6.6/10
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The Actress (1953)

Former seaman Clinton Jones now works at a lowly job. His daughter Ruth wants to become an actress. Clinton gets fired and Ruth rejects the advances of Fred Whitmarsh. Her father gives her ... See full summary »

Director:

George Cukor

Writers:

Ruth Gordon (screen play), Ruth Gordon (from: her stage play "Years Ago")
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Spencer Tracy ... Clinton Jones
Jean Simmons ... Ruth Gordon Jones
Teresa Wright ... Annie Jones
Anthony Perkins ... Fred Whitmarsh
Ian Wolfe ... Mr. Bagley
Kay Williams ... Hazel Dawn
Mary Wickes ... Emma Glavey
Norma Jean Nilsson Norma Jean Nilsson ... Anna
Dawn Bender Dawn Bender ... Katherine
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Storyline

Former seaman Clinton Jones now works at a lowly job. His daughter Ruth wants to become an actress. Clinton gets fired and Ruth rejects the advances of Fred Whitmarsh. Her father gives her his seaman's spyglass to sell as she heads for New York City. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

There's hope and heart-ache in the adventures of a stage-struck daughter!


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 September 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Years Ago See more »

Filming Locations:

Inglewood, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,424,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Debbie Reynolds was MGM and George Cukor's first choice to play Ruth Gordon. After some time, Cukor began to have doubts about her. He thought that although she had the right qualities for the part, she was lacking in other areas. He especially didn't like that she wasn't familiar with Shakespeare. He didn't think her test was all that good and cast Jean Simmons] instead. See more »

Goofs

In a scene late in the film set in the kitchen, the light fixture over the kitchen table is seen (and heard!) to rise up to allow the camera to pass below it. See more »

Quotes

Annie Jones: Now. Wasn't that enjoyable?
Ruth Gordon Jones: I wish I was dead.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown over the cover of a photo album, and the film begins by showing us various photos from inside the album. See more »

Connections

Version of The Ford Theatre Hour: Years Ago (1948) See more »

Soundtracks

Silent Night, Holy Night
(1818) (uncredited)
Music by Franz Xaver Gruber
In the score for photo album pictures
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ruth Gordon's Bygone days
27 October 2005 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Based on Ruth Gordon's play Years Ago about her childhood, The Actress is a good and uplifting tale about a young girl following her dream. Young Ruth Gordon Jones living in a Boston suburb dreams about going on stage. She doesn't get too much encouragement from her parents, Spencer Tracy and Teresa Wright.

That does not stop our Ruth. She's determined to make it in the theater, but there is a matter of cash.

Spencer Tracy is a former seaman who now works at a lowly factory job and needs every dime to support wife, daughter, and a cat that's not particularly fond of him. This is not one of Tracy's better known roles and that's a pity because it's one of his best performances.

He downplays his daughter's ambitions almost until the very end of the film. I won't reveal any more, but there is an interesting dinner scene which is the key to the film. Very similar to the breakfast scene with Adolphe Menjou and Kate Hepburn in State of the Union where he tells them of his ideas for when and if he becomes president. Only here he tells the family the reasons for why believes as he does.

Although Jean Simmons was well beyond being a senior in high school she's a good enough actress to make it believable. It was certainly a more innocent time.

The Actress is a fine production from MGM and director George Cukor, pity it isn't out on VHS or DVD.


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