Little Men

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +3

Content: +3

Based on the sequel to Louisa May Alcott novel Little Women, Little Men is set in 1871 outside of Boston. Jo (Mariel Hemingway) and her husband, Fritz (Chris Sarandon) have opened a school, Plumfield, where they are molding the characters of young men and their niece and nephew. The schoolmasters teach virtues like honesty, patience, and generosity, but they also mete out fair punishments for failures like lying and stealing. A disadvantaged youth, Nat (Michael Coloz), is sent to Plumfield after the police unjustly arrest him for stealing. He is a good boy but can't tame his lying tongue. He is followed by his less virtuous friend, Dan (Ben Cook). Dan knows all the rules of the street, and none of the rules of morality. But in the end, the faith and persistence of Jo makes a difference in Dan's life. The Plumfield children have fun--they pretend to be pirates and circus performers, they play baseball, fish, and go to a barn dance. Unfortunately, films like this rarely get noticed by the viewing public, so it is unlikely to be a big box office hit, even though it justly deserves to be.

Dan defies the rules frequently--he starts a fist fight that results in a bloody nose, he teaches the other boys to play poker, he passes around a bottle of beer and a cigar. When the cigar is thrown away it starts a fire that results in costly damage to the school. As a results, Dan is sent away. But Dan's actions are not the heart and focus of the film. Every child who does something wrong is held accountable for his actions. Fritz and Jo have a loving relationship. Jo is a strong virtuous woman. She has a character book that she writes in each Saturday night, gently noting the progress of each student. The film is about ten minutes too long and the final scene in which a man clutches his throat and a black hearse appears in front of the house may confuse young viewers. Because of the excellent examples of disobedience and discipline, this is the type of film Preview families should whole-heartedly support.

Preview Reviewer: Theresa Zumwalt
Legacy Releasing

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Mild--(2)

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: None

Violence: Once--Moderate (a fist fight that results in a bloody nose)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Few times (alcohol drinking; cigar smoking)

Other: None

Running Time: 98 minutes
Intended Audience: Children, older teens and adults

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