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Sunday, 14 October 2012

Cynthia (1947) - Star of the month... Elizabeth Taylor

'Cynthia' is a 1947 drama starring Elizabeth Taylor, Mary Astor, George Murphy, Gene Lockhart, Spring Byington and S.Z. "Cuddles" Sakall.

Cynthia (played by Taylor) is a 15 year old who gets sick often and lives with her overprotective parents. She befriends a dog, but is unable to keep it, due to being allergic to dogs.  After the landlord puts the family home up for sale, Cynthia's parents are forced to chose whether they should attempt to purchase the home or move away. 

The film's musical program features some memorable MGM songs including "Buckledown Winsockie" from 'Best Foot Forward' (1943) and "The Trolley Song" from 'Meet Me In St. Louis' (1944).

Early example of feminism

This film is an early example of feminism in cinema. It is Cynthia's mother who dominates the relationship in her marriage. She is the one with the wealthy inheritance, she is the one who permits Cynthia to attend the prom, she is the one who makes the final decision on whether or not to buy the house, and she is the one who leads her husband through his journey of self discovery.

Closing remarks

'Cynthia' stats off rather slow with the first hour dragging on quite a bit, but it does get better. I think of 'Cynthia' as one of the original mean girls movies, with Cynthia's malicious cousin Fredonia deliberately sabotaging her chance at happiness at school. That is until Cynthia grows the courage to bite back. Elizabeth Taylor delivers a great performance in this film, and we are also treated to a rare singing appearance.

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