Cynthia (1947)

Majorly adult themes like regret and loss take a teenage turn in Robert Z. Leonard’s 1947 film Cynthia, based on the play The Rich, Full Life by Viña Delmar. Mary Astor and George Murphy star as a set of parents who sacrificed their own young-adult ambitions for the sake of raising their sickly infant daughter, who, now at the cusp of adulthood herself (and played by Elizabeth Taylor), is beginning to bend after shouldering the weight of these sacrifices her entire life. This film is an interesting examination of the American teenager, which was a relatively new designation at this point in history, yet a natural story to be told.

A Date with Judy (1948)

One of the loveliest surprises in watching vintage movies is picking something at mostly-random–a poster, or an actor, or a general feeling–and having it turn out to contain something much deeper than your original shallow intentions.

That’s what happened to me and A Date with Judy, a choice I plucked somewhat randomly from the Netflix queue–mostly because I recognized the title from scouring the That’s Entertainment list, and when I saw that it combined the forces of Elizbaeth Taylor and Jane Powell, my subconscious lizard brain took over, and the next thing I knew, I was inserting the disc into my DVD player.