6.5/10
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118 user 118 critic

Alice, Sweet Alice (1976)

Communion (original title)
In 1961 suburban New Jersey, a withdrawn adolescent girl is suspected of her younger sister's brutal murder during her First Communion, and a series of subsequent stabbings.

Director:

Alfred Sole

Writers:

Rosemary Ritvo (original screenplay), Alfred Sole (original screenplay)
3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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A little girl is murdered, and everyone in her Catholic community starts accusing her black sheep, asocial sister, Alice. Alice's grief-struck mother, Catherine, has to try to cope, but if Alice isn't the killer, then who is?

Director: Dante Tomaselli
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Cast

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

Alice Spages is a withdrawn 12-year-old girl who lives with her younger sister Karen and their mother Catherine. Karen gets most of their mother's attention, and Alice is often left out of the spotlight. When Karen is found brutally murdered in a church before her First Holy Communion, Alice is in the spotlight of suspicion, but is a 12-year-old girl really capable of such savagery? As more people die at the hands of a merciless killer, Alice's family and the police don't know what to believe. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A story of unnatural love...and unnatural death. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 November 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Holy Terror See more »

Filming Locations:

New Jersey, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$340,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Harristown Funding See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (unrated)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Paula E. Sheppard, who played 12-year-old Alice, was 19 during the making of the film. See more »

Goofs

While Father Joe is saying the climactic Mass, he repeats the Penitential Rite ("Domine,non sum dignus": Lord, I am not worthy) twice. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Alphonso: [to Alice who has brought a rent check from her mother to him] Give me that check!
Mr. Alphonso: [Alice crunches the check in her hands as he grabs it] You little bitch! Look what you've done to this check!
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 »

Alternate Versions

The Brazilian release of the film is fully uncut, but has different music in the opening credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Best of the Worst: Our VHS Collection (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

Soul of My Saviour
(uncredited)
Lyrics by J. Hegarty, translated by Edward Caswall
Music by Lorenzo Dobici
Performed by Lucy Hale
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Seriously underrated 70's chiller
19 December 2004 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

"Alice, Sweet Alice", unfortunately listed here under its more tame alias "Communion", is a modest but sublime thriller that excellently fits in the superior horror decade that were the 70's. It's in fact a thriller with just that tad bit extra… Despite of the modest budget Alfred Sole had to work with, his film doesn't look dated like many others and the influence it had on the slasher sub-genre is amazing. Who killed little Karen Spages during her first communion service? This question with a seemly obvious answer keeps you entertained and – especially – frightened throughout almost the entire film. Too bad the story loses some of its impact around the hour, due to a few tedious sequences and unexciting dialogs. Luckily, Sole rapidly continues where he left off and delivers us a truly marvelous finale where even Hitchcock himself would show respect for. There's a terrific catholic atmosphere and symbolism featuring in this film, stressed extra by the chilling musical score. Although the movie more or less became famous because it introduces Brooke Shields, it's in fact Paula E. Sheppard who gives away a flawless and imposing acting performance as Alice. She has this brilliantly nihilistic glance in her eyes that makes you feel uncomfortable. "Alice Sweet Alice" is definitely a film I would recommend to every horror fan. It contains several highly memorable sequences like, for example, all the ones involving the fat filthy and perverted neighbor. Fundamental horror viewing for Gothic lovers.


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