Cynthia (film)

Cynthia is a 1947 American comedy-drama film starring Mary Astor, Elizabeth Taylor, and George Murphy. The film is based on the play The Rich, Full Life by Viña Delmar and was adapted by screenwriters Harold Buchman and Charles Kaufman.[2]

Cynthia poster
Directed byRobert Z. Leonard
Produced byEdwin H. Knopf
Written byHarold Buchman
Charles Kaufman
Buster Keaton
Based onThe Rich, Full Life
by Viña Delmar
StarringElizabeth Taylor
Mary Astor
George Murphy
Music byBronislau Kaper
CinematographyCharles Edgar Schoenbaum
Edited byIrvine "Cotton" Warburton
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • August 29, 1947 (1947-08-29)
Running time
98 min.
CountryUnited States
Box office$1,648,000[1]

Plot summary

In school, baseball hero Larry Bishop (George Murphy) impresses a girl, Louise (Mary Astor), and they fall in love. Both coincidentally have dreams of traveling to Vienna, Austria someday to continue their education, Larry in medicine, Louise in music.

When she becomes pregnant, Louise and Larry marry and move to his hometown in Illinois, a small town called Napoleon. He takes a job in Dingle's hardware store and they raise a daughter, Cynthia (Elizabeth Taylor), who has chronic health problems and is quite frail. Fifteen years later, the Bishops are having trouble making ends meet, Larry can't afford to buy the home that they rent, and they no longer have any illusions about the adventurous lives they intended to lead.

Dr. Fred Jannings (Gene Lockhart) has been the family's physician since Cynthia's birth, and he strongly recommends against her doing any strenuous activities. Louise ignores this advice and lets Cynthia take a role in the school musical, but her health fails, causing Larry to be angry with his wife.

Cynthia falls for a classmate, Ricky Latham (James Lydon), in the meantime. Louise encourages them to go together to the school prom - Cynthia's first ever date, over her stern husband's objections. But as the bills and worries mount, Larry loses his patience and his job one day after his boss, J.M. Dingle (Harlan Briggs), objects to his coming late to work. After returning home, Larry tells Louise that they can now leave Napoleon and go to Chicago. But Louise has decided to use her money to buy the house, and Cynthia no longer wants to go either, because she is now going steady with Ricky. In the end, the family unites to embrace the future, satisfied when Larry's boss comes back, hat in hand, asking him to return to his job.



According to MGM records the film earned $1,206,000 in the US and Canada and $442,00 elsewhere, resulting in a loss of $280,000.[1]


  1. The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
  2. Article on film at Turner Classic Movies accessed 8 Jan 2014

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