7.2/10
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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.

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(screen play), (from the novel by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Louise Elliott
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Helen Elliott
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William Benson
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Tim Hazelton
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Rose Elliott
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Grace Elliott
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Sam Johnson
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Tom Knivel
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Ned Elliott
...
Norman French
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Flora Gibbon
...
Flora's Mother
...
Stella Johnson
...
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:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 October 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

As Irmãs  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Several people are in studio records/casting call lists as cast members, but they did not appear or were not identifiable in the movie. These were (with their character names, if any): Edwin Brian (Newsboy), Rosella Towne, Susan Hayward, Paulette Evans and Frances Morris (Telephone Operators), John Harron, Lew Harvey, Richard Bond and Mira McKinney. The 4 telephone operators were possibly among a group seen only from the rear and are not recognizable. 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: [Anxious to know Tim's opinion of his novel in progress] Well, are you through?
Tim Hazelton: Yes.
Frank Medlin: Pretty bad, ay?
Tim Hazelton: Well, I'm no literary critic.
Frank Medlin: [laughs derisively] You don't have to be. All you've got to be is be able to smell.
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Connections

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

Soundtracks

Oh! Susanna
(1848) (uncredited)
Music by Stephen Foster
Played for the square dance at the election night ball
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User Reviews

 
An accurate period piece - rare for Hollywood!
1 May 2005 | by (United States) – See 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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