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Alice Adams (1936)

Katharine Hepburn , Fred MacMurray , George Stevens  |  NR |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

Price: $34.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Katharine Hepburn, Fred MacMurray, Fred Stone, Evelyn Venable, Frank Albertson
  • Directors: George Stevens
  • Writers: Booth Tarkington, Dorothy Yost, Jane Murfin, Mortimer Offner
  • Producers: Pandro S. Berman
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Turner Home Ent
  • DVD Release Date: January 7, 2003
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000085OXY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,683 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Alice Adams" on IMDb

Special Features

  • All-new digital transfer from restored picture and audio elements
  • Excerpt from "George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey"
  • "Katherine Hepburn: The RKO Years" essay

Editorial Reviews

Product Description


Hollywood's ability to conjure up a bittersweet small town (on the studio back lot, to be sure) has rarely been on better display than in Alice Adams, a gentle adaptation of a Booth Tarkington novel. For that matter, Katharine Hepburn rarely had a better chance to radiate her early youthful glow. She plays the title character, a lonely misfit who tries--too hard--to fit in with the snooty debutantes in her class-conscious town. Fred MacMurray is the suitor who miraculously feels comfortable in the front-porch swing of the faded Adams home. In the exquisitely timed comedy of MacMurray's miserable dinner with Alice's family, director George Stevens displays the tools he learned directing Laurel and Hardy two-reelers, and the sequence becomes a funny-painful classic of social embarrassment. Hepburn's performance, whether Alice is chattering pretentiously or briefly lowering her guard and revealing her loneliness, is simply incandescent. --Robert Horton

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For the First Time Katharine Hepburn Plays Against Type September 7, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
"Alice Adams" is directed by George Stevens from Booth Tarkington's 1921 Pulitzer Prize winner novel. Katharine Hepburn plays the title character, a lovesick young girl who vainly attempts to attain the same level as her socially superior acquaintances and to impress the young man, played by Fred MacMurray, she meets at a dance. There is also a rather hackneyed sub-plot involving her father's business ventures that distracts from the human drama.
Of course all of Alice's attempts to better her place in the world meet with a continuous string of disasters. Alice is embarrased to be escorted by her brother to the dance, prattles on about her family's nonexistent wealth, and will not let MacMurray into her house until she is finally and fatefully obliged to invite him to dinner. The comic highpoint of the film is the dinner party, where the family has hired a maid (Hattie McDaniel) to help with what becomes a total disaster.
Hepburn carries the emotional heart of the movie, and her strength as a maturing actress is captured in two scenes where she carries the moment with tears rather than words. After the dinner scene she runs to her bedroom and breaks down weeping at the window, finally crushed by all that has happens. When her father (Fred Stone), who has no clue the dinner has been a disaster, comments on how nice her date was, a tear roles down Hepburn's cheek. These two scenes created Hepburn's reputation as the screen's greatest "on cue" weeper.
Hepburn received her second Oscar nomination for this film.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Katharine Hepburn's Finest Performance July 16, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
In this superbly done George Stevens film, Katharine Hepburn creates one of the greatest American heroines--headstrong yet deeply vulnerable Alice Adams, a fiendishly anxious impoverished young woman just as fiendishly determined to rise into the white, light, airy world of the upper middle exemplified by the great party scene early on in the film...This scene and the very famous dinner party set piece are magnificent, but so are all of the scenes btwn Hepburn and MacMurray, who's tall, charming, and finely modulated in a very subtle way...Even the tacked-on happy ending doesnt remove the sting of genuine pathos from Hepburn and MacMurray's second to last scene...Hattie McDaniel almost transcends her schlocky-racist role with her droll aside and expressions. This is one of the great films of the 30s.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hepburn is Amazing January 20, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Katherine Hepburn plays a young, flightly girl with big dreams of taking her place in high society. Unfortunately, she lives in a run down house, her family has none of the pretensions she needs, and she is viewed as somewhat of a joke by the girls she wishes she was like. But Fred MacMurray, a member of the social circle she desires to be a part of, takes an interest in her, making her wonder if her dreams could possibly come true. This isn't the kind of film that I enjoy watching, and even though I'm not even much of a Hepburn fan, my positive rating is based on her painfully honest performance. There are moments when you will cringe as she attempts to make more of her life than it is, because you can feel her embarrassment and the awkwardness of her situation. The much discussed dinner table sequence is a prime example. Hepburn is the whole movie, and although the rest of the performances are capably done (especially Fred Stone as her struggling father), she is the one you will remember.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars VINTAGE HEPBURN December 9, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
Many, including Bette Davis thought Hepburn's playing of ALICE ADAMS was the best performance of any actress in the year 1935 (Davis won the AA that year for her role in the mawkish DANGEROUS) Alice desires to escape her middle class small town envirnment and she's naive and frustrated in her valiant attempts. Alice tries desperately to fit in higher society and nearly alienates her friends and family as a result. Hepburn's performance is funny and heartbreaking. The sets are dated, but the insight on human behaviour is timeless. Alice gets Fred MacMurray in the end (not in the original Booth Tarkington novel); 1930's audiences relished happy endings.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Katherine Hepburn in one of her best roles!!! December 13, 2002
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
For those of us who yearned to be part of the "in crowd" in high school but never were, "Alice Adams" is a vivid reminder of that experience (1930's style). As Alice, Katherine Hepburn is the perfect example of the nobody who desperately tries to enter into a world where she clearly doesn't belong. The popular guy played by a very young and handsome Fred MacMurray falls in love with her, but by then Alice is so caught up in her own web of lies about her non-existent wealth that she loses her sense of identity and can't be honest with herself let alone with MacMurray. The story is sweet and romantic, but the main plot surrounds Alice Adams and her experiences as a nobody trying to make it in. You don't need to read the book (by Booth Tarkington) to understand and sympathize with Alice Adams's character, but I highly recommend reading the book first if you really want to appreciate Katherine Hepburn's superb performance. The Alice Adams I envisioned while reading the book was flawlessly brought to life by the very talented Ms. Hepburn.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good
Published 1 month ago by Pamela Robinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
excellent movie!!!
Published 2 months ago by Mrs Teresa A Hearn
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice movie
This is one of those films which one can watch over and over again and enjoy every time. Katharine Hepburn is a great actress!
Published 4 months ago by Lila
5.0 out of 5 stars An Atypical Hepburn Vehicle
During the 1930s, Katharine Hepburn essayed a great variety of roles and imbued diverse characters with much conviction and verisimilitude. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Curt Tow
3.0 out of 5 stars I love old Classic movies
I thought this would be better, however it was good, but not great. Fred McMurray was not good in this, he was a wimp.
Published 13 months ago by Von
5.0 out of 5 stars HEPBURN FOREVER
Published 14 months ago by Christopher Bowen
5.0 out of 5 stars ALICE ADAMS REVIEW
This is an excellent adaptation of Tarkington's book. Only thing I really disliked was the changing of the ending. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Becky A. Woods
4.0 out of 5 stars Alice Adams
Not a great movie, but I love Katharine Hepburn! If she's in it, I'll watch it and be entranced by her, if not the film.
Published 15 months ago by jc&k8t
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
From the description you would think it would be closer to a romance comedy but the movie covers more than that. Enjoyed it!
Published 18 months ago by yessenia solis
5.0 out of 5 stars Katharine Hepburn delivers
As always, Katherine Hepburn is outstanding as Alice Adams. On the surface she seems almost simple but as the story unfolds you realize she understands much more than others... Read more
Published 22 months ago by K. M. Kramer
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