Alice Adams 1935

Alice Adams

Critics Consensus

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94%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 17

71%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,419

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Movie Info

Based on the award-winning novel by Booth Tarkington, this comedic drama follows a young working-class woman (Katharine Hepburn) as she attempts, unsuccessfully, to climb the social ladder. When she meets the wealthy Arthur Russell (Fred MacMurray), he is amused by her efforts to maintain an upper-crust facade, and she is thrilled when he agrees to have dinner at her family's home. Things teeter on the brink of disaster as the Adams clan frantically tries to create an evening of fine dining.

Cast & Crew

Fred MacMurray
Arthur Russell
Fred Stone
Virgil Adams
Evelyn Venable
Mildred "Georgette" Palmer
Frank Albertson
Walter Adams
Charley Grapewin
J. A. Dawling
Grady Sutton
Frank Dowling
Hedda Hopper
Mrs. Palmer
Jonathan Hale
Mr. Palmer
Dorothy Yost
Writer (Screenplay)
Mortimer Offner
Writer (Screenplay)
Jane Murfin
Writer (Screenplay)
Robert De Grasse
Cinematographer
Walter Plunkett
Costume Designer
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Critic Reviews for Alice Adams

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (1)

  • That George Stevens' direction captures the wistfulness of Katharine Hepburn's superb histrionism, and yet has not sacrificed audience values at the altar of too much drabness and prosaic realism, is an achievement of no small order.

    November 13, 2007 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • Stevens's talent for stepping away from the plotline and creating intimate, casual, and naturalistic moments is given plenty of opportunity here, as it would not be in his later superproductions.

    November 13, 2007 | Full Review…
  • An oddly exciting blend of tenderness, comedy and realistic despair, it touches life intimately at many points during its account of a lonely girl in a typical American small town.

    March 25, 2006 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Hepburn is magnificent as the small-town social climber, although the script so softens Booth Tarkington's novel.

    February 9, 2006

    Tom Milne

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • This all attempts to be folksy comedy, but very often falls into savage satire.

    April 16, 2020 | Full Review…
  • Miss [Katharine] Hepburn's performance is brilliant though uneven; a little overwrought at times, but so penetrating at others that every third woman, perhaps even every second one, in the audience will recognize herself in some aspect of Alice.

    October 11, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Alice Adams

  • Jan 19, 2013
    Booth Tarkington's book about class distinctions came out in 1922. The George Stevens' movie in 1935. As I write its 2013. That's a lot of water under the bridge, as they say. Kate Hepburn's character, a young woman desperate to bridge the class gulf society has set for her, willing to do all in her power to cross that divide ... I found shallow and despicable. She lies, she puts her family through hell, all to "get" oblivious MacMurray (as the objet d'desire), who never seems to question her endless machinations. The dinner scene, the height of tension in the film, where everything goes wrong, is still the best thing about the work. Maybe they should remake it ... ?
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Aug 24, 2011
    Katherine Hepburn is a shining sun from beginning to end, giving away one of the finest female performances of the 30s in American cinema. Personally, I have always loathed the "family is money" motto and similar thinking; the characters in Alice Adams are not necessarily agreeing with that mentality, but rather see it as a way of surviving in a stupid society that ranks you according to your wealth and useless etiquette mannerisms and modals. Things haven't changed much since then. 98/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Oct 22, 2010
    A nice little slice of life drama of a poor girl who dreams her family is wealthy and important. Of course, the ending is predictable as most romantic movies are, but it's still an enjoyable drama.
    Aj V Super Reviewer
  • Jul 04, 2007
    Although Katherine Hepburn is noted for her later films with Spender Tracy, I actually like her performances in the 30s better. This film and the original version of Little Women are some of the best performances that Katherine ever gave.
    John B Super Reviewer

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