- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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- kevin sellers
I agree with previous reviewer Red Rain that Tracy, and especially Wright (in the harder role of the passive parent), are excellent and I think that Jean Simmons, after a bit of a wrestling match, manages to be more winsome than cloying. However, I am also in agreement with previous reviewer Jay that this film is a bit underwhelming. And the culprit, in my opinion, is Ruth Gordon's screenplay, adapted from her play. Put simply, there's no third act! Consider that two thirds of the way through the film Tracy's autocratic father vehemently opposes his daughter's stage aspirations and then voila! Simmons confesses her love for the stage and Tracy uncharacteristically and unbelievably collapses like a weak proscenium and says he'll fully support her ambitions if she'll only graduate high school, hardly an unreasonable position, and certainly one guaranteed to suck all the conflict and dramatic tension out of the movie, so that the last third, with the exception of Tracy's soliloquy about his abusive parents, has very much the feel of tying up loose ends. So, balancing this rather gaping story hole against the pleasures of period detail (i.e. the wonderful YMCA stuff) , the aforesaid fine performances, Tony Perkins' rather remarkably normal film debut, and Punk the cat (love that prolonged bite on Tracy's hand!), let's give it a generous B minus.
Tracy at his best!
The script is a bit wordy in this film but is saved by Spencer Tracy who is just superb as the Father to Jean Simmons. I also want to point to Teresa Wright's performance as the Mother. She has to run interference between her daughter who wants to be an actress and the Father who appears to be always in a bad humor. Wright is not one of my favorite actresses but she is very good here and I think any Mother can certainly put herself in those "middle" shoes. Tracy received yet another Academy Award nomination for his role in this film and the critics went wild over it at the time. As good as Simmons and Wright are, it is Tracy who is the film's center and moves it along. It should have been called "The Actress's Father!"
- Cyril Murray
I loved every moment of that movie. I'm wondering if anyone knows the title of the Piano Piece that played in that movie.
I just recently saw this movie for the first time and I love it! I have it on demand on our cable and watch it a lot. Love old movies and this one has become one of my top 10.
The Actress (1953)
Well acted drama, great cast but certainly not one of my favorite Spencer Tracy or George Cukor films. Nice period detail, good score and great costume design. I would have expected more from the talent involved, but it's still good.
This film features a sharp, funny and absorbing script (based on Ruth Gordon's autobiographical play), beautiful direction by Cukor, and at the head of a terrific cast Spencer Tracy giving one of his very best performances. He imbues this tyrannical, cantankerous miser with so much soul that you learn to like and forgive him. Jean Simmons is marvelous, too, and there are so many classic lines. It also boasts Anthony Perkins' screen debut. A must for many reasons!