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Alice Adams (Full Screen)

Katharine Hepburn , Fred MacMurray , George Stevens    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 90.44
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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

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Katherine Hepburn's Greatest Roles! July 8 2004
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 focuses on Alice Adams and her experience 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' 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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5.0 out of 5 stars A fine, classic melodrama April 5 2004
Format:DVD
Katherine Hepburn shines in a heartrending (and hanky-twisting) role, as Alice Adams, a romantically minded teenage girl whose social prospects are continually dimmed by her lower-middleclass status in a small, gossip-laden town. She is painfully aware of her position and tries to overcompensate by putting on airs and latching onto the haughty local debutantes, who look down their noses at the poor girl who tries too hard to fit in. Enter into this miserable scenario good ole Fred Macmurray, a handsome young rich guy who's got a decent heart, and who falls for the voluble, nervous young Miss Adams. Adapted from a novel by Booth Tarkington, this film gives a glimpse into the old-fashioned mores and courtship rituals of smalltown America in the early 20th Century, and also provides Hepburn with one of her first choice roles. Her fast-talking, palpably forlorn Adams is a character who evokes both irritation and sympathy, perfectly capturing the awkward desperation of teenage longings. Quite a performance!
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Format:DVD
"Alice Adams" is one of those movies that rarely are made in Hollywood in these days, because the whole movie is carried by the performances and the direction. "Alice Adams" is a very honest and simple movie, its only pretension is to entertain the viewers, and this movie does that.
In "Alice Adams" we can see a very young and charming Katharine Hepburn, she plays the role of Alice, she injected to the character freshness, sympathy and an aura of tenderness and innocence that rarely are seen in these days.
"Alice Adams" is a very amusing movie, specially if you are fan of the great Katharine Hepburn.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Dinner! A/C! March 2 2004
Format:DVD
The whole dinner sequence is excruciatingly funny, and Hattie McDaniel shows that she was a lot funnier--some wonderful takes here--than "Mammie" ever thought about being. The film is a deft satire of small-town life, and Hepburn is adorable--in a wondefully painful way. The subplots are fairly predictable--the usual novel stuff--but the movie survives on Hepburn's performance. This is a movie that will make you squirm and laugh at the same time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Top ten list Jan. 19 2003
By A Customer
Format:DVD
Dont miss it! Superbly cast and sensitively directed, this moving adaptation of the Booth Tarkington novel of the same name is splendid. It is unfortunate that the director and star were forced by studio heads to tack on the "happy ending" in the film. We don't quite know what happens to our heroine at the end of the book, which is in keeping with how she needfully undergoes change and realizes her character flaws. Surely, Miss Hepburn must have loved making this one. It is a human odyssey that is heart-breaking and honest. Hats off to Mr. Tarkington for a marvelous story. Do not miss it. It is early film-making at its best.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Katherine Hepburn in one of her best roles!!! Dec 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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5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless Jan. 13 2002
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This film touched my heart. You'll laugh and cry and laugh some more. It is an open and honest look at growing up lower middle-class, desperately yearning for what you just can't seem to reach. The happy ending makes for dreams come true - maybe it could happen to you!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Katharine Hepburn's Finest Performance
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... Read more
Published on July 16 2001 by D. Greven
4.0 out of 5 stars Hepburn is Amazing
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... Read more
Published on Jan. 20 2001 by James L.
4.0 out of 5 stars For the First Time Katharine Hepburn Plays Against Type
"Alice Adams" is directed by George Stevens from Booth Tarkington's 1921 Pulitzer Prize winner novel. Read more
Published on Sept. 7 2000 by Lawrance M. Bernabo
4.0 out of 5 stars VINTAGE HEPBURN
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... Read more
Published on Dec 9 1999 by "scotsladdie"
5.0 out of 5 stars HILARIOUS - We almost DIED LAUGHING! So FUNNY! :)
Well do you really want to LAUGH -- not chuckle - But actually laugh from the bottom of your heart? Well this is your movie - my brother and I watched this movie this evening and... Read more
Published on Aug. 23 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite movies!
I count "Alice Adams" as one of my favorite movies. Katharine Hepburn steals the show as the title character, in this poor girl/rich boy plot. Read more
Published on May 30 1999 by "alixy"
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