Taylor plays a physically frail 15-year-old who uses her musical gifts to break free of her protective parents and then begins to enjoy typical teenage fun and romance with a suitor played by James Lydon.
With Cynthia, Elizabeth Taylor left the film world of dogs, horses and childhood to play a lovely miss on the brink of womanhood - and put herself on the brink of a remarkable career as one of Hollywood's great beauties and stars. Taylor plays the title character, a physically frail 15-year-old who uses her musical gifts to break free of her protective parents and then begins to enjoy typical teenage fun and romance (with a suitor played by James Lydon of the long-running Henry Aldrich series, who also wooed Taylor in the same year's Life with Father). The outstanding supporting cast includes Mary Astor, George Murphy and S.Z. Sakall, but it's a radiant Taylor who forever makes Cynthia a girl to remember.
Fifteen-year-old Elizabeth Taylor receives her first screen kiss in the innocuous MGM confection CYNTHIA. Taylor plays the title character, a sickly, sheltered young lady who is never permitted the companionship of other teenagers. Frustrated though Cynthia may be, she has nothing on her parents, Larry and Louise Bishop (George Murphy and Mary Astor), who feel they could have gotten a lot further in life had they remained childless Only by discovering that she has a gorgeous (albeit dubbed) singing voice is Cynthia able to break out of her shell and join the high school choir, under the benevolent leadership of cuddly Professor Rosencrantz (S. Z. Sakall). Along the way, the girl's parents overcome their resentment and learn to appreciate their daughter for the prize that she is. As a bonus, Cynthia also falls in love with Ricky Latham (James Lydon), who bestows that historic first kiss on her blushing cheek (Elizabeth Taylor and James Lydon would later be reteamed in Warner Bros.' LIFE WITH FATHER). Based on a play by Vina Delmar, CYNTHIA is a "programmer" by MGM standards, but an "A"-picture by any other studio's standards.
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