Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Invitation (1952) - Dorothy McGuire in a Classic Soaper

Invitation poster

"Invitation" (1952) is a classic '50s chick flick. It is all about who really loves whom and whether that love is pure. Dorothy McGuire plays Ellen Pierce, a rich girl with low self esteem who is attracted to playboy Dan Pierce, played by Van Johnson. But Pierce is involved with someone else, Maud Redwick, played by the deliciously evil Ruth Roman. Suddenly, Pierce drops Maud and proposes to Ellen, who accepts. They marry, have a wonderful honeymoon, and settle down. It appears that "happily ever after" is just around the corner.

Invitation Van Johnson Dorothy McGuire
Van Johnson basically plays Van Johnson, while Dorothy McGuire is quite perky as usual.

But then trouble strikes. Maud keeps showing up and making snide comments that suggest Ellen's marriage won't last more than a year. Ellen can't quite figure out what is going on, so Maud gets less and less subtle. Ultimately, Maud drops an unmistakable clue, and a terrible secret is revealed - which only a true louse would ever disclose.

Invitation Dorothy McGuire Ruth Roman
These '50s domestic dramas often come down to two women squaring off - and "Invitation" is no exception.

That's really all there is to the story. Dorothy McGuire is luminous, and Van Johnson plays his usual sheepish beau. Will the marriage last? What does Maud know that Ellen doesn't? You may figure it out a lot sooner than Ellen, but it is quite an enjoyable journey to take to find out the answer.


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