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Alice Adams (1935)

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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 2,284 users  
Reviews: 40 user | 15 critic

The misadventures of two social-climbing women in small town America.

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(novel), (screen play), 2 more credits »
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Title: Alice Adams (1935)

Alice Adams (1935) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Fred Stone ...
Evelyn Venable ...
...
Ann Shoemaker ...
...
Grady Sutton ...
...
Jonathan Hale ...
...
Malena Burns - Maid Serving Dinner (as Hattie McDaniels)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
(scenes deleted)
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Storyline

In the lower-middle-class Adams family, father and son are happy to work in a drugstore, but mother and daughter Alice try every possible social-climbing stratagem despite snubs and embarrassment. When Alice finally meets her dream man Arthur, mother nags father into a risky business venture and plans to impress Alice's beau with an "upscale" family dinner. Will the excruciating results drive Arthur away? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Twenty-two and wonderful ... as Booth Tarkington's loveliest heroine!

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 November 1935 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Booth Tarkington's Alice Adams  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Katharine Hepburn credits director George Stevens for her change in the public's perception, by helping her, in "Alice Adams", portray more warmth and vulnerability than she had ever shown previously. See more »

Goofs

In a closeup, Alice is putting long stemmed flowers into a vase and they droop. In the long shot, the flowers are standing straight up in the vase. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Florist: Good afternoon.
Alice Adams: Yes, I'd like to buy a corsage, something nice to wear to the party.
Florist: Yes. Ooh, that's the - that's the Palmer party, I suppose.
See more »

Connections

Featured in George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

I CAN'T WALTZ ALONE
(1935) (uncredited)
(incorporated into score)
Music by Max Steiner
See more »

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User Reviews

Just wonderful - a wonderfully true story of class and embarrassment
10 July 2004 | by (New York, New York) – See all my reviews

I had heard of the famous Tarkington novel (but not read it) and had known that Katherine Hepburn won the Best Actress Oscar for this. So, I rented it.

It's just so moving. What I think some of the negative reviewers forget is just how much a girl's prospects in a small town in the 1920s are determined by whom she marries. For the intelligent, lively, vibrant, charming, warm-hearted Alice Adams - with a pitifully weak (but very sympathetic) and rather poor father, Alice's chance to "make anything" of her life is determined socially.

My heart ached with the snubs Alice receives - the routine unthinking cuts she receives at the hands of those from "better" families. Wearing a two year old dress with a corsage of violets illegally picked from the park, her loutish brother in his old beaten-up borrowed car as her date, she tries SO HARD to fit in - and doesn't because no one will let her. It's the most opaque of glass ceilings.

If you've ever felt (at a job, a party, a family gathering) that there was nothing you could do - no matter how hard you tried - to fit in - yet it was important that you did, you'll feel so much for this charming girl.

I do agree with others that the Arthur Russell part is underwritten.

But the movie boring? Not on your life. The painful moments are more difficult to watch than most war movies in which the protagonist is killed - because it is so well-done -

-- the pains of humiliation borne within, the disability one cannot hide, the old dress, the rude and outrageous relation, the thwarted eagerness - these are far more likely to be the painful moments in one's life (that one does not wish to remember) than any actual bullet wounds.

I love how the movie does not show a saintly Alice - she would love to snub others (e.g., the chubby boy at the dance), would love to parade before others in finery. yet her warmth toward her family - her essential sweetness, her strong frustrated yearning - are completely captivating.

We love this girl - and because of that, we love the movie.


29 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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