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Alice Adams (1935) DVDRip (SiRiUs sHaRe)

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Alice Adams (1935) DVDRip (SiRiUs sHaRe)

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Name:Alice Adams (1935) DVDRip (SiRiUs sHaRe)

Total Size: 697.65 MB

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Last Updated: 2017-04-15 06:58:20 (Update Now)

Torrent added: 2009-09-02 01:46:36



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Alice Adams (1935)

In the lower-middle-class Adams family, father and son are happy to work in a drugstore, but mother and daughter Alice try every possible social-climbing stratagem despite snubs and embarrassment. When Alice finally meets her dream man Arthur, mother nags father into a risky business venture and plans to impress Alice\'s beau with an \"upscale\" family dinner. Will the excruciating results drive Arthur away?

Katharine Hepburn ... Alice Adams
Fred MacMurray ... Arthur Russell
Fred Stone ... Virgil Adams
Evelyn Venable ... Mildred \'Georgette\' 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

Director: George Stevens

Runtime: 99 mins

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0026056/

Codecs:

Video : 645 MB, 906 Kbps, 23.976 fps, 480*352 (4:3), XVID = XVID Mpeg-4,
Audio : 52 MB, 73 Kbps, 48000 Hz, 1 channels, 0x55 = MPEG Layer-3, CBR,

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ALICE ADAMS is the film I\'d heard about for years as one of Hepburn\'s best early films so when I had the chance to watch it recently on TCM I took advantage of it.

From a novel by Booth Tarkington, it concerns a young woman anxious to connect socially with the right people who manages to attract the attention of a handsome and well-to-do young man (Fred MacMurray) at a party. Hepburn shines in the title role, looking fresh and attractive, struggling to keep him interested in her--but unfortunately, with all of her trademark mannerisms not always held in check.

She does well in the role but, in my opinion, the real magnet of interest is the under-appreciated Fred MacMurray who does a sincere and effortless job as her suitor in a role that could not have been easy to bring off. Both stars are in their physical prime, but MacMurray\'s naturalness only makes Hepburn look even more mannered than usual. Fortunately, this works because her character is supposed to be putting on airs. But at times, this is overdone.

The awkwardness of the social situations are exploited--and the highpoint has to be the warm dinner served on a hot evening, complete with maid service (by Hattie McDaniel) in one of the movie\'s most amusing, if uncomfortable, scenes. Here too, MacMurray displays just the right amount of stability against all odds. Fred Stone provides a number of chuckles as Hepburn\'s so provincial father.

All of the supporting roles are nicely filled, with special praise for Ann Shoemaker as the concerned mother anxious for her daughter to find the right suitor. But it\'s Hepburn\'s showcase under George Stevens\' sensitive direction and she is convincing despite the overly mannered performance.

Summing up: Although some of the situations seemed a bit forced and not everyone will appreciate the humor at Hattie McDaniel\'s expense, it\'s worth watching for Hepburn and MacMurray alone.

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When I first watched this film, despite the fact that George Steven\'s excellent direction makes a rather mundane plot into a very involving film, I was a bit thrown off by the actor who plays Katherine Hepburn\'s ailing father. About midway through the film I thought: \"this guy\'s not much of an actor...\".

However, by the time the film was over, I was completely captivated by the man, mostly due to his big confrontation scene with his boss near the end--in fact, I think I re-played that scene five times to really appreciate it\'s emotional power. And it is because of Mr. Fred Stone\'s performance in that scene that \"Alice Adams\" remains one of my very favorite films.

And who was the man? Well, anyone viewing \"Alice Adams\" is watching a rare document of American theatrical history. Fred Stone was born in 1873, actually traveled west with his family in a covered wagon, became a circus performer, acrobat, dancer, clown and expert \"eccentric dancer.\" He knew Will Rogers and Annie Oakley, and became a MAJOR musical theater star in the early 20th-century. His most famous role was that of the ORIGINAL SCARECROW in the very first (1902) stage version of the WIZARD of OZ. As a young man Ray Bolger saw the production in Boston, and began to pursue his own \"eccentric dancing\" career, becoming immortalized himself as the Scarecrow in the 1939 MGM film.

