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The Actress (MGM 1953, Spencer Tracy, Jean Simmons

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George Cukor directed this charming version of actress/writer Ruth Gordon’s autobiographical play Years Ago, which details the struggles of a starry-eyed teenager (Jean Simmons) to convince her crusty father (Spencer Tracy) that she is meant for a career on the stage. With the help of her understanding mother (Teresa Wright), the girl overcomes her father’s objections and even manages to turn him around. Tracy is wonderful; Anthony Perkins makes his screen debut as a gawky suitor.

Ruth Gordon had to overcome a great deal at the beginning of her own very successful stage career: told she had no talent, she was dropped by the American Academy of Dramatic Arts after a single term.

production details
cast
Spencer Tracy as Clinton Jones
Jean Simmons as Ruth Gordon 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
Norma Jean Nilsson as Anna
Dawn Bender as Katherine
Erville Alderson as Mike McGrath (uncredited)

crew
Director: George Cukor
Producer: Lawrence Weingarten
Cinematography: Harold ‘Hal’ Rosson
Editor: George Boemler
Music: Bronislau Kaper
Script: Ruth Gordon
Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons, Arthur Lonergan

USA / MGM / 90 minutes / 1953

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