Elizabeth Taylor still a sweet young thing stars in the title role of Cynthia, a teen
thought of as sickly by her over doting parents George Murphy and Mary Astor.
I have to say that Liz looked pretty healthy to me.
A short prologue tells some of the answer. Mary Astor marries big man on campus George Murphy and both as it turns out are planning to study in Vienna,
him medicine, her music. But the Great Depression happens and both return
to the USA with a baby daughter and worried most of all about security.
I'm sure that the baby in its early years gets doted on and may have had more
than her share of illnesses. But the parents develop an overprotective attitude
and a hypochondria about her. Which is making Dr. Gene Lockhart who is
married to Spring Byington, Astor's sister practically a practice of his own.
Kids do grow out of these things. One of my nieces was very sickly as a child, but she's 32 now and quite healthy. My brother and his wife never developed
the attitude that Murphy and Astor have. She was not the hot house geranium that Murphy and Astor have raised.
Lockhart and Byington have a daughter Carol Brannan and Brannan as Liz's
cousin thinks of nothing but boys 24/7. There's one special boy in Jimmy Lydon who lied about his age and went to war. Now he's back in high school
and seen as the catch of the year.
Lydon never really rings true as a character. He surely doesn't show any of the
maturity that one would have after war service. I can't see how he would fit
into high school. Just get a GED and go claim your GI benefits would be more
realistic. Lydon doesn't seem that much more mature than Scotty Beckett who is Brannan's ever reliable boyfriend and playing awkward as he always did
as a teen. Lydon's character is a weakness that the movie Cynthia has.
It's biggest strength is Taylor of course. It's really heart warming to see her
emerge from the hot house. Also S.Z. Sakall as a sympathetic music teacher
who remembers old Vienna steals every scene he's in as he always does.
Cynthia is a film as old as I am. It's also holding up in far better shape than this author. Elizabeth Taylor's legion of fans will still love it.