Alice, Sweet Alice (1976)


The movie Alice, Sweet Alice (1976) is a psychological slasher film set in 1961 New Jersey. The film focuses on a troubled adolescent girl named Alice who becomes a suspect in the brutal murder of her younger sister at her First Communion, as well as in a series of unsolved stabbings that follow. The film begins with divorced mother Catherine Spages visiting Father Tom with her two daughters, nine-year-old Karen and twelve-year-old Alice, who both attend St. Michael’s Parish Girls’ School. Karen is preparing for her First Communion, and Father Tom gives her his mother’s crucifix as a gift1. A jealous Alice puts on a Halloween mask, frightening Father Tom’s housekeeper, Mrs. Tredoni. Alice steals Karen’s porcelain doll, scares her, and threatens her if she tells anyone [1].

During Karen’s First Communion, she is strangled by a masked woman dressed in a St. Michael’s yellow coat [2]. Alice takes her place in line wearing her veil, which she claims she found on the floor, and becomes the police’s prime suspect. When Catherine’s sister Annie is stabbed in the leg several times, she accuses Alice and gets her sent to have a psychological evaluation over the protests of her parents and their friend Father Tom. Alice’s father Dominick sees evidence that will prove her innocence. [2]

The movie Alice, Sweet Alice (1976) is not just a conventional slasher movie. It is marked by its distinct attachment to certain, specific iconography, most notably that of the Catholic church. The film’s original title, Communion, is its most apt one—this is a story where the foreign nature of Catholic dogma to white, Protestant America is given an alien sense of menace. It’s not the the film is taking aim at the church itself, per se, but more the tradition and repression it inherently represents. It’s a story of old values and morals, clashing with what the zealots would see as modern “degradation” of those values. [1]


  • Linda Miller as Catherine Spages3
  • Mildred Clinton as Mrs. Tredoni3
  • Paula Sheppard as Alice Spages3
  • Niles McMaster as Dominick “Dom” Spages3
  • Brooke Shields as Karen Spages3


Star Paula E. Sheppard, who played 12-year-old Alice, was about 19 years of age during the making of the movie.

Alphonso DeNoble, who played the Spages’ fat pervert landlord, wasn’t a professional actor at the time. He was working as a bouncer at a bar and director Alfred Sole persuaded him to play the role. [2]

The Columbia Pictures studio was set to release the movie under the title of “Communion” but allegedly pulled out for legal reasons. When Allied Artists Pictures picked it up for distribution in the U.S.A and Canada, director Alfred Sole demanded a title change so that the audience wouldn’t think it was seeing a religious film. [2]


Matthew O’Leary’s blog: “One of the things that impresses me the most about this movie is how terrible pretty much every character is.”

Churchwave VBS: “I’m a big fan of slasher films, and this might be the closest thing we have to a Christian slasher movie. Not only does it have religious themes, but it also has some substantive thoughts about how we treat children.” [5]


[1] Wikipedia

[2] IMDb

[3] Fangoria

[4] Matthew O’Leary

[5] Churchwave VBS

Last updated byCody Meirick on November 13, 2023