In \"Alice Adams\", Fred Stone gives a remarkably sympathetic and honest performance, a simple, rather shy and utterly unpretentious Everyman, who, though convalescing from some undisclosed illness, must constantly endure the brow-beatings and guilt trips laid upon him by his nagging wife. By the end of the film, having become entangled in a business venture for which he seems totally unqualified and outraged by his son\'s thievery, he confronts his own boss in his living room for his big emotional scene. I remember reading in Mr. Stone\'s autobiography that George Stevens and Katherine Hepburn were so impressed by his performance in this scene that they actually EXPANDED his part in it to give him more screen time.

After Katherine Hepburn steps in to smooth things over with the boss, she has a final tender scene with Mr. Stone, one of those achingly beautiful scenes (with a lovely background score) that brings tears to the eye because of its sincerity and simplicity. You won\'t find anything like it in any film of the last 40 years--many imitations, yes---but not the REAL thing.

Oh yes, there\'s Katherine Hepburn too, in a role that requires her to act flighty and charming in an annoyingly overwrought way---a little of it goes a VERY long way. Still, she\'s lovely. Other stand-outs include Alice\'s smart-aleck brother, played by Frank Albertson, an appealing light comedy/musical theater guy BEST KNOWN for 2 roles: as Sam \"hee-haw\" Wainwright in \"It\'s a Wonderful Life\" and as the lecherous businessman who gives Janet Leigh the $40,000 in the second scene of \"Psycho\" (he really had aged a lot by 1959). Also, Charley Grapewin, best-known as Uncle Henry in the 1939 \"Wizard of OZ\" has a chance to shine as Mr. Stone\'s slightly cantankerous but generous and warm-hearted boss, Mr. Lamb.

\"Alice Adams\" is not for everyone; it\'s a low-key, genteel film about the problems of small-town people who are moving up in the social world and the one family that gets left behind. But thanks to George Steven\'s sensitive and compelling direction, the film transcends it very earthbound plot and becomes, at least for some of us, a very involving cinematic treasure.

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ALICE ADAMS, played by the late, great Katharine Hepburn, is quintessentially the beautiful, ambitious small-town girl put upon by circumstance. She wants desperately to be accepted, to be something other than just a poor \"nobody\"... to hide the fact that she doesn\'t come from \'money\' and \'background\'. This is painfully obvious in the first few scenes, when Alice steals out of the nickel-and-dime store but pauses meaningfully before the classy Vogue shopfront: trying to fool the world and possibly herself into thinking that that was where she was shopping all afternoon. She plans and preens for the high-society Palmer party, even though she has to wear her two-year-old dress, pick flowers for her own corsage, and go with her brother Walter (Frank Albertson) as her date. As everyone at the party ignores Alice, save another social reject Frank Dowling (bit-player Grady Sutton), she spots and is attracted to the rich, handsome Arthur Russell (Fred MacMurray, in a woefully underwritten role). Of course, Mr. Russell is meant to marry party hostess Mildred Palmer. This doesn\'t last long though--he quickly makes clear his attraction to the magnetic, gracefully awkward Alice, and begins to court her with serious intent. But Alice, in her eagerness to hide her social status, papers over their growing love with lies, which leads to a disastrous dinner party at the Adams abode... even as her family slowly disintegrates around them, partly due to Alice\'s father Virgil (Fred Stone) wanting to earn more money for his daughter.

The film is generally okay--that\'s the best word for it. Not great, not even really *good*, but just... okay. It\'s interesting, and hints at something better than it is. But ultimately, it\'s a social drama that comes off a bit stilted, with very few fully-fledged characters. The key role of Arthur Russell is remarkably free of a personality, and it\'s even hard to really put a finger on what Arthur finds so enchanting about Alice... aside from her being fortuitously Katharine Hepburn\'s identical twin. Oh, Alice is an interesting character, certainly. But so much of her being is concentrated on her social ambitions that it leaves you wondering what Arthur sees in her since these are the very things she hides from him when they are together. Alice\'s brother and father fare better, but even towards the end, Walter becomes little more than a plot device in an ending that appears to want to serve as a muddled sort of come-uppance for Alice. Sutton as bumbling gentleman and his sister\'s dance partner is actually a stand-out in his... what? Five minutes of screen time? Intriguing though the message of the film may be (social class does not matter and attempts to rise above it will only keep you from your true self and happiness), the blandness of the characters keeps one from really developing sympathy for the characters.

