]

AMY: Go this way.

[LAURIE LAUGHING]

Hurry, hurry.

Ah....

Well....

AMY: Oh, Laurie, how lovely.

LAURIE: It isn't what it should be...

...but you have improved it. Please don't.

I liked you much better when you were blunt and natural.

It did not serve me well.

I find you changed.

In fact, I despise you.

You laze about, spending your family's money and courting women.

You aren't serious about music.

My compositions are like your paintings.

Mediocre copies of another man's genius.

Then why don't you go to Grandfather in London and make yourself useful?

I should.

Why don't you reform me?

[CHUCKLES]

I've someone more practical in mind.

You do not love Fred Vaughan.

Fred Vaughan is 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.

I'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.

[CHUCKLES]

Yes, well, no doubt he's showing her...

...the ways of the world.

I do not wish to be courted by someone who is still in love with my sister.

I'm not in love with Jo.

Then how do you explain your jealousy? I envy her happiness.

I envy his happiness.

I envy John Brooke for marrying Meg. I hate Fred Vaughan.

And if Beth had a lover, I would despise him too.

Just as you have always known 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.

[♪♪♪]

[MAID SPEAKS IN FRENCH]

[SPEAKS IN FRENCH]

LAURIE: My darling Amy.

It is you I want and not your family.

I've gone to London to make myself worthy of you.

Please, do not do anything we shall regret.

MAID: Monsieur Vaughan, mademoiselle, may I show him in?

Friedrich, did you read it? Yes.

It's, um....

Oh, it's well-written, Jo.

And a first novel. What a great accomplishment.

Well, I'm going to be showing it to your publisher friend, Mr. Fields, today.

He liked "The Sinner's Corpse."

What is it?

Mr. Fields is a good man. He will--

He will give you an honest opinion.

Oh, I see.

What is your honest opinion?

I'm a professor of philosophy, Jo.

No, I'd really like to know what you think.

You sh-- You should be writing from life...

...from the depths of your soul.

There is nothing in here of the woman that I am privileged to know.

[FOOTSTEPS APPROACHING]

Friedrich, this is what I write. MAN: Ahem.

My apologies if it fails to live up to your high standards.

Jo, there is more to you than this...

...if you have the courage to write it.

[SOBBING]

[♪♪♪]

Meg!

Jo?

Jo!

Oh, Meg!

Oh, why didn't you tell me?

Well, one hardly speaks of such things.

Oh, how wonderful.

How is Beth? You will find her much altered.

JO: Marmee.

She wouldn't let us send for you sooner.

The doctor has been here a number of times...

...but it's beyond all of us, and I think....

[WHISPERING] I think she's been waiting for you...

...before--

[SOBBING]

JO: Drink up all this good broth.

I'm glad you're home. So am I.

JO [IN DEEP VOICE]: "Mr. Pickwick changed color. 'Ah,' said Mr. Wartle.

'Well, that's important. There's nothing suspicious then, I suppose."'

[BOTH CHUCKLE]

I feel stronger with you close by.

[IN NORMAL VOICE] I'm gonna 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 about the great things I'd do.

I never saw myself as anything much.

Not a great writer like you.

Oh, 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 am the one going ahead.

[VOICE BREAKING] I am not afraid.

I can be brave like you.

But I know I shall be homesick for you, even in heaven.

Oh, Beth.

No.

I won't let you go.

[JO SOBBING]

Oh, my Jo.

[WIND BLOWING AND WINDOW RATTLING]


[♪♪♪]


[♪♪♪]


MRS. MARCH: "Aunt March is bedridden...

...and would not survive a sea voyage.

Amy must bide her time and return later."

It's just as well.

Will we never all be together again?

[♪♪♪]

[PANTING]

[BIRDS SQUAWKING]

[SOBBING]

Lovely morning. Good morning.

Thank you, sir.

JO: Dearest Laurie.

You may not have heard our sad news of Beth.

"Meg has entered her confinement...

...and poor Amy must stay in Vevey with Aunt March."

JO: This is far too great a sorrow to bear alone.

Please come home to us, Teddy dear.

Your faithful, Jo.

[♪♪♪]

Oh, Laurie.

I knew you would come.


[EXHALES SHARPLY]

[♪♪♪]


YOUNG BETH: The real charm of it lay in Beth's happy face...

...as she leaned over the new piano...

...and lovingly touched the beautiful black and white keys.

YOUNG AMY: During the next few minutes, the rumor circulated...

...that Amy March had got 24 delicious limes.

YOUNG MEG: I told you they dressed me up, but I didn't tell you...

...that they powdered and squeezed, and made me look a fashion plate.

YOUNG JO: As she spoke, Jo took off her bonnet.

A general outcry arose, for all her abundant hair was cut short.

