Jean Simmons

Pencil Portrait by Antonio Bosano.

Jean Simmons Pencil Portrait
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The quality of the prints are at a much higher level compared to the image shown on the left.


A3 Pencil Print-Price £45.00-Purchase

A4 Pencil Print-Price £30.00-Purchase

*Limited edition run of 250 prints only*

All Pencil Prints are printed on the finest Bockingford Somerset Velvet 255 gsm paper.

P&P is not included in the above prices.


Jean Simmons was an authentic beauty even in the age of Vivien Leigh and Elizabeth Taylor. Rather more understated than her rivals, she had an early monopoly on every quixotic female role going, yet grew in stature after she moved to America to become a valued actress. Her generally proper, if not patrician, manner had an intriguing way of conflicting with her large eyes, those dark and inviting limpid pools that complemented a mouth that turned up at the corners as the devil in her took hold.

She was a huge star and yet she had commercially peaked by her mid twenties. Thereafter, there would be the occasional reminder of what might have been – her role in “Home before dark” (1958) as a woman having a nervous breakdown, and then as the 60’s petered out, her performance in ‘The Happy Ending’(1969), which secured for her a second oscar nomination as a woman reflecting on a lifelong unhappy marriage. An escalating drink problem blighted her latter day career but she recovered well and contributed some worthy, if largely overlooked, performances in major television productions. It just could have all been so very different.

Recommended viewing

The Clouded Yellow (1951)

The first of thirty two films (including the immensely popular Doctor series), to result from the teaming of producer Betty Box and director Ralph Thomas, “The Clouded Yellow” is now widely viewed as an understated signpost to the future direction of the British film history.

Trevor Howard is David Somers, the beleagured agent facing removal from the Secret Service and a new civvy street job cataloguing butterflies in the country (the Clouded Yellow of the title) and Jean Simmons is Sophie, the traumatised orphan who lives with his new employer, a family straining under the weight of mental manipulation and vindictive games. The tension filled interplay between Sonia Dresdel, believably spiteful and jealous as the aunt and Simmons is central to the storyline whilst Barry Jones is both deceptively disarming and machevellian in equal measures. When Sophie is framed for the murder of local menace Hick, an arrogant, childish and mean jack-the-lad who divides his time between trapping rabbits and seducing her aunt, Sommers goes on the run with the troubled waif to buy time whilst he tracks down the real killer.

Based on a story by Janet Green who later wrote the screenplay for Victim (1961), a landmark film in the history of British cinema, ‘The Clouded Yellow’ is a taut thriller, with echoes of Buchan’s “The 39 Steps” in its visual sequencing. Boasting a cinema verite quality with its copious use of actual location shots, the central characters are pursued across the north of England by the authorities at breathneck speed. Crisscrossing the upper Tyne valley, the couple move between Newcastle and Liverpool, the key scenes a veritable goldmine for historic transport enthusiasts. There are trolley buses outside Newcastle Central station and the Liverpudlian scenes boast wonderful footage of the Overhead Railway and the the docks line that ran beneath it at ground level.

Trevor Howard convinces as the world weary ex-MI5 operative and Jean Simmons conveys the subtleties of Sophie’s vulnerability with aplomb. Moviewise, it’s a longstanding favourite of mine and a welcome diversion from film channels when the scheduling goes into CGI overload.


Light on text but some nice pictures.