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The Sisters (1938)

Approved  |   |  Drama  |  14 October 1938 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,189 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 3 critic

Three daughters of a small down pharmacist undergo trials and tribulations in their problematic marriages between 1904 and 1908.



(screen play), (from the novel by), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Louise Elliott
Helen Elliott
William Benson
Tim Hazelton
Rose Elliott
Grace Elliott
Sam Johnson
Tom Knivel
Ned Elliott
Norman French
Lee Patrick ...
Flora Gibbon
Laura Hope Crews ...
Flora's Mother
Janet Shaw ...
Stella Johnson
Doc Moore


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




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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

14 October 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

As Irmãs  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Stock footage from Old San Francisco (1927) was used. See more »


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 »


Louise Elliott Medlin: Frank, I can't have you running off like this.
Frank Medlin: If you really love me, come with me to San Francisco tonight. Will you?
Louise Elliott Medlin: Yes.
See more »


Edited from Old San Francisco (1927) See more »


Arkansas Traveler
Music by Sanford Faulkner
Played for the square dance at the election night ball
See more »

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User Reviews

The young Errol Flynn is the whole point
18 February 2005 | by (Copenhagen, Denmark) – See all my reviews

Big sister Louise from small-town Silver Bow, Montana, falls in love instantly with dashing sports reporter Frank from San Francisco. The year is 1904, and Roosevelt is getting re-elected. The couple elope and try to eke out a living in the big city, but he is restless and nothing comes of his writing ambitions, and their marriage looks like it is failing ...

There is nothing great or everlasting about 'The Sisters', but you might want to watch it for its stars. Bette Davis is resourceful and unassuming as Louise, a far cry from her Jezebel of the following year.

So that leaves Errol Flynn, the very young Errol Flynn, but nevertheless an actor of such abundant charisma that you quite understand how Louise's heart skips a beat, and how her dancing gets out of sync, as she gazes at him at their first meeting. Frank is the quintessential reckless, impetuous and fundamentally enchanting man about town, earnest in love, but quick to give up on all he holds dear. It goes without saying that he looks stunning, with his exquisite bone structure and muzzled up hair. How could Ian Hunter ever hope to compete? Director Anatole Litvak does provide a few touches to redeem this otherwise quite pedestrian romantic melodrama. The earthquake was well done, and the cunning way the sisters conspire to rid the town of the local tramp by telling their menfolk, "We consider it a community problem". Point taken!

14 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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