Happy Birthday Greer

Greer Garson
Born Eileen Evelyn Greer Garson

29 September 1904

Manor Park, East Ham, Essex, England, United Kingdom

Died 6 April 1996 (aged 91)

Dallas, Texas

Resting place Sparkman-Hillcrest Memorial Park Cemetery in Dallas, Texas

Occupation Actress, singer, philanthropist

Years active 1932–1996


Edward Snelson (m. 1933–43)

Richard Ney (m. 1943–47)

Buddy Fogelson (m. 1949; d. 1987)

Greer Garson, CBE (born Eileen Evelyn Greer Garson; 29 September 1904 – 6 April 1996), was an Anglo-American actress who was very popular during the Second World War, being listed by the Motion Picture Herald as one of America’s top-ten box office draws from 1942 to 1946.[1]
A major star at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer during the 1940s, Garson received seven Academy Award nominations, including a record five consecutive nominations, winning the Best Actress award for Mrs. Miniver (1942).

Childhood Edit
Greer Garson was born on 29 September 1904[2] in Manor Park, East Ham, Essex, the only child of Nina (née Nancy Sophia Greer; died 1958) and George Garson (1865–1906), a commercial clerk in a London importing business.[2] Her father was born in London, to Scottish parents,[2] and her mother was from Drumaloor, Casar, County Down, Northern Ireland.[3] The name “Greer” is a contraction of “MacGregor”, another family name.[4]
Her maternal grandfather was David Greer, an RIC sergeant in Castlewellan, County Down, Northern Ireland, in the 1880s, who later became a land steward to the Annesley family, wealthy landlords who built the town of Castlewellan. David Greer lived in a large detached house built on the lower part of what was known as Pig Street or known locally as the Back Way near Shilliday’s builder’s yard. The house was called “Claremount” and today the street is named Claremount Avenue. It was often reported that Garson was born in this house.[citation needed]
Garson was educated at King’s College London, where she earned degrees in French and 18th-century literature, and at the University of Grenoble in France[5] at a time when few actors had university degrees. She had intended to become a teacher, but instead began working with an advertising agency, and appeared in local theatrical productions.[citation needed]
Career Edit
Greer Garson’s early professional appearances were on stage, starting at Birmingham Repertory Theatre in January 1932. She appeared on television during its earliest years (the late 1930s), most notably starring in a 30-minute production of an excerpt of Twelfth Night in May 1937, with Dorothy Black. These live transmissions were part of the BBC’s experimental service from Alexandra Palace, and this is the first known instance of a Shakespeare play performed on television.[6]

Garson in Pride and Prejudice (1940)

Louis B. Mayer discovered Garson while he was in London looking for new talent. Garson was signed to a contract with MGM in late 1937, but did not begin work on her first film, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, until late 1938. She received her first Oscar nomination for the role, but lost to Vivien Leigh for Gone with the Wind. She received critical acclaim the next year for her role as Elizabeth Bennet in the 1940 film, Pride and Prejudice.[7]
Garson starred with Joan Crawford in When Ladies Meet in 1941, and that same year became a major box-office star with the sentimental Technicolor drama, Blossoms in the Dust, which brought her the first of five consecutive Best Actress Oscar nominations, tying Bette Davis’ 1938–42 record, which still stands.[8] Garson won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1942 for her role as a strong British wife and mother in the middle of World War II in Mrs. Miniver. (Guinness Book of World Records credits her with the longest Oscar acceptance speech, at five minutes and 30 seconds,[9] after which the Academy Awards instituted a time limit.) She was also nominated for Madame Curie (1943), Mrs. Parkington (1944), and The Valley of Decision (1945).
Garson frequently costarred with Walter Pidgeon, ultimately making eight pictures with him: Blossoms in the Dust (1941), Mrs. Miniver (1942), Madame Curie, Mrs. Parkington, Julia Misbehaves (1948), That Forsyte Woman (1949), The Miniver Story (1950), and Scandal at Scourie (1953).

