6.3/10
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Cynthia (1947)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama | 29 August 1947 (USA)
Sickly girl finds an outlet in music.

Director:

Robert Z. Leonard

Writers:

Harold Buchman, Viña Delmar (play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Elizabeth Taylor ... Cynthia Bishop
George Murphy ... Larry Bishop
S.Z. Sakall ... Prof. Rosenkrantz
Mary Astor ... Louise Bishop
Gene Lockhart ... Dr. Fred I. Jannings
Spring Byington ... Carrie Jannings
Jimmy Lydon ... Ricky Latham
Scotty Beckett ... Will Parker
Carol Brannon Carol Brannon ... Fredonia Jannings (as Carol Brannan)
Anna Q. Nilsson ... Miss Brady, English Teacher
Morris Ankrum ... Mr. Phillips, Principal
Kathleen Howard ... Mac McQuillan, Jannings' Nurse
Shirley Johns Shirley Johns ... Stella Regan
Barbara Challis Barbara Challis ... Alice
Harlan Briggs ... J.M. Dingle, Napoleon Hardware
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Storyline

Sickly girl finds an outlet in music.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You'll fall in love with Cynthia

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 August 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cynthia: The Rich, Full Life See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,318,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Was originally designed as a singing project for Jane Powell. See more »

Connections

Featured in That's Entertainment! (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

Melody of Spring
(uncredited)
based on music by Johann Strauss
Music Adapted by Johnny Green
Lyrics by Ralph Freed
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Delightful and well-acted
12 March 2019 | by HotToastyRagSee all my reviews

If the one-sentence synopsis, "A sickly teenager wishes more than anything to be allowed to perform in the school play," doesn't grab you, don't pay it any attention. Watch Cynthia anyway. It's a delightful gem from Elizabeth Taylor's younger days, even earlier than Little Women! And speaking of Little Women, Mary Astor plays Liz's mother in this film as well. George Murphy plays her father, and S.Z. Sakall rounds out the cast as the school's lovable theater director.

At the start of the film, Mary and George are shown young and in love, and their adorable romance quickly blossoms into marriage. They have grand plans to live in Vienna and study music and medicine, but when Mary gets pregnant, their plans go on hold temporarily. Fifteen years later, they're stuck in the same small town, renting a house they can't afford, struggling to pay their daughter's outrageous doctor's bills on a one-income salary from George's work in a hardware store. The parents' part of the film is actually quite sad, as you feel their disappointment as well as their guilt whenever they resent their lost dreams. Both George and Mary give wonderful performances.

Because George and Mary are so three-dimensional, it's difficult to call Liz the gem of the film, but she really is. She's so delightful, innocent, charming, passionate, and frail, culminating in such a captivating performance it's absolutely impossible not to love her. And since it's so impossible not to love her, you understand why George bows and scrapes to his boss as well as his brother-in-law, the greedy Gene Lockhart who treats Liz during her countless illnesses. You understand every part of Mary's behavior, as she embodies every mother's journey in raising a teenaged daughter. In one scene, Liz comes home from her first date. Mary wants to revel in her daughter's happiness, but she also tries to instill responsibility, like taking better care of her dress or soaking in a hot bath so she won't catch cold.

Every part of this movie is a joy to watch, from the cute to the tragic. You'll reach for your handkerchief from time to time, and if you watch this with your kids or parents, you'll cry even more. Everyone gives strong performances, and I'm sure you'll find your favorite moments as I have. At the heart of it all is Elizabeth Taylor, so beautiful and yet so innocent and fresh, even though it's impossible she ever felt what her character went through in real life. How could the gorgeous Elizabeth Taylor know what it felt like to be ignored by all the boys in school, and then the thrilling joy at being allowed to go to her first dance? It's called acting, and she does it beautifully.


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