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Alice Adams (1935) 1935 NR CC

4.2 out of 5 stars (59) IMDb 7.1/10

Academy Award-winner Katharine Hepburn received an Oscar-nomination as a working-class small-town girl with social ambitions who falls in love with wealthy playboy Fred MacMurray.

Starring:
Katharine Hepburn, Fred MacMurray
Runtime:
1 hour, 39 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance, Comedy
Director George Stevens
Starring Katharine Hepburn, Fred MacMurray
Supporting actors Fred Stone, Evelyn Venable, Frank Albertson, Ann Shoemaker, Charley Grapewin, Grady Sutton, Hedda Hopper, Jonathan Hale, Hattie McDaniel, Walter Brennan, Brooks Benedict, Harry Bowen, Steve Carruthers, Monte Carter, George Ford, Joe Gilbert, Kid Herman, Virginia Howell
Studio Warner Bros.
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on 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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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 class...as 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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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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By A Customer on 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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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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