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Cynthia
     

Cynthia

5.0 1
Director: Robert Z. Leonard, Morris Ankrum, Elizabeth Taylor, George Murphy

Cast: Robert Z. Leonard, Morris Ankrum, Elizabeth Taylor, George Murphy

 
Fifteen-year-old Elizabeth Taylor receives her first screen kiss in the innocuous MGM confection Cynthia. Taylor plays the title character, a sickly, sheltered young lady who is never permitted the companionship of other teenagers. Frustrated though Cynthia may be, she has nothing on her parents, Larry and Louise Bishop (George Murphy and Mary Astor), who feel

Overview

Fifteen-year-old Elizabeth Taylor receives her first screen kiss in the innocuous MGM confection Cynthia. Taylor plays the title character, a sickly, sheltered young lady who is never permitted the companionship of other teenagers. Frustrated though Cynthia may be, she has nothing on her parents, Larry and Louise Bishop (George Murphy and Mary Astor), who feel they could have gotten a lot further in life had they remained childless Only by discovering that she has a gorgeous (albeit dubbed) singing voice is Cynthia able to break out of her shell and join the high school choir, under the benevolent leadership of cuddly Professor Rosencrantz (S. Z. Sakall). Along the way, the girl's parents overcome their resentment and learn to appreciate their daughter for the prize that she is. As a bonus, Cynthia also falls in love with Ricky Latham (James Lydon), who bestows that historic first kiss on her blushing cheek (Elizabeth Taylor and James Lydon would later be reteamed in Warner Bros.' Life with Father). Based on a play by Vina Delmar, Cynthia is a "programmer" by MGM standards, but an "A"-picture by any other studio's standards.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
Elizabeth Taylor cut such a wide swathe with her films and career across a period of nearly half-a-century, in everything from outsized epics (Cleopatra) to Tennessee Williams adaptations (Cat On A Hot Tin Roof etc.), that the tendency is to overlook her early, studio-generated movies at MGM -- even the good ones, and especially the interesting ones, of which Cynthia is one of the best. Her portrayal of a girl driven to illness and seeming incapacity by her parents' fears and frustrations is wonderfully subtle and touching, and she elicits great poignancy, especially in the second half of the movie, as she blossoms in spite of the parental and social pressures working against her. And in doing so, she shows the way forward for both of her parents, in a sequence of events that prove as light-hearted as they are charming -- after a brief moment in which the audience is, seemingly, made ready for a tragic turn that never comes. Equally fine are Mary Astor as her understanding but frustrated mother and George Murphy as her father, a man of promise and ambition who has been pushed into doormat status by his fear of life's risks -- Astor had given (and continued to give, for years after) many fine performances, but Murphy, nearing the end of his acting career, was finding a vulnerable side to his cheerful, glib-tongued Irish persona that adds immeasurably to the pleasures of this movie (indeed, it's almost as though he was following the same arc with his talent as James Dunn). The rest of the cast, headed by James Lydon as Taylor's nice-guy would-be beau and Gene Lockhart and Spring Byington as parents of a nasty rival, is just as good. And director Robert Z. Leonard catches just the right tone and nuance in his handling of the scenes to help make this little-remembered movie both a charming piece of small-town Americana and a delightful early credit in Taylor's career.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/21/2009
UPC:
0883316173916
Original Release:
1947
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Archives
Presentation:
[B&W, Full Frame]
Time:
1:38:00
Sales rank:
17,407

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Morris Ankrum Mr. Phillips
Elizabeth Taylor Cynthia Bishop
George Murphy Larry Bishop
Scotty Beckett Will Parker
S.Z. Sakall Prof. Rosenkrantz
Mary Astor Louise Bishop
Carol Brannan Fredonia Jannings
Harlan Briggs J.M. Dingle
Spring Byington Carrie Jannings
Gene Lockhart Dr. Fred I. Jannings
Barbara Challis Alice
Kathleen Howard McQuillan
Shirley Johns Stella Regan
Jimmy Lydon Ricky Latham
Anna Q. Nilsson Miss Brady
Will Wright Gus Wood

Technical Credits
Robert Z. Leonard Director
Harold Buchman Screenwriter
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Johnny Green Songwriter,Musical Direction/Supervision
Irene Costumes/Costume Designer
Bronislau Kaper Score Composer
Charles S. Kaufman Screenwriter
Edwin H. Knopf Producer
Paul G. Chamberlain Set Decoration/Design
Charles E. Schoenbaum Cinematographer
Irvine Warburton Editor
Edwin B. Willis Set Decoration/Design

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Cynthia 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
bluesiamese More than 1 year ago
Loved, loved, loved this film! Great acting and plot gets you hooked early on.... "Cynthia" is Ms. Taylor at her very brightest and most beautiful! Great ~ Why don't they make movies like this anymore?! Cynthia Bailey ~