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The venomous and amoral wife of a wealthy architect tries, any way she can, to break up the blossoming romance between her husband and his new mistress; a good-natured young widow who holds a dark past.
Brian G. Hutton
Elizabeth Taylor seemed to go almost overnight in films from child to voluptuous young woman. But in this nice low-budget (for MGM) movie, made when she was 15 at most, there is something of the sweetly awkward colt about her, in the title role. There are scenes in which she sort of oscillates between childhood and adulthood--the visual equivalent of an adolescent's voice cracking--and it was in this movie that she got her first screen kiss (from an engaging James Lydon).
It's a bittersweet movie, about the deferrals and compromises that one has to make in life--the parents who don't continue their higher education, the soldier who resumes his, the refugee professor. As Cynthia's mother, Mary Astor brings her usual warmth and common sense, and there are vague echoes of her questing, yearning character in "Dodsworth." Cynthia's illness is used as something of a metaphor for domestic discontent, and in view of Taylor's chronic health problems is a little unsettling in retrospect.
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