Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Cynthia (1947).

Cynthia (1947). Directed by Robert Z. Leonard. Cast: Elizabeth Taylor, George Murphy, S.Z. Sakall, Mary Astor.

Louise Bishop, now a grown woman remembers back in time, when she was a freshman studying music at Wyandott College and when she fell in love with baseball player, Larry Bishop. Louise shares with Larry, her dreams of continuing her studies at the Vienna Conservatory. Larry, tells her that he too plans to go to Vienna to study medicine.

The following summer, Louise goes to Michigan, while Larry returns to home, to work at J. M. Dingle's hardware store. When Larry and Louise return to school in the fall, they are married. Louise discovers that she is pregnant they and they both move to Napoleon, to raise their beautiful daughter Cynthia, who is born frail. When, the doctor bills begin to pile up, Louise and Larry realize that they may never be able to return to their studies.

Cynthia, who is now fifteen years old and still frail, is unaware that her parents made many sacrifices for her. Goes to see her voice instructor, Professor Rosenkrantz, who suggests that she audition for the next school opera.

Larry, is still working for Dingle's hardware store and now wants to buy the house that they are renting. Fred, however, refuses to give his endorsement for Larry's bank loan, and Louise is not too happy about the idea, because of her dreams of continuing her studies at the Vienna Conservatory.

Unable, to participate in most of the school activities because of her health, Cynthia begins to feel like an outcast, until her singing attracts the attention of popular, Ricky Latham. Cynthia, lands the leading role in the school play, but Louise and Larry are concerned that she does not have the physical strength to perform in the show. Their fears come true, when Cynthia, comes down with the flu and has to drop out of the play.

After, Cynthia returns to school, Ricky asks her to be his date for the spring dance. Louise secretly allows Cynthia, to attend the dance against her husbands wishes. While, Cynthia has a wonderful time at the ball, Larry learns that he was tricked and gets into an argument with Louise.

The next morning, Larry oversleeps and is late for work, the first time in fifteen years. When Dingle confronts him, he quits his job and plans to move his family to Chicago. Louise, is happy to see that her husband has finally stood up for himself, but Cynthia does not want to move. Will the family decide to stay in Napoleon or follow their dreams?

I just finished watching Cynthia, for the first time. I think Elizabeth Taylor fans, will love this fluffy classic film. Here, at fifteen, she still has got a lot of her girlish charm.

The teenage Taylor, did not really want to continue making films, but her stage mother forced Taylor to practice until she could cry on cue. Her mother watched her during filming, signaling to change her delivery or a mistake.

Taylor, was so poorly educated that she needed to use her fingers to do basic arithmetic. When at age 16 Taylor told her parents that she wanted to quit acting for a normal childhood, however, Sara Taylor told her that she was ungrateful: "You have a responsibility, Elizabeth. Not just to this family, but to the country now, the whole world".


  1. Awesome post Dawn! Loved it!

  2. Awesome post! It's easy to compare Elizabeth Taylor to Natalie Wood...both had extremely overbearing stage mothers.

  3. Kristen, you are right. I had forgoten that.

  4. Kristen, ( I tried to leave this comment on your "Calamity Jane" post, but it would not go through). I bet it would be hard for someone taking a Women in Film class, to watch the classic film, "Calamity Jane". I enjoyed Doris Day, in the role of the tomboy/cowgirl, who gets a much needed makeover and hooks her man. Doris, was a great actress and singer and "Calamity Jane", for me.. is one of the best musical movies of the 1950s.


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