Based on a novel by
Director of Photography
Art Direction by
Film Editing by
Costume Design by
Song: I can't Waltz Alone by
Pandro S. Berman
Robert De Grasse
Van Nest Polglase
Denzil A. Cutler
VHS / DVD
RKO Radio Pictures
Produced: May 22-July 3, 1935
Premiere: August 25, 1935
Young Alice Adams is ambitious for social recognition, but merely tolerated by her wealthier girl friends. She longs to be part of their world and to have them like her. Soon, at a party, she meets visiting Arthur Russel, who takes an interest in her and asks if he may call. Alice's big night comes when Arthur arrives for dinner.
The Times (London) - 1935
"From the beginning it was obvious that Miss Hepburn had conceived the part as a whole; that she was going to allow Alice to tell her story in her own way, and that she was not going to encompass poor Alice in a theatrical design of her own making. The result is that Miss Hepburn shows that there is a good deal more in Alice than mere vanity and man-hunting. Because of her insight into the part and the pathos she gives it might appear to superficial that Miss Hepburn has exaggerated the posings; what she really has done is to over-act as Alice over-acted every time she met a man or walked into a room."
Andre Sennwald - The New York Times - 1935
"Katharine Hepburn's Alice is a striking and sensitive a performance as any she has given.... her performance holds that same quality of unexpected excitement which distinguished her first screen appearance in A Bill of Divorcement."
"The scene of social humiliation is peculiarly American in that it reflects the tensions created by social mobility, but no actress ever suffered more beautifully through this trauma than Katharine Hepburn in Alice Adams. So beautifully and with so much voluptuous masochism. And Stevens' enormous and sustained close-ups gave Hepburn's fine-boned beauty an expressive intensity such as audiences had never experienced before. It was almost to much of a good thing. Audiences would not long sit still for such camera adulation, any more than they had sat still indefinitely for Sternberg's lens-love-making with Marlene Dietrich in the early thirties."
Tom Milne - Time Out
"Hepburn is magnificent as the small-town social climber, although the script so softens Booth Tarkington's novel that she emerges though out as a Persil-white heroine tarnished only by a little adolescent foolishness. With Tarkington's acidly observed social satire on Midwestern mores carefully ironed out by the Hollywood machine, little remains beyond a glowingly nostalgic slice of Americana. But Stevens fills the gap with some brilliant set pieces, including the exemplary scene-setting of the opening sequence, the society ball at which Hepburn is reduced to endless subterfuge to mask her gauche unease, and the ghastly dinner party at which all her social pretensions finally collapse under pressure from a heat wave."
What Kate had to say
What fellow actors, the director and friends had to say
George Stevens - Intervies with James Silk - 1964
"That was quite different for her. It was far away from the parts she had been doing to be so purposely romantic and rather simple and sentimental. By nature she was adverse to it, but she fell in with it and loved doing it. She liked the girl that she became when she sat in the swing, and we explored the fact that what she was really becoming in the story was what Kate was herself. At that time she particularly liked to appear very sophisticated, yet she had a very generous heart. She found the whole thing fascinating."