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Director George Cukor was unfamiliar with Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women when the opportunity arose for him to direct the film adaption. While he assumed the book was a work of pure sentiment, he discovered that instead the story focused on the struggles of a family layered with humor and depth.
He said, "We did capture just what has made that book live – the real vigor of it, and that love of family."
Little Women was a box office smash and was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay – for which it won.
Learn more about the classic drama below!
1. One of the sisters was expecting…
Joan Bennett knew that she was pregnant before filming began but didn’t want to tell, fearing it would cost her the part. Eventually, the secret was hard to miss, and her costumes had to be let out so they’d fit. She was also photographed in such a way that her baby bump was visible.
2. Kate threw picnics!
Cast and crew were invited, and the menu included bacon sandwiches, stews, and finger rolls. Others brought food too, and the event helped bring the cast together. They even had tea in the afternoon.
3. Hepburn had an ice cream incident.
Director George Cukor instructed Kate to be very careful when running with ice cream in one scene because there was only one dress made from very old material. Cukor said, “She got halfway up the steps, and she accidently spilled the ice cream all over her skirt, completely ruining the dress.” The mistake caused a bit of a tiff between the two, but they were old chums again in no time.
4. Hepburn was a pro.
While filming, the sound department went on strike. Two of the men on the crew who were still working purposefully ruined takes, so Kate had to do the crying scene over and over again. She said, "It was agony.” Cukor was impressed that she repeatedly did the scene, crying and all.