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Alice Adams (1935)

The misadventures of two social-climbing women in small town America.

Director:

George Stevens

Writers:

Booth Tarkington (novel), Dorothy Yost (screen play) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Katharine Hepburn ... Alice Adams
Fred MacMurray ... Arthur Russell
Fred Stone ... Virgil Adams
Evelyn Venable ... Mildred Palmer
Frank Albertson ... Walter Adams
Ann Shoemaker ... Mrs. Adams
Charley Grapewin ... J. A. Lamb
Grady Sutton ... Frank Dowling
Hedda Hopper ... Mrs. Palmer
Jonathan Hale ... Mr. Palmer
Hattie McDaniel ... Malena (as Hattie McDaniels)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Walter Brennan ... (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

In the small town of South Renford, Alice Adams comes from a working class background, although she aspires to be among the upper class. Alice's mother blames her husband for their low social standing, despite his working hard and Alice not blaming him for anything. Regardless, Alice tries to do whatever necessary to put on appearances of wealth and social standing, despite everyone in that class in town knowing who she is, and thus largely ignoring her because of her false airs. First meeting at a society ball, Alice surprisingly catches the eye of Arthur Russell, surprisingly as he purportedly is engaged to débutante Mildred Palmer. As Alice continues to hide her true social standing from Arthur as he courts her, Mrs. Adams pressures Mr. Adams into doing something he doesn't want to do in an effort truly to become part of the business class, that measure which entails sinking all his money into a business venture. Beyond the time when Arthur finds out the true nature behind Alice's ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

BOOTH TARKINGTON'S PULITZER PRIZE NOVEL (original herald-all caps) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 November 1935 (Argentina) See more »

Also Known As:

Booth Tarkington's Alice Adams See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Katharine Hepburn wanted William Wyler to direct the movie (at the suggestion of George Cukor), but producer Pandro S. Berman favored George Stevens. Rumor has it that it was decided by the toss of a coin. In fact, Berman remembers that Wyler actually won the coin toss, but Stevens had completely won Hepburn over by that time, so when she saw that Wyler won the toss she had a look of disappointment on her face. The coin was tossed again, and this time Stevens won and he directed the picture. See more »

Goofs

In a closeup, Alice is putting long stemmed flowers into a vase and they droop. In the long shot, the flowers are standing straight up in the vase. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Florist: Good afternoon.
Alice Adams: Yes, I'd like to buy a corsage, something nice to wear to the party.
Florist: Yes. Ooh, that's the - that's the Palmer party, I suppose.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Five Came Back: The Mission Begins (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

I CAN'T WALTZ ALONE
(1935) (uncredited)
(incorporated into score)
Music by Max Steiner
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Just Be Yourself!!!
26 November 2007 | by ferbs54See all my reviews

I suppose that no one ever gave Alice Adams the sage advice that when one goes on a date with somebody, you should just "be yourself." But in the 1935 film "Alice Adams," Katharine Hepburn's title character is too busy trying to hide her humble background and put on hoity-toity airs, whenever she goes out shopping, to a party and especially when being courted, to EVER really be herself, and this desire to climb that social ladder only leads to embarrassing predicaments. This is actually a very charming film, and Hepburn, 28 here, looks extremely pretty, especially when given any number of beautiful close-ups by director George Stevens. The film boasts two wonderful and heartbreaking scenes: an early sequence at a ritzy dance, where wallflower Alice hugs the sidelines while pretending to no one in particular that everything is fine, and a late scene, in which the well-to-do young courter who has taken a fancy to her (nicely played by Fred MacMurray) suffers through a formal dinner with Alice's family in the middle of a heat wave. Hattie McDaniel (listed here as "McDaniels") almost steals this dinner scene as a slovenly, gum-chewing maid. Alice, despite her tendency to put on airs, is at heart a sweet girl (we see that in her relationships with her parents and brother), and the viewer is grateful that a young man is able to see beyond her B.S. and discern her finer qualities. But will upper-class Fred accept Alice, once he learns of her background? That, my IMDb'er friend, I urge you to find out for yourself...


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