Go Ask Alice

 (305)6.11 h 14 min197313+
The controversial 1971 novel about the diary of a 14-year old high school girl who spirals head first into the world of drugs transformed into this popular movie starring Andy Griffith, Wiliam Shatner and Ruth Roman that still packs a punch to this day and has not lost any of its impact or popularity.
William ShatnerRuth RomanWendell Burton
English [CC]
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Supporting actors
Julie Adams
Content advisory
Drug usesexual contentviolencefoul language
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4.1 out of 5 stars

305 global ratings

  1. 60% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 15% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 10% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 6% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 9% of reviews have 1 stars

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Top reviews from the United States

Kira S.Reviewed in the United States on February 8, 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
It's a fake, folks
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There is no diary. There never was. The book this is based on was written by Beatrice Sparks, a therapist who specialized in anti-drug propaganda. She wrote several other similar books, all of them by "Anonymous." I'm not pro-drug, not at all, but I am pro-TRUTH. If the author had put her name on this, said it was a novel but it was based on a number of patients she had treated for drug addiction, I would have no problem with that.

I first read the book when it was originally published in 1971, then again about ten years or so ago. I don't remember all the details but I do know it was more interesting that this movie, which has all the hallmarks of an after-school special. Yes, I know some people got into heavy drugs back then, but millions of people smoked pot for a few years and then gave it up once they got out into the "real" world (and started drinking, just like her parents). And yes, I knew people who had LSD or other hallucinogens slipped into their drink without their knowledge. Most of them swore off drugs entirely.

This whole story is obviously written by someone who was an adult at the time, trying to imagine what it was like to be a teenager, probably based on stories she'd heard. I graduated high school in 1971, the year the book was published, so I actually was a teenager at the time, although a couple of years older than "Alice." Watching this movie makes me want to make a movie myself about what it was ACTUALLY like to be a teenager back then. At least it would be honest - and truthful.
80 people found this helpful
Margie M DavisReviewed in the United States on June 5, 2020
2.0 out of 5 stars
Sad Story Made Up to Scare Teens from Drugs
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Being a teenager in the '60s, I remember the scare tactics presented at assemblies in efforts to sway us away from trying & using drugs. One of my childhood friends stood up in the assembly and told the presenters they were exaggerating the truth-they were misrepresenting the effects of LSD. A bunch of us were shocked that she was so bold & did she really know what happened with LSD use? (she did yet she grew up to be a business owner, a good mother, now a grandmother and has a great life).
Thinking back on that is how Go Tell Alice seemed to me. Misrepresenting and exaggerating how a teen became hooked on drugs is a sad business especially for kids today that see this movie or read the novel. I read the book and it is over the top unrealistic with parts so unbelievable it's easy to see why those scenes weren't included in the movie. If a teenager was taking LSD, they would not become hooked on pills or whatever is the popular drug of the day, as depicted in this movie. If a kid took all those pills, plus LSD -- they wouldn't be high; they'd be dead.
I watched it out of curiosity and it's pitiful. I gave it two stars for the music--Lee Michaels "Do You Know What I Mean" ~ Great tune but it wasn't released until the '70s. And using the Jefferson Airplane's big hit Go Ask Alice was bold. I hope they were paid grandly for the use of that song.(What? No "Puff the Magic Dragon"?)
9 people found this helpful
scurtisReviewed in the United States on February 11, 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
Utter crap
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Watched this because I couldn't believe it was actually available as a movie. If possible, it's even dumber than the book! But mostly disturbing to think that someone twisted enough to cook this crap up and peddle it as an "authentic" experience was actually in the business of "helping" people.
21 people found this helpful
Cheri ArmstrongReviewed in the United States on November 26, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
I happen to love this movie.
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For the hearing impaired, the copy I purchased was NOT closed captioned. I'm sure the picture and sound quality are not up to today's standards. That said, I found the acting to be believable, many parents in the 60s and 70s tended to live in a state of denial (I was there as a teen and young adult then) and rather than find solutions, some people found it easier to just sweep trouble under the rug. While some performances were a trifle stilted, those by the main actors were wonderful in my opinion. William Shatner who played Alice's father, Julie Adams who played Alice's mother, Mimi Saffian who played Alice's innocent Jewish friend and of course Jamie Smith-Jackson who played Alice were thoroughly convincing and drew me right into the drama, stole my heart, locked it up and threw away the key. But Andy Griffith who played the priest, he made the bells go off and left an indelible impression as a compassionate yet take charge kind of person who knew just how to get Alice's feet set back on the right path again. I confess. I do love this movie. Fact or fiction, the characters were well constructed and honest. I would recommend this movie to anyone seeking a glimpse into life in the 1970s and some of the challenges both teen and parent had to face. Strong messages about building good character and overcoming temptation are paramount in this tale. Forgiveness and earning trust are there too. Do yourself a favor and watch this inspirational movie.
21 people found this helpful
MalagentReviewed in the United States on December 26, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Don't expect immersion into a fantasy world. You are an observer, looking back at Alice's life.
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I'm not concerned with whether it based on a specific person or not, the tale is true enough. I've not read the book so I lack that perspective that so many other reviewers have. In any case, though it is worth the time as a cautionary tale. Whilst some complained about the acting, I think the "style" is fitting. It does not seem as though full immersion was the goal. Rather it appears the intent was to be a complete third party observer. In that, it works well and gets the story told efficaciously.
Aside from Andy Griffith, I recognized no one. Not even Shatner at first. The quality shows the age of the film of course but that too add a to the feeling of being an almost disinterested observer.
12 people found this helpful
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United States on November 26, 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
Fear mongering propaganda
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Propaganda. throwing all drugs into one, and making it out like they're all the same: nothing other than destructive...this is willful ignorance and an individual scale...on a culture scale....propaganda. Alice has addiction problems to speed, or at least a synthesized drug, yet classically drugs like mushrooms get dragged in and this straight up offends me. Psilocybin is not addictive, or harmful at all....literally! In other news look into the holy mushroom theory, or the santa clause folklore with aminta muscaria...
10 people found this helpful
Lori A. MillerReviewed in the United States on July 22, 2020
3.0 out of 5 stars
A Trip of a Movie
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This is a (fictitious) story about a teenage girl, Alice, who gets involved in drugs in the early seventies. Alice is shy and timid, and when her only friend at her new school leaves for the summer, Alice falls in with a bad crowd and starts using hard drugs. She eventually runs away from home and lives on the streets.

