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Alice Sweet Alice (1976)
"Communion" (original title)

6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 4,350 users  
Reviews: 91 user | 59 critic

After a young girl is brutally murdered during her first communion, her strange and withdrawn older sister becomes the main suspect.

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(original screenplay), (original screenplay)
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Title: Alice Sweet Alice (1976)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Linda Miller ...
Catherine Spages
Mildred Clinton ...
Mrs. Tredoni
Paula E. Sheppard ...
Alice Spages (as Paula Sheppard)
Niles McMaster ...
Dom Spages
Jane Lowry ...
Aunt Annie DeLorenze
Rudolph Willrich ...
Father Tom
Michael Hardstark ...
Detective Spina
Alphonso DeNoble ...
Mr. Alphonso
Gary Allen ...
Jim DeLorenze
...
Louisa Horton ...
Dr. Whitman
Tom Signorelli ...
Detective Brennan
...
Pathologist (as Miss Lillian Roth)
...
Father Pat
Kathy Rich ...
Angela DeLorenze
Edit

Storyline

Alice Spages is a withdrawn 12 year old girl who lives with her mother, Catherine, and her younger sister, Karen. Karen gets most of the attention from her mother, and Alice is often left out of the spotlight. But when Karen is found brutally murdered in a church before her first holy communion, all suspicions are turned towards Alice. But is a twelve year old girl really capable of such savagery? As more people begin to die at the hands of a merciless killer, Alice becomes more and more likely of a suspect. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

If You Survive This Night... Nothing Will Scare You Again.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 November 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alice Sweet Alice  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$340,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (unrated)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Brooke Shields's first movie. See more »

Goofs

In the opening credits Atonino Rocca is credited as the funeral director but in the ending credits he's credited as a funeral attendant. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Alphonso: [about Karen's funeral] I heard everyone leave. It's all over, huh? Well, you die and they put you in the ground. Such a shame. Such a pretty girl too. Too bad she was the one to end up in the box.
Alice Spages: My mother thought you could use some cake, fatty.
[hands him cake]
Mr. Alphonso: Thank your mother for me. Such a lovely lady. God always takes the pretty ones.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the ending credits there is no music and the screen doesn't turn black, the last frame of the film remains in the background forever. See more »

Connections

References Psycho (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

Something to Remember You By
Written by Arthur Schwartz (as Schwartz)
Performed by Helen Morgan (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Compelling until the final body falls
4 December 2005 | by (Mountains of Madness) – See all my reviews

This is a brilliant, original, thought-provoking horror movie that has festered in obscurity for some time. Despite a laserdisc release and a slew of alternate titles -- "Alice Sweet Alice" and "Holy Terror" are but two -- it is still virtually unknown.

At the time of its release, PR wags made a big deal that it featured Brook Shields in her first on-screen role. PR wags did not make a big deal of the fact that there had not been anything like it ever before and that it featured an amazing newcomer, Paula E. Sheppard, in a chilling role as a deeply disturbed schoolgirl who may or may not be responsible for a slew of gory murders. Add to those a strong Catholic subtext and hints of child abuse and you've got one incredible ninety minutes of mental and physical mayhem.

Director Alfred Sole, who also made the flawed but fascinating "Tanya's Island" and the rotten "Thursday the 12th" (aka "Pandemonium") creates unbelievable tension and always places his characters (who are very well written) before the horror. Plotting, characterization and suspense are so expertly mixed the film doesn't even feel like a genre piece at times ; instead, it feels like a European drama...but one circling a potent giallo.

As noted, Sheppard is superb as Alice; Linda Miller is exemplary as Alice's tormented mother Catherine and Jane Lowry as the domineering Aunt Annie turns in a powerhouse performance. And playing Alice's obese, perverted neighbor to chilling perfection is the late Alphonso DeNoble. The scene in which he comes close to molesting Alice is priceless for its economy and authenticity.

From the excellent photography to the super-creepy score by Stephen Lawrence, "Communion" is compelling until the final body hits the church floor.


15 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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