I didn't know anything about the story before but when I saw this film on Netflix I was so excited!
It was one of those films I watched once by myself and then liked so much I convinced my sister that she had to watch it with me. She liked it a lot too!
Based on Louisa May Alcott's sequel to Little Women, Little Men (1998) is a fun family film. It's a nice companion piece to Little Women (1994) although they weren't made to be watched together. It's wonderful to find new adaptations of Louisa May Alcott's works!
|John Brooke helps Nat Blake|
|Bhaers receive news Nat is coming|
|Plumfield in Autumn|
|Nat plays the fiddle for Jo, Fritz and Franz|
My music video with songs from Little Men (1998) with screencaps I made from the film. Listen to the Opening Theme, Nat Plays the Fiddle, Dan Sings Amazing Grace and the End Titles. You can briefly hear Chris Sarandon as Fritz Bhaer singing in Amazing Grace, he has a very nice voice!
|Stuffy, Daisy, Demi and Tommy|
- Michael Caloz as Nat Blake - Nat is a bit shy and skeptical when he first comes to Plumfield but everyone gives him such a warm welcome. Michael Caloz's bright brown eyes and sweet manner are perfect for Nat and made me like the character right away! Surprisingly Michael did the voice of pesky sister D.W. in the PBS animated TV show Arthur!
- Mariel Hemingway as Jo Bhaer - While blond haired Mariel doesn't really look like my idea of Jo (she has "chestnut" hair in book doesn't she?) she does present a kind and caring character who loves her students and family very much and tries to take on the world. She took some getting used to but I liked her for the most part. Mariel Hemingway is the granddaughter of famous author Ernest Hemingway and was given the name Mariel after one of his favorite places to vacation.
- Chris Sarandon as Fritz Bhaer - I'm not a huge fan of the Jo/Professor Bhaer match up in the book and don't really like most of the film versions I've seen of him. However Chris Sarandon as Fritz Bhaer really stands out as one of the main reasons I love this film. The character becomes this strong but compassionate character who love and supports his wife and directs their students with a firm but caring hand. You might recognize Chris Sarandon as Prince Humperdinck in The Princess Bride or as Charles Darnay / Sydney Carton from A Tale of Two Cities (1980) but this is by far my favorite role of his.
- Ben Cook as Dan - Nat's homeless friend who finds his way to Plumfield where the Bhaers take him in. Ben Cook does a great job of portraying the struggle going on in Dan where he wants to be loved and have a home but also leads the other boys into mischief. Jo doesn't give up on him and he eventually finds his place in their family set. Road to Avonlea fans fight possibly recognize Ben Cook from the Season 7 episode From Away where he played Ian McNulty.
- Serge Houde as John Brooke & Emma Campbell as Meg Brooke - John Brooke finds Nat on the streets of Boston and pays his way to Plumfield. John and Meg come for a visit later in the series where it becomes evident that John is not in the best of health. I didn't really like these actors in the roles, they seemed too old and a bit contrived to me, but they were nice enough.
- Tyler Hynes as Demi Brooke & Julia Garland as Daisy Brooke - John and Meg's twins who live and go to school at Plumfield with their aunt and uncle. They are the first to welcome Nat when he arrives and are very good tempered kids. Demi has odd hair but seems quite scholarly while Daisy has long pretty hair and is very domestic and sweet. Julia Garland didn't do much acting after this role but this was Tyler Hynes' first role and he's gone on to many more film and television roles (and he has great hair now, haha!).
- Gabrielle Boni as Nan Harding - Nan comes to Plumfield after her mother dies and is to be a companion for Daisy. Nan is even more of a tomboy than Jo was at her age and soon earns the boys respect by beating them at baseball. I wish Nan had been introduced sooner in the film because she's such a fun character! Actress Gabrielle Boni looked very familiar to me and then it all made sense when I found out she played Rebecca Graham in the Wind At My Back TV series. Love her red hair and freckles!
- Mickey Toft as Teddy "Little Bear" Bhaer - Teddy is Fritz and Jo's little five-year-old son who joins in with activities with the other boys. He doesn't have very many speaking lines but Mickey Toft steals the show by being so darn cute! (I mean just look at that grin!) He likes Dan a lot and Dan in return is very kind to him.
- Ricky Mabe as Tommy Bangs - Tommy is one of the first friends that Nat makes at Plumfield. He and Nat go into business keeping chickens and selling the eggs. One of my favorites of the boys, he has a really good heart.
- David Deveau as George "Stuffy" Cole - Stuffy is comical and the lines he has are a lot of fun.
- Michael Yarmush as Emil - Fancies himself a pirate, often wearing an eye patch, and says his rather is a sea captain. This is different than in the book where Emil and Franz are Professor Bhaer's nephews.
- B.J. McLellan as Jack Ford - Another of the students but with a slightly vengeful streak.
- Justin Bradley as Adolphus "Dolly" Pettinghill - He's introduced as a student but I can't remember what he looks like. His name is really neat though!
- Mathew Mackay as Franz - Professor Bhaer's nephew who helps with the teaching. He's in a few scenes and does very well.
- Kathleen Fee as Molly & Narrator - Molly is the housekeeper who takes care of everyone. Kathleen Fee also did the narrating parts throughout the film.
- James Bradford as Silas - Works with the animals and is a bit of a handyman. He doesn't like Dan's streetwise ways but admires his way with horses.
|Father and Mother Bhaer|
But the best part of this film for me was getting to see Jo March and Fritz Bhaer as they work together and care for their "family". I'm one of those who couldn't quite reconcile Jo marrying the Professor (and Laurie marrying Amy is so weird!) but the way they are presented in this film is just perfect! They are equals who love each other and care deeply about their family and the students at Plumfield. Fritz Bhaer's compassion really stands out as he teaches the boys in classes and through life lessons. The sort of education the Bhaers provide is caring and inspires the boys to be good and strive to be better and kinder.
Nat is also a favorite character for me, it's interesting to see the story unfold through his eyes and see him put into practice the lessons he is taught. The ending scene is a bit cheesy but this film overall is just wonderful and I'd watch it again in a heartbeat! Watching this film really made me want to read the book and I will, someday...
|Dan and Nat|
Have you seen Little Men (1998)? What did you think of it?
Have you read Little Men? What about Jo's Boys?
Are you a fan of the Jo/Professor Bhaer match up?