Movie Review: Little Men

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Title: Little Men

Rating (1=lowest, 5=highest): 4.0

Produced by: Allegro Films

Synopsis:  This 1998 adaptation of one of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novels tells of two street urchins from Boston – wherein one gets enrolled in Plumfield,  a school for children. When the second boy arrives at Plumfield, he introduces some children to drinking, gambling and fighting and remains stubborn despite correction. However, the movie shows how each of us is lost until Christ comes to work on our hearts and changes us.

Language: One of the children, a 14 year old Bostonian named, Dan, uses mild profanity in the movie, giving it a PG rating. However, this provides room for Dan to learn the true meaning of freedom, acceptance, and joy.

The Good: There are a lot of good themes in this movie, which is an adaptation of Alcott’s novel, “Little Men”. Jo and Fritz Bhaer show a heart for children who need to be taught virtues alongside mathematics and English subjects. Also, they portray compassion for an orphan, Nat, showing patience towards training him as he grows older and disciplining him as he struggles with lying and stealing. Fritz Bhaer also talks about the true definition of a man, which is not fists and physical strength and discusses consequences of sins such as lying and stealing.

The Bad: There is a “boxing scene” wherein two children, are shown to fight to be a man (according to Dan’s misguided definition) and this results in a bloody nose and some bruises. Also, there is a scene where cigars and beer bottles are passed around by the young boys due to peer pressure, wherein the consequences become dire for the school.
 The Spiritual:  In the end, a renewed Dan, sings “Amazing Grace” as the whole school family celebrates Christmas. It is a performance that threatens the spill of tears as a once stubborn and street-hardened child is softened by the grace, compassion and discipline given to him by the Bhaer family.
The Verdict:  This book was one of my favorites when I was much younger because of the heart for the young children and for orphans. It shows that even children struggle in this life such as we, and reminds us of to shine God’s light to others. I recommend this movie, despite several instances of fighting, vices and language used by one child, as it reflects the reality of an unchanged life in Christ. However, it is much more important to see how grace and compassion do touch the lives of those who receive it.
-- by Krista Rodriguez, Bloom! writer


  1. Ooh, I didn't know there was a movie about it! Is this the one with Mariel Hemingway in it?

    1. Hi Jess, it's the 1998 adaptation with Mariel Hemingway. A bit dated but good just the same. I grew up reading the series and loved how the movie was made. Hope you can find a copy and enjoy it!



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