The Actress (1953)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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This drama is based on Years Ago, one of several autobiographies by actress/playwright Ruth Gordon. Gordon is determined to become a famous stage star despite the objections of her stubborn ex-sea-captain father Clinton Jones (Spencer Tracy).
Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Distributing Corp.


Jean Simmons
as Ruth Gordon Jones
Spencer Tracy
as Clinton Jones
Teresa Wright
as Annie Jones
Anthony Perkins
as Fred Whitmarsh
Ian Wolfe
as Mr. Bagley
Kay Williams
as Hazel Dawn
Mary Wickes
as Emma Glavey
Dawn Bender
as Katherine
Jackie Coogan
as Heckler
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Critic Reviews for The Actress

All Critics (2)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | February 22, 2012
Top Critic

Sadly, if she was guilty of trying too hard or of trying in the wrong way, Cukor appears totally and uncharacteristically checked out... The Actress exposes the kinds of fraying seams that Cukor was usually so careful to conceal even in tattier projects.

Full Review… | February 1, 2012
Nick's Flick Picks

George Cukor's screen version of Ruth Gordon's memoirs is well acted by Jean Simmons in the lead and Anthony Perkins (making his screen debut),

Full Review… | April 4, 2011

Audience Reviews for The Actress


I've never been in a situation yet where having a little money made situations worse. Clinton Jones is a poor seaman that has settled down to a job where he barely makes enough to feed his family and make ends meet. His daughter has just turned seventeen and is about to graduate from high school. She decides her career path is to become an actress, but she doesn't know where to begin to make her dream come true. Jones, who is a bit old fashion, will do whatever he can to make his daughter's dreams come true. "It isn't only men you have to worry about. Women are worse than men." George Cukor, director of My Fair Lady, A Star is Born, Adam's Rib, The Philadelphia Story, Born Yesterday, A Life of her Own, Pat and Mike, and Holiday, delivers The Actress. The storyline for this movie is very good and fairly standard for this time period (a struggling family trying to make ends meet). The characters are well developed and the acting is first rate. The cast includes Spencer Tracy, Jean Simmons, Teresa Wright, and Anthony Perkins. "What she knows you could fit in a frog's ear." I DVR almost all of Spencer Tracy's pictures that air on cable that I have not seen. This is a movie I DVR'd some time ago and finally got around to watching. I must say this movie has a "Christmas Story" feel to it with ups and downs and a few comedic sequences. Overall, this is a fun movie that is definitely worth watching at least once. "That's my own blood." Grade: A-

Kevin Robbins
Kevin Robbins

The beautiful Jean Simmons stars as Ruth Jones, a 17-year old girl in the early 20th century who wants to be an actress so badly that -- with typical teenage girl angst -- she wants to die. Her mother (Teresa Wright) knows of her dreams, but they are both afraid to tell Ruth's gruff seaman father (Spencer Tracy). When she finally tells him, she gets a surprise as to what she learns of her father's past. This film would have been entertaining on its own merits, but that it's based on fact makes it that much better. The story is based on the early years of Ruth Gordon, known for such roles as the Satan-worshipping neighbor in Rosemary's Baby and the life-affirming old lady in Harold and Maude. I am not familiar with Ruth Gordon's early work, but if Jean Simmons' swooning and weeping dramatics are any indication, Ms. Gordon was born to be an actress (although Spencer Tracy nearly steals the film from Simmons.)

Cindy I
Cindy I

Super Reviewer

Jean Simmons is great in this. Spencer Tracy and Teresa Wright good as her parents.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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