As for Alice, the film almost seems designed to have the audience keep her at arm\'s length. When she recognises that she is the one who will drive Arthur away, not because of what he has heard about her but because she cannot bear to confront her own reality head on, she keeps pressing on. The one truly brilliant scene in the film is that of the disastrous dinner party--this is possibly the first film I\'ve seen where the atmosphere is one of muffled horror, both on the part of the participants as well as the audience. As Alice flounders through the dinner, chatting constantly, gaily, desperately, I found myself just wanting her to please, please keep quiet. To stop making things worse. It was very effectively staged, and a wry, clever commentary on Alice\'s inability to just relax and be herself. But by the end of the film, when Alice realises her foolishness and finally lets her guard down, there just isn\'t time to muster much sympathy for her character. It doesn\'t help that her suitor is so terminally boring that the love story is charming at best, but certainly does not come anywhere near to the unadulterated magic of the best classic film couples.

However--and this is a pretty darn big however--although this is probably not one of Hepburn\'s better 1930s films (she starred in a whole run of those, including LITTLE WOMEN, STAGE DOOR, HOLIDAY and BRINGING UP BABY), this is without a doubt one of the best of her 1930s performances. Never was there a lovelier, more quietly desperate wallflower than Hepburn\'s Alice. Hepburn is not squarely in her prime here--not yet. For that, I point you to her unparalleled, radiant turn in THE PHILADELPHIA STORY. But in ALICE ADAMS, she is all fresh, awkward beauty. Her performance gives a strong hint of what she will be well capable of in the future--an almost intuitive ability to harness those \'mannerisms\' of hers, as her critics call them, to serve the performance and flesh out her character... but also to shed them in an instant and truly, genuinely surprise her audience with beautiful understatement and a remarkable lack of histrionics in her performance. (This would only be refined in her future roles with Spencer Tracy.) As Alice floats through the Palmer party, pretending she is in demand and only waiting for her date, or as she chats with a desperate light in her eyes to Arthur at the Adams\' dinner party, Hepburn suffuses the role with the kind of quiet, frantic desire which is simply perfect for her character. It is Hepburn that gives ALICE ADAMS the spark of life it needs to keep from being a mediocre, even bad, film. Her performance is the cornerstone and, quite frankly, the most interesting part of the film.

7.5, largely on the basis of Hepburn\'s performance which gives this film the extra edge it needs.

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* Jane Loring, the frequent editor of Katharine Hepburn, did not receive onscreen credit, and studio files indicate she was paid out of the directing budget.

* 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.

* RKO executives wanted Randolph Scott for the Fred MacMurray role, but he was involved in the production of So Red the Rose (1935).

* Katharine Hepburn always viewed Alice as one of her personal favorite roles.

* There was a disagreement among Katharine Hepburn and George Stevens about the post-party scene. The script called for Hepburn to fall onto the bed and break into sobs, but Stevens wanted her to walk to the window and cry, with the rain falling outside. Hepburn could not produce the tears required, so she asked Stevens if she could do the scene as scripted. Stevens yelled furiously at Hepburn, which did the trick and the scene was filmed Stevens\' way, and Hepburn\'s tears are real.

* Though Bette Davis won the 1935 Academy Award/Oscar for Dangerous (1935) beating out Katharine Hepburn in \"Alice Adams\", Davis was noted for saying more than once that she didn\'t deserve the award that year and that the one who did was Katherine Hepburn.

* \'Katherine Hepburn\' credits director George Stevens for her change in the public\'s perception, by helping her, in \"Alice Adams\", portray more warmth and vulnerability than she had ever shown previously.

SPOILERS: The original script ending was for Alice to grow up and get a job -- she does not get Arthur in the end. Katharine Hepburn and George Stevens both much preferred this ending, but the studio made Stevens film a happier ending in which Alice and Arthur end up together, which is seen in the final cut.

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