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Alice Adams (1935)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  13 November 1935 (Argentina)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 2,598 users  
Reviews: 42 user | 15 critic

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



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

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Fred Stone ...
Ann Shoemaker ...
Grady Sutton ...
Jonathan Hale ...
Malena Burns (as Hattie McDaniels)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
(scenes deleted)


In the small town of South Renford, Alice Adams comes from a working class background, although she aspires to be among the upper class. Alice's mother blames Alice's father for their low social standing, despite he working hard and Alice not blaming him for anything. Regardless, Alice tries to do whatever necessary to put on appearances of wealth and social standing despite everyone in that class in town knowing who she is, and thus largely ignoring her because of her false airs. First meeting at a society ball, Alice surprisingly catches the eye of Arthur Russell, surprisingly as he purportedly is engaged to débutante Mildred Palmer. As Alice continues to hide her true social standing from Arthur as he courts her, Mrs. Adams pressures Mr. Adams into doing something he doesn't want to do in an effort truly to become part of the business class, that measure which entails sinking all his money into a business venture. Beyond the time when Arthur finds out the true nature behind Alice's... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

13 November 1935 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Booth Tarkington's Alice Adams  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on January 3, 1938 with Fred MacMurray reprising his film role. See more »


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 »


[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 »


Version of Alice Adams (1923) See more »


(1935) (uncredited)
Music by Jimmy McHugh for: Hooray for Love (1935)
Used instrumentally as dance music
See more »

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User Reviews

Gee Whiz!
18 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I am NOT a fan of Katharine Hepburn....but I really like her in this film. I don't think she ever looked cuter and was more appealing. One often forgets the fresh face and beauty she had when she was young.

This film starts off wonderfully for 20 minutes, then bogs down a bit for an hour and then rallies brilliantly in the last 20 minutes. That last part is so good that made the film not only worthwhile to view but one to keep and watch every few years.

It bogs down when Hepburn starts her deceiving scheme and nervously yaks and yaks and yaks trying to impress her boyfriend (Fred MacMurray). The deceit involves her trying to hide her social status, something that must have meant a lot more back in the early '30s than it does today.

Critics comment about how the dinner scene is a "classic" and the highlight of the film, but I didn't think it was all that great, although Hattie McDaniel is funny. It's what happened afterward that made it a memorable film to me.

Although Hepburn and Fred MacMurray are the stars of this romance-comedy, Fred Stone almost steals the show. Playing Hepburn's dad in the film, he was both hilarious at times and very sad....and always interesting. He gives an unbelievably powerful speech to his boss near the end of this film.

Another plus for "Alice Adams" is the direction. This is early George Stevens, but just about any film that man directed is top-notch, including this one.

Without giving away what happens in the story, the film does present a nice message of forgiveness and reconciliation and sports one of the stronger feel-good endings I've ever seen on film. Hepburn's last words in the movie are "Gee Whiz!!" That bygone innocent reaction to MacMurray's comment that he loved her says a lot about how movies and times have changed.

22 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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