Dreamchild is a 1985 British drama film written by Dennis Potter, directed by Gavin Millar and produced by Rick McCallum and Kenith Trodd. It stars Coral Browne, Ian Holm, Peter Gallagher, Nicola Cowper and Amelia Shankley and is a fictionalised account of Alice Liddell, the child who inspired Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
The story is told from the point of view of the elderly Alice (now the widowed Mrs Hargreaves) as she travels to the United States from England to receive an honorary degree from Columbia University celebrating the centenary of Lewis Carroll's birth. It shares common themes with Potter's television play Alice (1965).
The film evolves from the factual to the hallucinatory as Alice revisits her memories of the Reverend Charles Dodgson (Holm), in Victorian-era Oxford to her immediate present in Depression-era New York.
Accompanied by a shy young orphan named Lucy (Cowper), old Alice must make her way through the modern world of tabloid journalism and commercial exploitation while attempting to come to peace with her conflicted childhood with the Oxford don.
The film begins on the ship bearing Alice (Coral Browne) and Lucy from England to New York. As she and Lucy (Nicola Cowper) disembark, they are set upon by several journalists, all trying to get a story or quote from her. Clearly bewildered by all the excitement, she is befriended by an ex-reporter, Jack Dolan (Peter Gallagher), who helps her and Lucy through the legions of the press. Dolan quickly becomes her agent and finds endorsement opportunities for her. Throughout it all, a romance develops between Jack and Lucy.