Garson and co-star Walter Pidgeon in Mrs. Miniver (1942)

Garson was partnered with Clark Gable, after his return from war service, in Adventure (1945). The film was advertised with the catch-phrase “Gable’s back and Garson’s got him!”[10] Gable argued for “He put the Arson in Garson”; she countered “She put the Able in Gable!”; thereafter, the safer catchphrase was selected. Garson’s popularity declined somewhat in the late 1940s, but she remained a prominent film star until the mid-1950s.
In 1951, she became a naturalised citizen of the United States.[11] She made only a few films after her MGM contract expired in 1954. In 1958, she received a warm reception on Broadway in Auntie Mame, replacing Rosalind Russell, who had gone to Hollywood to make the film version. In 1960, Garson received her seventh and final Oscar nomination for Sunrise at Campobello, in which she played Eleanor Roosevelt, this time losing to Elizabeth Taylor for BUtterfield 8. Greer was special guest on an episode of the TV series Father Knows Best, playing herself.[citation needed]
On 4 October 1956, Garson appeared with Reginald Gardiner as the first two guest stars of the series, in the premiere of NBC’s The Ford Show, Starring Tennessee Ernie Ford.[12]
Garson appeared as a mystery guest on What’s My Line on 25 October 1953 and on 6 April 1958 to promote her appearance in Auntie Mame. She was a panelist on the 12 May 1957 episode.[13]
Garson’s last film, in 1967, was Walt Disney’s The Happiest Millionaire, although she made infrequent television appearances afterwards. In 1968, she narrated the children’s television special The Little Drummer Boy, which continues to be aired on ABC Family. During this time, she also appeared on Laugh-in and the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.
At age 78, Garson’s final role for television was in a 1982 episode of The Love Boat, as a clairvoyant.
Garson received an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, her late husband’s alma mater, in 1991.
In 1993, Queen Elizabeth II recognised Garson’s achievements by investing her as Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
Personal life Edit

Garson in That Forsyte Woman

Garson was married three times. Her first marriage, on 28 September 1933, was to Edward Alec Abbot Snelson (1904–1992), later Sir Edward, a British civil servant who became a noted judge and expert in Indian affairs. She lived with him briefly in Nagpur, a small town in central India, but pined for the theatre and finally succumbed to its calling. A besotted Sir Edward reportedly grieved at losing her and would watch multiple screenings of any film of hers that played in Nagpur. The actual marriage reportedly lasted only a few weeks, but it was not formally dissolved until 1943.
Garson was the mistress of MGM casting director Benny Thau during her early days at the studio.
Her second husband, whom she married (at age 39) on 24 July 1943,[14] was Richard Ney (1916–2004), the younger actor (27 years old) who played her son in Mrs. Miniver. They divorced in 1947. Ney said the divorce was due to the pressure of sharing a home with his mother-in-law,[15] while Garson testified in court that Ney was critical of her work and accused her of being a “has-been”.[16] Ney eventually became a stock-market analyst, financial consultant, and author.[15]
In 1949,[17] Garson married a millionaire Texas oilman and horse breeder, E.E. “Buddy” Fogelson (1900–1987). In 1967, the couple retired to their “Forked Lightning Ranch” in New Mexico. They purchased the U.S. Hall of Fame champion Thoroughbred Ack Ack from the estate of Harry F. Guggenheim in 1971 and were highly successful as breeders. They also maintained a home in Dallas, Texas, where Garson funded the Greer Garson Theatre facility at Southern Methodist University.
During her later years, Garson was recognised for her philanthropy and civic leadership. She donated several million dollars for the construction of the Greer Garson Theatre at both the Santa Fe University of Art and Design and at Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts on three conditions: 1) the stages be circular, 2) the premiere production be William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and 3) they have large ladies’ rooms.[18] Garson was a devout Presbyterian.[19]
For much of her life, Garson’s true age was concealed from the public. When she was making feature films, her year of birth was given as 1914, making her 10 years younger than she really was. This may have been a canny business decision made by MGM, in an attempt to extend her run as a popular romantic leading lady. Certainly, her busy period in films ended in 1955, soon after she was believed to have turned 40, although she was, in fact, over 50.
From the early 1970s, interest was renewed in the stars of Hollywood’s golden age, as their films received regular TV airings, and more facts about performers, as opposed to the information that the studios had circulated about them, came to light. Around this time, a more plausible year of birth for Garson, 1908, began to appear in print. This could have been the year she had given when she took to the stage in the UK, conscious that she was a late starter or, for similar reasons, to MGM at the time she first signed with them. This second date achieved wide credence, until after Garson’s death, when obituaries revealed that she had been born four years earlier, in 1904.
Death Edit

