Cynthia (1947): Serio Comedy, Starring Elizabeth Taylor, George Murphy and Mary Astor

A serio comedy, Cynthia, starring Mary Astor, Elizabeth Taylor, and George Murphy, is based on the 1945 play “The Rich, Full Life” by Viña Delmar, adapted by screenwriters Harold Buchman and Charles Kaufman.

Cynthia (1947 film).jpg

Cynthia poster

In school, baseball hero Larry Bishop (George Murphy) impresses Louise (Mary Astor), and they fall in love. Both dream of traveling to Vienna to continue their education, Larry in medicine, Louise in music.

While still in college, Louise and Larry marry, and they move to Larry’s hometown in Illinois, a small town Napoleon. He takes a job in Dingle’s hardware store and they raise their frail daughter, Cynthia (Elizabeth Taylor), who has chronic health problems.

Fifteen years later, the Bishops have trouble making ends meet, Larry can’t afford to buy the home they rent, and they no longer have illusions about leading adventurous lives.

Cynthia falls for a classmate, Ricky Latham (James Lydon), and Louise encourages them to go to the school prom, Cynthia’s first ever date.

Larry loses his patience and his job one day after his boss, J.M. Dingle (Harlan Briggs), objects to his lateness at work.  They can now leave Napoleon and go to Chicago, but Louise decides to use her money to buy the house.

In the end, the family unites to embrace the future, satisfied when Larry’s boss asks him to return to his job.

The movie did not find large audiences, and MGM declared it a loss.

Elizabeth Taylor as Cynthia Bishop
George Murphy as Larry Bishop
S. Z. Sakall as Professor Rosenkrantz
Mary Astor as Louise Bishop
Gene Lockhart as Dr. Fred I. Jannings
Spring Byington as Carrie Jannings
James Lydon as Ricky Latham
Scotty Beckett as Will Parker
Carol Brannan as Fredonia Jannings
Anna Q. Nilsson as Miss Brady
Morris Ankrum as Mr. Phillips, the High-School Principal


Directed by Robert Z. Leonard
Produced by Edwin H. Knopf
Written by Harold Buchman, Charles Kaufman, Buster Keaton, based on The Rich, Full Life by Viña Delmar
Music by Bronislau Kaper
Cinematography Charles Edgar Schoenbaum
Edited by Irvine “Cotton” Warburton
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Release date: August 29, 1947

Running time: 98 min.
Budget $1,318,000
Box office $1,648,000


TCM showed this movie on May 17, 2021.