Little Women is a 1994 American drama film directed by Gillian Armstrong. The screenplay by Robin Swicord is based on the Louisa May Alcott novel of the same name. It is the fifth feature film adaptation of the Alcott classic, following silent versions released in 1917 and 1918, a 1933 George Cukor-directed release, a 1949 adaptation by Mervyn LeRoy, and a 1978 television adaptation by Gordon Hessler. The film focuses on the March sisters - beautiful Meg (Trini Alvarado), tempestuous Jo (Winona Ryder), tender Beth (Claire Danes), and romantic Amy (Kirsten Dunst) - growing up in Concord, Massachusetts during and after the American Civil War. With their father away fighting in the war, the girls struggle with major and minor problems under the guidance of their strong-willed mother, affectionately called Marmee (Susan Sarandon). As a means of escaping some of their problems, the sisters revel in performing in romantic plays written by Jo in their attic theater.