The pathetic, social-climbing heroine of Booth Tarkington's novel was never better played than by Hepburn, who brought a fierce determination, clutching coyness, and tragic optimism to the part. She plays Alice Adams, who lives only a block or two from the wrong side of the tracks, but who
pretends that she and her family enjoy the status of her wealthy peer group--a pretense that grows into a dangerous conviction. Her family of hopeless clods drags her down to grim reality at every turn, yet she tries to escape through rich acquaintances who are really nothing more than chic snobs.
They merely tolerate her as a source of amusement, frivolously inviting her to an e...