6.9/10
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The Sisters (1938)

Approved | | Drama | 14 October 1938 (USA)
Three daughters of a small town pharmacist undergo trials and tribulations in their problematic marriages between 1904 and 1908.

Director:

Anatole Litvak

Writers:

Milton Krims (screen play), Myron Brinig (from the novel by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Errol Flynn ... Frank Medlin
Bette Davis ... Louise Elliott
Anita Louise ... Helen Elliott
Ian Hunter ... William Benson
Donald Crisp ... Tim Hazelton
Beulah Bondi ... Rose Elliott
Jane Bryan ... Grace Elliott
Alan Hale ... Sam Johnson
Dick Foran ... Tom Knivel
Henry Travers ... Ned Elliott
Patric Knowles ... Norman French
Lee Patrick ... Flora Gibbon
Laura Hope Crews ... Flora's Mother
Janet Shaw ... Stella Johnson
Harry Davenport ... Doc Moore
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Storyline

Sisters Louise Elliott, Helen Elliott and Grace Elliott - the daughters of pharmacist Ned Elliott and his wife Rose Elliott - are considered the most attractive and desirable young women in 1904 Silver Bow, Montana. The eldest Louise is the smart, practical one who is pre-engaged to stuffy Tom Knivel, middle daughter Helen is the one who wants excitement in her life regardless of love, and youngest Grace is the naive one. Louise's practicality is why it is somewhat of a surprise when she immediately falls in love with newspaper sportswriter and aspiring novelist Frank Medlin, marries him and runs off with him to his home base of San Francisco. Long pursuing him, Helen marries wealthy older Sam Johnson, who she doesn't love, but who can provide the exciting lifestyle she wants. And Grace, nursing his broken heart, marries Tom. As each sister endures the problems in her marriage - Louise's whose becomes the most obvious as Frank drowns whatever his problems in life in a bottle of booze,... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 October 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

As Irmãs See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to contemporary news reports, Anita Louise hated wearing a corset for this film. Bette Davis didn't mind it quite so much. See more »

Goofs

At the ball on the night of Theodore Roosevelt's presidential election in 1901, the song "In My Merry Oldsmobile" is played. This song wasn't published until 1905. See more »

Quotes

Frank Medlin: [to Louise] You have a very exciting serenity
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Elizabeth & Essex: Battle Royale (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Ma Blushin' Rosie
(1900) (uncredited)
Music by John Stromberg
Played on a piano at Mrs. Gibbon's house
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An accurate period piece - rare for Hollywood!
1 May 2005 | by EdisoneSee all my reviews

This is a most excellent drama, set in San Francisco from 1904 to 1908, with the great earthquake of 1906 at its center. While the business failure of Flynn's character is a little unrealistic, both he and Bette Davis play sympathetic characters; they made me feel the disappointment of people who expect a lot out of Life and then suffer through its hardships.

The scenes of the earthquake are terrific - don't miss the seemingly ENDLESS shaking and destruction of Bette's rented room, as her neighbor comes screaming into the room looking for comfort, and the indoors gives way to the OUTDOORS! Very nice effects for 1938, 60+ years before computer imaging! That part of the story seems all the more poignant to me, now that we know the death figures were faked - at least 10 times as many died as the officials admitted.

I won't give away the ending, but it was satisfying and made me glad to have seen the film. Do catch it on Turner, which runs it a couple times per year.


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