Produced and Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Released: April 28, 1928
Featured cast: Norma Shearer, Ralph Forbes, Owen Moore, Gwen Lee
Producer: Irving Thalberg
Director: Sidney Franklin
Screenwriters: Albert Lewin, Richard Schayer; Joe Farnham (titles)
Source: the Arthur Wing Pinero play, Trelawny of the ‘Wells’
Cinematographer: William Daniels
A stage star is unprepared for the prejudice she encounters when she marries into the aristocracy.
“The first picture to be placed into work in 1928 at the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio was The Actress, a Norma Shearer vehicle which Sidney Franklin is directing.”
- “Actress Unit First to Go into Work in 1928,” Motion Picture News, January 14, 1928.
“The Actress is a pleasant little dream for a July evening, a bit sentimental—but having no worrying problems. Miss Shearer plays her part acceptably, even though in one or two spots, she has a tendency to overact.”
- Mordaunt Hall, The New York Times, July 9, 1928
‘‘With Norma Shearer unattractive in the early parts of the picture, owing to the strange makeup and camera treatment which sharpens and ages her features, the picture cannot be rated a strong draw generally, despite the prominence of the star, though it should do moderate business in most cases.”
- Variety, July 11, 1928
LETTERS FROM REGIONAL THEATER OWNERS
“Nothing to this one. Just a bunch of film. Print and photography good, but there wasn’t any of my patrons that liked this.”
- P.G. Held, Strand Theatre, Griswold, Iowa, Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World, November 24, 1928
“A very good picture which gave general satisfaction.”
- Giacoma Bros., Crystal Theatre, Tombstone, Arizona, Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World, December 8, 1928
“Went over fairly well but was nothing to remember."
- A.G. Hooper, Ideal Theatre, Stanwood, Washington, Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World, December 8, 1928
The Actress cost $358,000 and grossed $595,000.
(These figures have not been adjusted for inflation nor do they include profits from reissues, television syndication, and home entertainment formats.)