Wednesday, January 16, 2019


Priest Andy Griffith comforts troubled teen 
Jamie Smith-Jackson in Go Ask Alice

I remember having a fifth grade class discussion about  the TV movie Go Ask Alice right after it first aired. The basic opinion from this discussion (from what I remember) is that drugs are not the way to go if one wants to avoid ending up like the troubled teen Alice from the movie.

Fast forward a few years: Well, maybe taking drugs does have some advantages. They must, as I "experimented" in this world here and there for a time. Though to take different drugs as indiscriminately like Alice does in the movie is pretty ridiculous! This movie is square, man!

Fast forward to watching it today: Long past any drug phase for this viewer, I think the movie comes across as effective, if not kind of dated. We sympathize greatly with Alice, though she does seem to become a drug addict rather quickly, but that's part of the problem when you are dealing with a 73 minute running time-things have to happen in a hurry!

The book: The book of the same name is still a popular read in schools. We still have fifteen copies on our shelf in our library system. The author is listed as anonymous, a real diary from a 15-year-old who (as we learn from the final voice over narration from the film) gets hooked on drugs after seemingly kicking her habits and dies. This seems to be a very convenient way to not trace the book to an original author. It is generally agreed that the actual author is Beatrice Sparks, who was a therapist and youth counselor who died in 2012 at the age of 95.

The music: We do get to hear some generic music versions of some familiar songs such as Dear Mr. Fantasy, Good Vibrations and (of course) White Rabbit.

The cast: Andy Griffith and William Shatner (who plays the dad) reunited the following year in Pray for the Wildcats. Charles Martin Smith and Mackenzie Phillips re-team later that year in George Lucas's American Graffiti. There is also a bit part from future revenge seeking nerd, Robert Carradine.

Jamie Smith-Jackson plays Alice. She played another teen in trouble the previous year in Satan's School for Girls.

Go Ask Alice: the book
Still listed under Anonymous

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