Old Movie Teams

Weren’t they also in that other movie?

Jean Simmons & Teresa Wright

In The Actress (1953) and The Happy Ending (1969) Jean Simmons plays the daughter to Teresa Wright’s role as the mother. In The Actress, the mother is played as one in sympathy with her daughter’s aspiration for making a career on the stage, and serves as an influence intent on calming the husband/father (played by Spencer Tracy) who at first objects to his daughter’s goal. The Happy Ending finds the mother/daughter relationship strained, with Ms. Wright’s character anything but sympathetic to her daughter’s aspirations to escape a floundering marriage and career as a housewife. Although The Actress is a period piece with a backdrop of the traditional values of early 20th century life in America while The Happy Ending is contemporary to and reflects the changing attitudes about traditional roles for men and women in the late 20th century, the two films find common ground in not only the happy outcomes of inevitable acceptance, albeit begrudging, of a daughter’s choices, but also in the fact that in these two films, the only films in which these actresses appear together, Jean Simmons and Teresa Wright are portraying the only relationship on screen that they ever had to one another.

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