In her final years, Garson occupied a penthouse suite at the Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. She died there from heart failure on 6 April 1996, at the age of 91. She is interred beside her late husband in the Sparkman-Hillcrest Memorial Park Cemetery in Dallas.
Filmography Edit
Year Title Role Notes

1939 Goodbye, Mr. Chips Katherine Chipping Nominated – Academy Award for Best Actress

Remember? Linda Bronson Holland 

1940 The Miracle of Sound Herself Colour test for Blossoms in the Dust

Pride and Prejudice Elizabeth Bennet 

1941 Blossoms in the Dust Edna Kahly Gladney Nominated – Academy Award for Best Actress

When Ladies Meet Mrs. Claire Woodruff 

1942 Mrs. Miniver Mrs. Kay Miniver Academy Award for Best Actress

Random Harvest Paula Ridgeway 

1943 The Youngest Profession Herself – Guest Star 

Madame Curie Marie Curie Nominated – Academy Award for Best Actress

1944 Mrs. Parkington Susie “Sparrow” Parkington Nominated – Academy Award for Best Actress

1945 The Valley of Decision Mary Rafferty Nominated – Academy Award for Best Actress

Adventure Emily Sears 

1947 Desire Me Marise Aubert 

1948 Julia Misbehaves Julia Packett 

1949 That Forsyte Woman Irene Forsyte 

1950 Screen Actors Herself Short subject, uncredited

The Miniver Story Mrs. Kay Miniver 

1951 The Law and the Lady Jane Hoskins 

1953 Scandal at Scourie Mrs. Victoria McChesney 

Julius Caesar Calpurnia 

1954 Her Twelve Men Jan Stewart 

1955 Strange Lady in Town Dr. Julia Winslow Garth 

1960 Sunrise at Campobello Eleanor Roosevelt Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama

National Board of Review Award for Best Actress

Nominated – Academy Award for Best Actress

Pepe Herself Cameo

1966 The Singing Nun Mother Prioress 

1967 The Happiest Millionaire Mrs. Cordelia Biddle 

1968 The Little Drummer Boy “Our Story Teller” Credited as Miss Greer Garson

1978 Little Women Aunt Kathryn March 

1986 Directed by William Wyler Herself Documentary

Radio appearances Edit
Year Program Episode/source

1946 Academy Award Brief Encounter[20]

1946 Lux Radio Theatre Mrs. Parkington[21]

1952 Lux Radio Theatre The African Queen[22]



Velvet touch

Velvet touchBroadway leading lady Valerie Stanton (Russell), accidentally kills her producer and former lover, Gordon Dunning (Ames), during an argument about the direction her career should take. He expects her to sign for his next production, a typical frothy comedy for which he is known, whereas she wants to star in a revival of Hedda Gabler to prove her versatility as an actress.

Other characters involved in the plot are Michael Morrell (Genn), Valerie’s new beau; supporting actress Marian Webster (Trevor), who is accused of committing Valerie’s crime; and police Capt. Danbury (Greenstreet), who may know more than he is willing to disclose.

