'Katherine Hepburn' credits director George Stevens for her change in the public's perception, by helping her, in "Alice Adams", portray more warmth and vulnerability than she had ever shown previously.
"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on January 3, 1938 with Fred MacMurray reprising his film role.
Katharine Hepburn always viewed Alice as one of her personal favorite roles.
Katharine Hepburn wanted William Wyler to direct the movie (at the suggestion of George Cukor), but producer Pandro S. Berman favored George Stevens. Rumor has it that it was decided by the toss of a coin. In fact, Berman remembers that Wyler actually won the coin toss, but Stevens had completely won Hepburn over by that time, so when she saw that Wyler won the toss she had a look of disappointment on her face. The coin was tossed again, and this time Stevens won and he directed the picture.
Jane Loring, the frequent editor of Katharine Hepburn, did not receive onscreen credit, and studio files indicate she was paid out of the directing budget.
RKO executives wanted Randolph Scott for the Fred MacMurray role, but he was involved in the production of So Red the Rose.
The original script ending followed the ending of the novel, in which Alice grows up and gets a job - she does not get Arthur in the end. Katharine Hepburn and George Stevens both much preferred this ending, but the studio made Stevens film a happier ending in which Alice and Arthur end up together, which is seen in the final cut.
There was a disagreement among Katharine Hepburn and George Stevens about the post-party scene. The script called for Hepburn to fall onto the bed and break into sobs, but Stevens wanted her to walk to the window and cry, with the rain falling outside. Hepburn could not produce the tears required, so she asked Stevens if she could do the scene as scripted. Stevens yelled furiously at Hepburn, which did the trick and the scene was filmed Stevens' way, and Hepburn's tears are real.
Though Bette Davis won the 1935 Academy Award/Oscar for Dangerous beating out Katharine Hepburn in "Alice Adams", Davis was noted for saying more than once that she didn't deserve the award that year and that the one who did was Katherine Hepburn.