The Actress (1953) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Actress1953

The Actress (1953)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Actress Photos

Movie Info

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).

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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
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Critic Reviews for The Actress

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (1)

It has charm and humor, but not enough plot to last a full-length movie.

June 24, 2019 | Full Review…

Ruth Gordon's memoirs of her New England girlhood have been turned into a warm, funny movie.

December 2, 2019 | Full Review…

An autobiographical snapshot in time of Ruth Gordon's life as a young determined girl with the dream of being on the stage, the dream of being an actress. A wonderful script penned by Ruth Gordon herself!

February 6, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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.

February 1, 2012 | Rating: C- | Full Review…

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),

April 4, 2011 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Actress


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

The Actress Quotes

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