Movies, Writing

Footlight Parade

footlightparadeposterFootlight Parade is a 1933 American Pre-Code musical film starring James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell and featuring Frank McHugh, Guy Kibbee, Hugh Herbert and Ruth Donnelly. The movie was written by Manuel Seff and James Seymour from a story by Robert Lord and Peter Milne, and directed by Lloyd Bacon, with musical numbers created and directed by Busby Berkeley. The film’s songs were written by Harry Warren (music) and Al Dubin (lyrics)[1] and Sammy Fain (music) and Irving Kahal (lyrics),[2] and include “By a Waterfall”, “Honeymoon Hotel”, and “Shanghai Lil”.
Kent (James Cagney) rallies his troops for their tall order: create three lavish prologues in three days

In 1992, Footlight Parade was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

James Cagney and Joan Blondell

Chester Kent (James Cagney) replaces his failing career as a director of Broadway musicals with a new one as the creator of musical numbers called “prologues”, short live stage productions presented in movie theaters before the main feature is shown. He faces pressure from his business partners to constantly create a large number of marketable prologues to service theaters throughout the country, but his job is made harder by a rival who is stealing his ideas, probably with assistance from someone working inside his company. Kent is so overwhelmed with work that he doesn’t realize that his secretary, Nan (Joan Blondell), has fallen in love with him, and is doing her best to protect him as well his interests.

Kent’s business partners announce that they have a big deal pending with the Apolinaris theater circuit, but getting the contract depends on Kent impressing Mr. Apolinaris (Paul Porcasi) with three spectacular prologues, presented on the same night, one after another at three different theatres. Kent locks himself and his staff in the offices to prevent espionage leaks while they choreograph and rehearse the three production numbers. Kent then stages “Honeymoon Hotel”, “By a Waterfall”, featuring the famous ‘Human Waterfall’, and “Shanghai Lil”, featuring Cagney and Ruby Keeler dancing together.

James Cagney as Chester Kent, creator of musical prologues
Joan Blondell as Nan Prescott, his secretary
Ruby Keeler as Bea Thorn, dancer turned secretary turned dancer
Dick Powell as Scott “Scotty” Blair, juvenile lead who is Mrs. Gould “protegé”
Frank McHugh as Francis, dance director
Ruth Donnelly as Harriet Bowers Gould, the producer’s nepotistic wife
Guy Kibbee as Silas “Si” Gould, producer
Hugh Herbert as Charlie Bowers, Mrs. Gould’s brother, the censor
Claire Dodd as Vivian Rich, Nan’s friend, a gold digger
Gordon Westcott as Harry Thompson, Kent’s assistant
Arthur Hohl as Al Frazer, the other producer
Renee Whitney as Cynthia Kent, Kent’s ex-wife
Paul Porcasi as George Apolinaris, owner of a chain of movie theaters
Philip Faversham as Joe Barrington, juvenile lead, another protege of Mrs. Gould
Herman Bing as Fralick, the music director
Billy Barty as Mouse and Little Boy
Hobart Cavanaugh as Title-Thinkerupper

Cast notes:

Dorothy Lamour, Victoria Vinton, and Ann Sothern were among the many chorus girls in the film. It was Lamour’s film debut.[6]
It is often written that John Garfield made his (uncredited) film debut in this film, but experts were divided if it was actually him in the very quick (5/6ths of a second) shot.[6] According to the 2003 Turner Classic Movies documentary The John Garfield Story, it is not Garfield.

Musical numbers

“Honeymoon Hotel” – by Harry Warren (music) and Al Dubin (lyrics)
“Shanghai Lil” – by Harry Warren (music) and Al Dubin (lyrics)
“By a Waterfall” – by Sammy Fain (music) and Irving Kahal (lyrics)
“My Shadow” – by Sammy Fain (music) and Irving Kahal (lyrics)
“Ah, the Moon Is Here” – by Sammy Fain (music) and Irving Kahal (lyrics)
“Sitting on a Backyard Fence” – by Sammy Fain (music) and Irving Kahal (lyrics)

The “By a Waterfall” production number featured 300 choreographed swimmers

Cagney, a former song-and-dance man, actively campaigned the executives at Warner Bros. for the lead in Footlight Parade, which became his first on-screen appearance as a dancer.[8] Cagney had only fallen into his gangster persona when he and Edward Woods switched roles three days into the shooting of 1931’s The Public Enemy. That role catapulted Cagney into stardom and a series of gangster films, which throughout his career, Cagney found to be as much a straitjacket as a benefit.[9]

Cagney’s character, Chester Kent, was modeled after Chester Hale, a well-known impresario at the time, and the offices he worked in were based on the Sunset Boulevard offices of the prologue production company “Fanchon and Marco” in Los Angeles.[6]

