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Alice, Sweet Alice
Communion / Holy Terror / First Communion

USA 1976
produced by
Rick Rosenberg, Alfred Sole for Harristown Funding
directed by Alfred Sole
starring Linda Miller, Mildred Clinton, Paula Sheppard, Niles McMaster, Jane Lowry, Rudolph Willrich, Michael Hardstark, Alphonso DeNoble, Gary Allen, Brooke Shields, Louisa Horton, Tom Signorelli, Lillian Roth, Patrick Gorman, Kathy Rich, Ted Tinling, Mary Boylan, Peter Bosche, Joseph Rossi, Marco Quazzo, Dick Boccelli, Ronald Willoughby, Sally Anne Golden, Lucy Hale, Libby Fennelly, Maurice Yonowsky, Beth Carlton, Drew Roman, Angelino Rocca, Michael Weil, Leslie Feigen
written by Rosemary Ritvo, Alfred Sole, music by Stephen Lawrence

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Cute young Karen (Brooke Shields) is murdered the very day she was about to recieve her first communion, and indeed she was snatched from the church just before the ritual. There are no real clues to go on, but several people suspect her 12 year old sister Alice (Paula E. Sheppard), who has long been suffering from jealousy of her younger sister. Nobody says anything yet though, and her mother Catherine (Linda Miller) fiercely defends her ... but eventually, Catherine's sister Anne (Jane Lowry) starts making accusations in front of Catherine - and a short time later she's attacked by someone - a short female - in a raincoat just like the one Alice tends to wear, and wearing a mask. Anne survives the attack, and she accuses Alice, as does the creepy landlord downstairs (Alphonso DeNoble), and she's even taken in for psychatric evaluation. Only Catherine and her estranged husband Dom (Niles McMaster) believe in her innocence. And Dom even goes so far as to conduct some investigations of his own ... until he runs into a short female in a raincoat just like Alice tends to wear, who wears a mask - and she's determined to kill Dom. The bad news, she succeeds, but the good news, Alice couldn't have been the killer as she has been in custody. And now it's up to Catherine to figure out what's going on, her only help being Father Tom (Rudolph Willrich), the priest of her parish, but he's somehow isolated by elderly parish cook Mrs Tredoni (Mildred Clinton). And with this combination, disaster is just bound to strike ...

 

Alice, Sweet Alice sure is an enjoyable little thriller from yesteryear: Sure, it's a tad old-fashioned even for the 1970s, and the plot and its twists seem to be rather far-fetched at times, while at other times too in-your-face, but it's well-played and well put together, it works nicely in the suspense department, and especially the third act holds many surprises. Of course, it helps if you're a bit of a nostalgia nut (such as me), but especially then the film offers pretty great genre entertainment.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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