#CleanMovieMonth #14: “Invitation” from 1952

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Continuing with #CleanMovieMonth2020, here is another mini review of a new Code film I have watched during July. During July, I am watching an unlimited number of American Breen Era (1934-1954) films for the first time. Thus, I can write about new Code films for my twelve extra July reviews as well as for 100 New Code Films. I am also watching enough new Code films to have topics for my 100 New Code Films in August. Thus, I will be able to truly observe #AMonthWithoutTheCode by not watching any Breen Era movies during August.

#14 – Invitation (1952)

Invitation (1952) – The Motion Pictures


Van Johnson, Dorothy McGuire, and Ruth Roman

Production Notes:

Director: Gottfried Reinhardt, Producer: Lawrence Weingarten, Production Company: MGM


After years of being a plain spinster, a young woman with a weak heart finds true love and enjoys wedded bliss with her handsome husband in a house bought by her rich father. However, a mysterious invitation makes her suspicious that other aspects of her perfect life may have been bought by her father.

Code Compliance:

Good Code Film


Highly Recommended, Five Stars

My Thoughts:

This is a very gripping movie. It is mysterious and suspenseful, leaving the audience at times as unsure as its heroine, Ellen (Dorothy McGuire). The lighting and dramatic background music add to the tense atmosphere beautifully. The acting is very emotional. As the center of the story, Dorothy McGuire does a wonderful job as the frail, sensitive Ellen. This is only the second Code film I have seen with Miss McGuire. For years, I only knew her as the devoted mother in Disney movies Swiss Family Robinson and Summer Magic. She is so lovely in this part. Her mannerisms are very convincing, effectively making us believe that she is ill. Van Johnson plays a complex role in this film. He delivers a wonderful performance as Ellen’s husband, Dan. The third member of the triangle is Maud Redwick (Ruth Roman), the other woman who loves Dan. She used to be a good friend of Ellen, but her jealousy makes her cruel and vindictive. Louis Calhern plays Simon Bowker, Ellen’s loving father. Nothing in the world is more important to him than his daughter’s happiness. He is an example of a very selfless father. This is a very stylish film. I really enjoyed it.

Happy #CleanMovieMonth2020!

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 Click here to join our monthlong celebration of nothing but American Breen Era (1934-1954) movies in honor of the Production Code Administration’s anniversary, #CleanMovieMonth2020!

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