Although early casting reports had Stanley Smith playing the juvenile lead eventually played by Dick Powell, the film became the third pairing of Powell and Ruby Keeler after 42nd Street (1933) and Gold Diggers of 1933, the first two Warner Bros. Busby Berkeley musicals.[8] Remarkably, considering the success of those two films, Berkeley was not the original choice to choreograph – Larry Ceballos was signed to direct the dance numbers, and sued Berkeley and the studio for $100,000 for breach of contract when he was not allowed to do so. Ceballos also claimed to have created a number later used in the Warner Bros. film Wonder Bar, which was credited to Berkeley.[citation needed]

Dorothy Tennant was originally tapped to play Mrs. Gould instead of Ruth Donnelly. Other actors considered for various roles included Eugene Pallette, George Dobbs and Patricia Ellis.

Footlight Parade was shot at the Warner Bros. studio in Burbank, California, and cost an estimated $703,000 to make (or approximately $13 million in 2012 dollars). It premiered on September 30, 1933, and was released generally on October 21.[10][11][12]

The film made a profit of $819,080.[4]
Bea (Ruby Keeler) was not an immediate fan of Scotty (Dick Powell)
Pre-Code era

The film was made during the Pre-Code era, and its humor is sometimes quite risqué, with multiple references to prostitution and suggestions of profanity largely unseen in studio films until the 1960s, when the Production Code collapsed. For example, Dick Powell’s character is being “kept” by Mrs. Gould until he falls in love with another girl. Joan Blondell tells her roommate, who tries to steal Cagney away from her, that as long as there are sidewalks, the roommate will have a job. In the Shanghai Lil number, it is clear that Lil and all the other girls are prostitutes working the waterfront bars. One character in the film, played by actor Hugh Herbert acts as the censor for Kent’s productions, constantly telling Kent certain parts of his production numbers have to be changed. His character is portrayed as buffoonish and comical, saying disagreeable lines to Kent such as “You must put brassieres on those dolls…” (referring to actual toy dolls) “…uh uh, you know Connecticut.” This character foreshadows the coming Production Code, which was in full force less than a year later.

Movies, Writing

Love crazy movie

Architect Steve Ireland (William Powell) and his wife Susan (Myrna Loy) eagerly look forward to their fourth wedding anniversary, but her mother Mrs. Cooper (Florence Bates) shows up and puts a damper on their plans for the evening. She sends Steve downstairs to mail her insurance premium.
He runs into his old girlfriend Isobel Kimble Grayson (Gail Patrick) and learns that she has just moved into the apartment building, one floor below. On the way up, the elevator gets stuck. While they are getting out, Steve is struck several times in the head and becomes woozy. Isobel takes him to her apartment to recover. Though she is now also married, she makes it clear that she would not mind renewing their relationship, but Steve is hopelessly in love with his wife.
When he returns to his apartment, he neglects to mention his encounter with Isobel; but Mrs. Cooper finds out and tells her daughter, putting Steve in an awkward spot. For revenge, Susan calls Isobel’s husband ‘Pinky’ (Donald MacBride) and suggests that they pretend that they are seeing each other. He agrees, but Susan goes to the wrong apartment, that of world champion archer Ward Willoughby (Jack Carson). He is puzzled but has no objection to being romanced by a beautiful woman. When Susan learns her mistake, she has difficulty extricating herself from Willoughby’s apartment. They are seen by Steve and Isobel, resulting in much confusion. Things are finally cleared up, but then Susan is led to believe that Steve was alone with Isobel in her apartment while she was out running an errand for her mother.

Susan decides to get a divorce, despite Steve’s pleas. She hides in Arizona with her meddling mother. Willoughby follows, to better his acquaintance with Susan. The night before the divorce hearing, Steve’s lawyer, George Renny (Sidney Blackmer), spots Susan at a party and tells his client. Steve crashes the gathering but is unable to change Susan’s mind. A chance remark by Steve gives Renny an idea – a divorce can be delayed if one of the parties is insane. Steve does his best to act nutty, even pushing his mother-in-law into the pool. However, he had been so eccentric in the past, that everyone (with the exception of one older man) just believes he is drunk.

