Cukor filmed this tender, autumnal family comedy from an autobiographical play by the great Ruth Gordon (her last of six collaborations with Cukor). Jean Simmons is radiant as a young woman itching to flee her sleepy New England town for a big-city acting career, but the film ultimately belongs to Spencer Tracy as her reluctant, conflicted father: a beautifully understated study in feuding good intentions. Bathed in a wistful, nostalgic afterglow, The Actress is a sensitive slice of Americana—with a standout turn from first-time actor Anthony Perkins. “Among Cukor’s least known movies,” said Peter Bogdanovich, “it is also one of his purest.”

  • Directed By George Cukor
  • 1953
  • USA
  • 35mm
  • 90 minutes