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Alice Adams (1935)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 2,293 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

There was a disagreement among Katharine Hepburn and George Stevens about the post-party scene. The script called for Hepburn to fall onto the bed and break into sobs, but Stevens wanted her to walk to the window and cry, with the rain falling outside. Hepburn could not produce the tears required, so she asked Stevens if she could do the scene as scripted. Stevens yelled furiously at Hepburn, which did the trick and the scene was filmed Stevens' way, and Hepburn's tears are real. 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 Katharine Hepburn: All About Me (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
I was blindsided and enamored
7 January 2005 | by (Milwaukee, WI) – See all my reviews

Have you ever picked up what you thought was a glass of water, but when you took a long sip you ended up with a mouthful of Sprite? A surprising feeling, but then you have to figure out if it's pleasant or not. I felt similarly about my experience watching "Alice Adams", George Stevens' 1935 film starring Katherine Hepburn as the title character. Expecting a wily romantic comedy, possibly a precursor to Hepburn's screwball comedies, I instead witnessed a beautiful, touching and sad film about rejection and romance in small-town America.

Alice is the daughter of a bookkeeper who is sick, and therefore temporarily out of work. Even before his unemployment, his job did not provide as much money for his family as many of Alice's contemporaries. This causes Alice to not be accepted in society, and makes it harder to find a boyfriend, though she tries to keep cheerful in front of her family. Unfortunately Mrs. Adams doesn't make things easier, by constantly harping on Mr. Adams to quit his job and be more ambitious. When the Palmers have their annual dance, Alice asks her brother Walter to take her, and there she first sees Arthur Russell MacMurray) a wealthy young man who is practically engaged to Mildred Palmer, probably the richest and most socially prominent young woman in the town. He notices Alice, and after a dance together, finds her a couple of days later and they begin a romance, but it becomes obvious that Alice is not going to be able to put up a façade of wealth and social acceptance for long, as their relationship becomes more serious.

There were so many times that I found myself just aching for Alice during this film. Booth Tarkington is so good at capturing the darker side of small town life without being obvious, that it is understandable that this film could be mistaken for a light romantic comedy, though in reality it was anything but. Alice's low self-esteem, mainly due to society's views on her more than her family's lack of money makes her such a fragile character that she becomes immediately sympathetic, and this is mainly due to Hepburn's performance. This was early in her career, and after seeing many of her later films it is easy to forget just how radiant and luminous she once was. She has always been one of my favorite actresses, but it was generally because of the strength she gave the characters she played throughout the years, not her fragility. "Alice Adams" was an extremely pleasant surprise, and I ended up absolutely loving it. A very solid 8/10.

--Shelly


21 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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What made you laugh the hardest? caaro1947
No chemistry between Hepburn and MacMurray. thirsch-2
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a tragedy mheckman-1
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