Some call this story unrealistic, but my sister lived this way for years. The scenario of heavy drug use putting someone on the street isn't pulled out of thin air.

But the plot has its holes. With sympathetic parents, it's hard to see why Alice ran away and stayed on the street for months. Later on, why would she drink someone else's soda, and how could she have locked herself in a closet? And since when do kids who don't use drugs shun other kids who've sobered up?

Despite its faults, the movie was mostly well acted. Jamie Smith-Jackson portrayed Alice's varying moods well. Will Shatner blended into his role as Alice's tender father so well that he was hard to recognize, but Andy Griffith didn't seem like a priest: it was probably poor casting to select someone who'd convincingly played a rock star. McKenzie Phillips fit the bill as a teenage runaway.

Being filmed so close to the era it was set in, the music, the fashions are accurate (though the boys' long hair and girls' trousers were still verboten in some high schools).

In all, it's not a bad way to spend an hour and a quarter.
One person found this helpful
A. BrunelleReviewed in the United States on June 1, 2020
3.0 out of 5 stars
Looks more like an after-school special than a movie
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It's a movie about not doing drugs. I know it came out in the 1970's, so it's not going to have high production values, but it just wasn't very good in terms of depth and it looked like all the drugs she was taking were mostly vague and the fact she gets dosed with LSD twice without her knowledge is a bit far-fetched. Especially that second time where she's got her head bandaged and all her fingers in casts after someone mega-doses her with the drug.

This is supposedly based on a real diary, but I remember reading the book when I was in high school and it had far better descriptions of what was going on and it's silly that they tried to make this into a movie. If this was a real diary, her parents must have thought it was SO important that everyone hear her story that they made a book and a movie out of it. I'm sure they made out pretty well in this whole ordeal. That is, if Alice even existed. It's pretty easy to fake something like this, so who knows?
3 people found this helpful
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