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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 (15 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 24.95
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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

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
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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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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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4.0 out of 5 stars Hepburn is Amazing Jan. 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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By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
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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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful story & great acting
Wonderful story & great acting.Katherine is exceptionally good in this film & so different from other roles she has played
Published 1 month ago by Cheryl Allen
3.0 out of 5 stars THE SHINE OF A VERY YOUNG KATHARINE HEPBURN FILLS THE SCREEN
"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. Read more
Published on March 4 2004 by Alejandro Cortes
4.0 out of 5 stars Dinner! A/C!
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... Read more
Published on March 1 2004 by R. S. Gwynn
5.0 out of 5 stars Top ten list
Dont miss it! Superbly cast and sensitively directed, this moving adaptation of the Booth Tarkington novel of the same name is splendid. Read more
Published on Jan. 19 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless
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... Read more
Published on Jan. 13 2002
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 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. 22 1999
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