Nonetheless, Renny gets the divorce judge to agree to a thirty-day delay to have Steve examined by the City Lunacy Commission. When he realizes that he has gone too far, Steve tries to convince the members that he is sane; but the head of the board, Dr. Klugle (Vladimir Sokoloff), turns out to be the only person Steve hoodwinked at the party. As a result, he is committed to a sanitarium.

Steve escapes by tricking the head of the rest home, Dr. Wuthering (Sig Ruman). He returns to his apartment building one step ahead of the police, who now consider him a homicidal maniac. Steve dodges Willoughby and hides with Isobel’s help. He then disguises himself as his “sister” by putting on some of Isobel’s clothes and shaving his mustache. He finally reaches Susan, only to have Mrs. Cooper and Willoughby show up soon afterwards. When Mrs. Cooper inadvertently confirms Steve just talked to Isobel at a cafe, Susan finally believes her husband.
Love crazy


The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947)

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947)

01:22:18 to sail across the reef at Barbados…
01:22:11 How you’d have loved the North Cape
01:22:15 and the fjords and the midnight sun…
01:22:18 to sail across the reef at Barbados…
01:22:21 where the blue water turns to green…
01:22:24 to the Falklands

Interesting, Movies

Movie time – Woman on the run


Woman on the Run is a 1950 black-and-white film noir co-written and directed by Norman Foster and featuring Ann Sheridan, Dennis O’Keefe, Robert Keith and Ross Elliott.[1] The film was based on the April 1948 short story Man on the Run by Sylvia Tate and filmed on location in San Francisco, California.

As the film opens, a man, Frank Johnson (Ross Elliott), is walking his dog in the city at night. He witnesses a man in a car talking about a crime. The man then gets shot. But whoever shot that man then sees Frank and shoots at him. The shot misses, however, because it is mistakenly aimed at Frank’s shadow. The killer then flees in the car.

When the police arrive it is explained that the shooting victim was going to testify in a court case against a gangster. Since Frank saw the shooter, the cops now want Frank to testify. They plan to take him into protective custody. But Frank, while the police inspector (Robert Keith) has momentarily turned away, gives police the slip, leaving his dog behind. The police think he is running to escape possible retaliation from the mob. So they contact Frank’s wife, Eleanor (Ann Sheridan) to solicit her help in finding him. But she suspects he is actually running away from their unsuccessful marriage.

Later learning that her husband has a heart condition, Eleanor gets the needed medicine and goes looking for him, aided by a newspaperman, Danny Leggett (Dennis O’Keefe) who says he is looking for an exclusive story. The two conduct their own investigation, giving only limited aid to the police. But the police remain determined, since they need a trial witness. Eleanor is aided in her search by Frank’s efforts to contact her. In a letter left with a mutual contact he gives her cryptic instructions on how they can secretly meet. The instructions require that she remember a significant event from their life together. But she has trouble doing so.

As the search continues it is gradually revealed to the audience that Danny the newspaperman is really the killer. He is simply using Eleanor to find Frank. Once Eleanor figures out the cryptic reference, she and Danny go to a beachside amusement park at night and there manage to locate him. Wanting time alone with Frank, ostensibly to get his newspaper story and pay Frank $1,000 for it, Danny puts Eleanor on the roller coaster. As she rides she suddenly realizes what Danny has really been up to. But she is trapped until the ride ends in what becomes the frantic climax of the film.

As Eleanor finally gets off the roller coaster, Danny is on the verge of killing Frank. The two fight and shots ring out. Eleanor breathlessly arrives on the scene to discover that the police inspector has just shot the killer. She rushes to her husband and the two embrace.

Woman on the run

Art, Interesting, Movies, Writing

Alice Adams challenge

This is another good film to watch. Can we modernize this character. What would Alice do in your area?
Create a short story about Alice.

Alice Adams is a 1935 romantic film made by RKO. It was directed by George Stevens and produced by Pandro S. Berman. The screenplay was by Dorothy Yost, Mortimer Offner, and Jane Murfin. The film was adapted from the novel Alice Adams, by Booth Tarkington. The music score was by Max Steiner and Roy Webb, and the cinematography by Robert De Grasse.

