Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Katharine Hepburn, Fred MacMurray, Fred Stone, Evelyn Venable, Frank Albertson
Director: George Stevens
Genres: Comedy, Drama
BASED ON A NOVEL BY BOOTH TARKINGTON.A PRETENTIOUS SOCIAL CLIMBER, ALICE ADAMS, SUFFERS THROUGH VARIOUS TRAVAILS BEFORE FINDING A MODEST, DECENT MAN WHO LOVES HER.
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For the First Time Katharine Hepburn Plays Against Type
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 09/07/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
""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. Her performance is vastly superior to when she won for "Morning Glory" (but more in keeping with her Jo March in "Little Women" that same year) primarily because this is the first successful film in which she acts against type (as opposed to her unsuccessful effort as a hillbillie gal in "Spitfire"). The Hepburn persona that becomes solidified in "The Philadelphia Story" and "Woman of the Year" is pretty much the opposite of Alice Adams. Instead of the goddess brought off her pedastal, here we have the girl from the wrong side of the tracks trying to get ahead in the world. This is one of the better opportunities to see Hepburn NOT play Hepburn (the other great example is "Long Day's Journey Into Night"). Of course, Hollywood tacked on a happy ending to the film version, and while it is not as jarring as what they did to "The Magnificent Ambersons," it does not make for a smooth conclusion. More importantly, it undoes the poignancy of Hepburn's farewell to MacMurray when she tells him: "You know, I have a strange feeling. I feel as though I'm only going to see you for five minutes more in my whole life." Overall, Hepburn's performance overcomes the limitations of the script. The role was never going to become a Hepburn staple, but she plays it surprisingly well here. "Alice Adams" holds up better than most of her early RKO films."
Katharine Hepburn's Finest Performance
D. Greven | Cambridge, MA USA | 07/16/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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."
Hepburn is Amazing
James L. | 01/21/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"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."
scotsladdie | 12/10/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"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."