YOUNG AMY: Jo, how could you? Your one beauty.

YOUNG LAURIE: Nothing's going to change, Jo.

GIRLS: ♪ For the beauty of the earth For the glory of the skies ♪

♪ For the love which from our birth Over and around us lies ♪

♪ Lord of all, to thee we raise This our hymn of grateful praise ♪♪

[♪♪♪]


Surprise!

John, you have a daughter.

And a son.

[CHUCKLES]

Oh, Marmee, I can't believe you did this four times.

Yes...

...but never two at once, my darling.

[♪♪♪]

[BABY COOS]

Oh, Daisy.

Oh, Meg. She's so beautiful.

And him. He is handsome.

He's gonna look just like his papa when he grows up.

Yes, he does look like John.

Have you heard from the professor?

No. No.

We did not part well.

Well, John and I don't always agree, but then we mend it.

[KNOCKING ON DOOR]

Who could that be?

Jo! Teddy!

Oh, this is magic! You are absolutely--

Covered in flour. Oh, dear! Come in.

No, Jo, not yet. May I tell you something without the others?

You're my dear friend.

I'm glad you shall be the first to know. Heh, heh, heh. What?

May I present...

...my wife.

[GASPS]

Jo. Oh!

Amy. Oh, my.

Here. Flowers. Oh, you're so-- Thank you.

Come in. Come in.

[♪♪♪]

[MRS. MARCH GASPS]

MRS. MARCH: Brussels lace. Oh!

I went to Europe to paint the great cathedrals...

...but I couldn't get our home out of my mind.

Oh, look how Amy has captured Orchard House.

Look. Lovely.

Oh, it's beautiful.

Not as beautiful as I wanted, but I am still learning.

Dear little angel.

Jo, you must tell me the truth as a sister...

...which is a relation stronger than marriage.

Do you mind at all? Oh....

Oh, no.

I was surprised.

Mind you, I had it on good authority that our Teddy...

...would never love another, heh, and now he's gone and gotten married.

It's good to hear you call me Teddy again.

At last, we're all family as we always should have been.

You must promise me that you will always live close by.

I couldn't bear losing another sister.

[♪♪♪]

[CHATTERING INDISTINCTLY]

Oh! Ha-ha-ha.

AMY: Jo, it's so gloomy and chilly.

One would require an income just for the coal to heat this place.

What could the dear girl have been thinking?

JO: Most likely she felt sorry for me.

[IN GRUFF VOICE] Decrepit homeless spinster.

MEG: Jo. Heh.

[IN NORMAL VOICE] Poor aunt, living here all those years alone...

...in this useless old house.

Yes, her blessings became a burden because she couldn't share them.

Wouldn't this have made a wonderful school?

A school.

What a challenge that would be.

[♪♪♪]

[DOG BARKING]

JO: Hello, Tuppy. Hello.

Good boy.

[♪♪♪]

My book. Someone's publishing my book.

Hannah! Hannah!

Someone's publishing my book! Heaven help us.

But it came with no letter. How did it arrive?

Foreign gentleman brung it.

Strange kind of name. Can't think of it. Hannah!

Oh, fox or bear or such. Bhaer! Did you ask him to wait?

I thought he was one of Miss Amy's European friends...

...coming with a wedding gift.

I said, "Miss March and Mr. Laurie are living next door."

Oh, Hannah, you didn't! And he said he had a train to catch.

[♪♪♪]

Friedrich!

[THUNDER RUMBLING]

Oh, Friedrich, thank you for my book.

Well, when I didn't hear from you, I thought you hated it.

Oh, no. No. Reading your book was like...

...opening a window into your heart.

James Fields took it out of my hands, and he would not give it back to me.

I said, "Such news I have to give to her myself."

Well, it was.... It was a silly impulse.

No, no. Not silly at all.

It's so good to see you. Come and meet my family.

[THUNDER CRASHES]

No, I--

Thank you...

...but I have to catch the train.

I-- I'm going to the west.

My ship leaves from Boston tomorrow morning.

Oh. Yes. The schools in the west are young.

They need professors...

...and they're not so concerned about the accent.

I don't mind it either.

You see, my aunt left me Plumfield.

It isn't a field. It's a house, actually. A rather large house.

And it isn't really good for anything except a school.

And I want a good school...

...one that would be open to anyone who wanted to learn.

And, well, I'll be needing someone...

...who knows how to teach.

Is there nothing I might say to keep you here?

I confess that...

...I was hoping that I might have a reason to stay...

...but congratulations on the celebration of your marriage.

Oh, ha, ha, no. No. No, that's Amy.

She's my sister, Amy, and Laurie, actually.

No, I'm-- Heh. 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.

Not empty now.

[♪♪♪]