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Invitation (film)

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Director  Gottfried Reinhardt
Music director  Bronislaw Kaper
Language  English
7/10 IMDb

Genre  Drama
Screenplay  Paul Osborn
Country  United States
Invitation (film) movie poster
Release date  February 1, 1952
Based on  R.S.V.P.  by Jerome Weidman
Writer  Paul Osborn, Jerome Weidman (story)
Cast  Van Johnson (Daniel I. 'Dan' Pierce), Dorothy McGuire (Ellen Bowker Pierce), Ruth Roman (Maud Redwick), Louis Calhern (Simon Bowker), Ray Collins (Dr. Warren Pritchard), Michael Chekhov (Dr. Fromm)
Similar movies  A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, A Connecticut Yankee, Dr. No, Locke

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Invitation is a 1952 melodrama starring Van Johnson and Dorothy McGuire as a happily married couple, until the wife learns a secret about her husband. The film was based on the short story "R.S.V.P." by Jerome Weidman. The theme song "Invitation" has since become a jazz standard.


Invitation (film) movie poster


Invitation (film) movie scenes

Ellen Pierce (Dorothy McGuire) is very happily married to architect Dan (Van Johnson). However, due to a bout of rheumatic fever in her childhood, her heart is weak and she cannot exert herself too much; how frail she is, she does not really know. Her wealthy father (Louis Calhern) and the family doctor (Ray Collins) have kept from her the fact that she probably only has a few more months to live.

When Ellen visits acquaintance Maud Redwick (Ruth Roman), Dan's embittered former girlfriend, Maud reminds her about a vicious remark she had made at Ellen and Dan's wedding that he was only a "loan" for about a year. That, plus an invitation addressed to Dan to a medical conference and various other clues, leads Ellen to discover the truth, not only about her prognosis, but also an even more devastating secret: that her father had arranged the marriage to make her happy, and that Dan did not love her.

When Dan finds out, he confesses via flashbacks that he had initially rejected her father's offer, but due to a lack of success in his career, he had indeed married her at her father's behest. However, he claims that he has since fallen deeply in love with her.

He tells her about a Doctor Toynberry who has come up with a new technique that has a good chance of curing her and begs her to undergo the operation he has arranged for her. If it is a success, they will know by spring. After absorbing everything, she goes through with the medical procedure. The film flashes forward to the spring, with her healthy and blissfully still married to Dan.


  • Van Johnson as Daniel I. Pierce
  • Dorothy McGuire as Ellen Bowker Pierce
  • Ruth Roman as Maud Redwick
  • Louis Calhern as Simon Bowker
  • Ray Collins as Dr. Warren Pritchard
  • Michael Chekhov as Dr. Fromm, a specialist Dan consults
  • Barbara Ruick as Sarah
  • Norman Field as Arthur, the Chauffeur
  • Matt Moore as Paul, the Butler
  • Pat Conway as Bill
  • Alex Gerry as Professor Redwick
  • Lucille Curtis as Mrs. Redwick
  • Lisa Gohm as Agnes, the housekeeper/cook
  • Theme Music

    The theme music by Bronislau Kaper was originally used in A Life of Her Own (1950), but became a jazz standard after being used in this film and becoming known as "Invitation".

    Box office

    According to MGM records the film earned $855,000 in the US and Canada and $600,000 elsewhere resulting in a loss of $178,000.


    Invitation (film) Wikipedia
    Invitation (film) IMDb Invitation (film)