Janet Leigh makes an impressive debut alongside Van Johnson in this historical romance in which a farmer's daughter falls in love with a man who fought against her family in the Civil War. ... See full summary »
McGrath publishes books for children and Uncle Bump is one of the best sellers. Unfortunately, Greg, who is Uncle Bump, tends to drink too much and has not started his next book. Martha won... See full summary »
Jackie 'Butch' Jenkins
A French lieutenant makes a bet that he can seduce any woman in town in the two weeks before his regiment leaves for maneuvers, but his chosen target (a Parisian divorcée) isn't like other girls he's known.
During the Spanish Civil War, a republican courier travels to England to try and buy coal. He meets with an amount of local hostility, while his life is at risk from those on the fascist ... See full summary »
Three working girls in Budapest pool their resources to get a better apartment and impress their dates. One dates a nobleman and, learning of her rejection by him, considers poison. Another... See full summary »
Ellen Hallet is in love with her playboy boss, Douglas Morrison, but is too timid to do anything about it. To help her, her roommate Chris decides to step in and devises a plan. Chris ... See full summary »
Van Johnson is a navy pilot in WWII, who has been shot down in the Pacific on a bombing mission. He and a wounded comrade are the only survivors of the mission and are lost at sea. As they ... See full summary »
Homicide detective Mike Conovan investigates the shooting of fellow detective Monigan...who apparrently was moonlighting as guard for a bookie. He finds that all the bookies in town are ... See full summary »
Dorothy McGuire Is "Ordinary" Looking and "Uninteresting"?
First, let me say, that I am delighted that there are so many other admirers of this truly talented and beautiful performer of the screen (that's Ms. McGuire, and NOT Van Johnson. Sorry, Van!). Of course, Ms. McGuire delivers her customary and, unfailingly, consummate performance as Ellen Pierce. But, could you really buy her character saying, that she thought of herself as ordinary-looking and, even, uninteresting to men? I mean, it was difficult enough, not to be mesmerized by those beautiful eyes and cheekbones in "The Enchanted Cottage" (in which the film studio make-up professionals "tried" to make Ms. McGuire look "plain" and "dowdy"). Yet, in "Invitation," Ms. McGuire is at her drop-dead gorgeous (not to mention, enticingly-eloquent) best. I mean, you literally cannot keep your eyes off of her, she's such a vision of beauty and elegance! And, with all due respect to nice-guy, actor Van Johnson, he's hardly Errol Flynn or Robert Taylor in the looks department or very "compelling" either, although, he was excellent in "Battleground." (Ellen really found HIM so irresistible? Oy vey!) Heck, any chance to see this great lady of the screen perform IS an absolute joy and delight. Still, I much prefer seeing Ms. McGuire in such wonderful and truly memorable films as "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn," "The Spiral Staircase" and "Till The End Of Time." "Invitation" gets an "8" because of the presence of its luminous star (no, NOT the "boy-next-door," Van Johnson, the unbelievably zaftig Ruth Roman (who, by the way, is outstanding as a particularly vindictive virago) or even the distinguished Louis Calhern!).
In his book, "Van Johnson: MGM's Golden Boy," author Ronald L. Davis wrote: "'Invitation,' Johnson's next film, had character actor Louis Calhern attempting to persuade Van to romance his invalid daughter, played by Dorothy McGuire. While the movie was cloaked in MGM gloss, it was a tearjerker with little to commend it except competent performances from a strong cast." Yes, tearjerker is the apt description of the maudlin "Invitation."
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