The Actress (1953)

The Actress DVD

 Spencer Tracy, Jean Simmons, Teresa Wright, Anthony Perkins
Directed by: George Cukor

Synopsis: Based on Ruth Gordon’s stageplay about her early life and her decision to become an actress.  Ruth’s father, Clinton Jones (Spencer Tracy) is a former sailor working hard to make sure his family will never know poverty, but his harsh demeanor and frugal ways have his daughter Ruth (Jean Simmons) and wife Annie (Teresa Wright) afraid to tell him about Ruth’s stage aspirations.  Ruth is also being courted by college student Fred Whitmarsh (Anthony Perkins) who hopes he will win Ruth’s heart away from the theater.

Featured Feline: Right after the opening credits we see a series of pictures from Ruth’s photo album.  Included in these is one picture of a cat with the caption “Punk – Age 3 years of age.”  Punk is an overweight tabby cat which lives with the Jones family and causes them some consternation.  Annie is forever scolding Punk for jumping up on the piano to eat her Boston fern.  Clinton doesn’t like the cat sleeping on the heat register and having the air blow his fur and germs around the house.  And Ruth thinks owning a cat is tacky-looking.

The Actress Punk

Still and all the family really loves Punk and despite putting him outside at night in the cold they take him back in to put in the cellar when he scratches at the window.  Punk steals the film in his every scene, especially jumping over Spencer Tracy’s legs (although in truth it looks like Punk was thrown over his legs more than jumped of his own volition.)  Punk was even singled out as notable by some film critics of the day for his performance in this movie . . . one reviewer even praised Anthony Perkins after mentioning Punk!

The Actress Punk at window

Final Mewsings: The people complain about living with the cat . . . if only the cat could talk!

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