Little Women (review)

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Fans have long awaited a DVD release of this 1978 NBC miniseries, acclaimed as the most faithful of the many adaptations of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved novel, and here it is. It’s barebones — no extras; a commentary track would have been welcome — but the picture looks great and the sound is pretty nice, too. This beautiful production features costumes by the legendary Edith Head, music by Elmer Bernstein, and a dedication to authentic Civil War-period detail — it won an Emmy for Outstanding Art Direction in a Series — but it can’t help but feel a little 70s-riffic with its cast right off the decade’s prime time schedule. Meredith Baxter-Birney, Susan Dey, and Eve Plumb star as three of the four March sisters, and William Shatner takes a turn as Jo’s professor beau, complete with the worst German accent TV has ever seen but replete with his usual bug-eyed hamminess. But his scenery chewing can’t detract from the loveliness of Alcott’s tale, and the inner strength and inescapable appeal of her characters. [buy at Amazon]

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Sun, Aug 16, 2020 4:03pm

Wow! I thought you were exaggerating, but it really is Shatner at his most gloriously awful. The creepy stare, the slippage into Kirk mannerisms, that hilarious barely there, in and out accent, the uncalled for negging followed with a successful tree climbing challenge – vintage Bill, a loathsome offensive performance, yet I cannot look away. For those brave enough to sample his immortal chops, here’s a taste: