Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||George Cukor|
|Produced by||Lawrence Weingarten|
|Written by||Ruth Gordon|
|Music by||Bronisław Kaper|
|Edited by||George Boemler|
|Running time||90 minutes|
The Actress is an 1953 American comedy-drama film based on Ruth Gordon's autobiographical play Years Ago. Gordon herself wrote the screenplay. The film was directed by George Cukor and stars Jean Simmons, Spencer Tracy, Teresa Wright, and Anthony Perkins in his film debut.
The film basically is a series of vignettes involving Ruth, her parents, her best friends, and the college boy romantically pursuing her. Although Gordon did in fact become an accomplished Academy Award-winning actress and a successful writer, the film ends without the audience seeing Gordon achieve her goals.
The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Black-and-White Costume Design. Tracy won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture Actor in a Drama and was nominated for a BAFTA as Best Foreign Actor. Simmons was named Best Actress by the National Board of Review, and Gordon's screenplay was nominated Best Written American Comedy by the Writers Guild of America, despite being far more dramatic than comedic.
In 1913 Wollaston, Massachusetts, teenage student Ruth Gordon Jones (Jean Simmons) dreams of a theatrical career after becoming mesmerized by a performance of The Pink Lady in a Boston theater. Encouraged to pursue her dream by real-life leading lady Hazel Dawn in response to a fan letter she sent her, Ruth schemes to drop out of school and move to New York City, much to the dismay of her father, Clinton Jones (Spencer Tracy), a former seaman now working at a menial factory job, who urges her to continue her education and become a physical education instructor instead. When Ruth's audition with a leading producer proves disastrous and the girl's enthusiasm is crushed, her father offers to support her during her first few months in New York if she will at least get her high school diploma.
- Spencer Tracy as Clinton Jones
- Jean Simmons as Ruth Gordon Jones
- Teresa Wright as Annie Jones
- Anthony Perkins as Fred Whitmarsh (film debut)
- Ian Wolfe as Mr. Bagley
- Kay Williams as Hazel Dawn
- Mary Wickes as Emma Glavey
- Norma Jean Nilsson as Anna Williams
- Dawn Bender as Katherine Follets
- Jackie Coogan as Inopportune (uncredited)
- The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
- IMDB Awards
- James Curtis, Spencer Tracy: A Biography, Alfred Knopf, 2011 p654
- The Actress at the Internet Movie Database
- The Actress at the TCM Movie Database
- The Actress at AllMovie
- Years Ago at Internet Broadway Database, play on which film is based