The film is about a young woman in a medium-sized town in the United States in the early 1900s, and her pretentious attempts to appear upper-class and wed a wealthy man while concealing her poverty. It stars Katharine Hepburn, Fred MacMurray, Fred Stone and Evelyn Venable. Hepburn’s popularity had declined after her Oscar-winning performance in 1933’s Morning Glory; her performance in Alice Adams made her a public favorite again.

Alice Adams is the youngest daughter of the Adams family. Her father is an invalid employed as a clerk in a factory owned by Mr. Lamb, who has kept Adams on salary for years despite his lengthy illness. Her mother is embittered by her husband’s lack of ambition and upset by the snubs her daughter endures because of their poverty. Alice’s older brother, Walte, is a gambler who cannot hold a job and who associates with African Americans (which, given the time period in which the film is set, is considered a major social embarrassment). As the film begins, Alice attends a dance given by the wealthy Henrietta Lamb. She has no date, and is escorted to the occasion by Walter. Alice is a social climber like her mother, and engages in socially inappropriate behavior and conversation in an attempt to impress others. At the dance, Alice meets wealthy Arthur Russell, who is charmed by her despite her poverty.

Alice’s mother nags her husband into quitting his job and pouring his life savings into a glue factory. Mr. Lamb ostracizes Mr. Adams from society, believing that Adams stole the glue formula from him. Alice is the subject of cruel town gossip, which Russell ignores.

Alice invites Russell to the Adams home for a fancy meal. She and her mother put on airs, the entire family dresses inappropriately in formal wear despite the hot summer night, and the Adamses pretend that they eat caviar and fancy, rich-tasting food all the time. The dinner is ruined by the slovenly behavior and poor cooking skills of the maid the Adamses have hired for the occasion, Malena (Hattie McDaniel). Mr. Adams unwittingly embarrasses Alice by exposing the many lies she has told Russell. When Walter shows up with bad financial news, Alice gently expels Russell from the house now that everything is “ruined.”

Walter reveals that “a friend” has gambling debts, and that he stole $150 from Mr. Lamb to cover them. Mr. Adams decides to take out a loan against his new factory to save Walter from jail. Just then, Mr. Lamb appears at the Adams house. He accuses Adams of stealing the glue formula from him, and declares his intention to ruin Adams by building a glue factory directly across the street from the Adams plant. The men argue violently, but their friendship is saved when Alice confesses that her parents took the glue formula only so she could have a better life and some social status. Lamb and Adams reconcile, and Lamb indicates he will not prosecute Walter.

Alice wanders out onto the porch, where Russell has been waiting for her. He confesses his love for her, despite her poverty and family problems.

The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, and Hepburn for Best Actress. Hepburn received the second most votes, after winner Bette Davis in Dangerous.

The 1935 film of Alice Adams is the second adaptation of the Tarkington novel. A silent film version had been made in 1923, directed by Rowland V. Lee.

Katharine Hepburn wanted George Cukor to direct the film, but Cukor was engaged directing David Copperfield.[6] Cukor advised her to choose either William Wyler or George Stevens to direct. Although Hepburn favored the German-born and Swiss-educated Wyler, producer Pandro S. Berman favored American George Stevens.

The plot of the film differs from the book Alice Adams, in significant ways. Most importantly, the novel depicts Alice estranged from Russell. The original script by Dorothy Yost and Jane Murfin ended with Alice and Russell in love. But Stevens was so unhappy with the script and the ending that he, his friend Mortimer Offner, and Hepburn discarded most of it and rewrote it (using dialogue taken from the novel). Their script ended with Alice’s relationship with Russell up in the air, and finished with a scene in which Alice goes to secretarial school. But Berman and RKO executives wanted a happy ending in which Alice gets Russell. Stevens and Hepburn opposed this change. Berman enlisted the aid of Cukor, who agreed that the more realistic ending would be box office poison. So the script was changed to allow Russell to fall in love with Alice and win her over.