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.

Director:

Writers:

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

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

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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: [In his goodbye note] Dear Louise - Our love is dying a tawdry death - my fault - so at midnight I ship out for a new horizon. Good-bye. - Frank
See more »

Connections

Referenced in All About Bette (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
The Elliott Sisters of Broken Bow
13 September 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Errol Flynn and Bette Davis did the first of two films together in The Sisters and curiously enough it followed landmark films for both of them, The Adventures of Robin Hood for Flynn and Bette's second Academy Award winner, Jezebel.

It was an interesting project for both, but fell somewhat flat at the box office. Still it's not a bad film at all and for Flynn it was an attempt to expand his range as player.

Bette's usual shtick is held firmly in check my director Anatole Litvak. She's one of three daughters of Henry Travers and Beulah Bondi of Broken Bow Montana and the action of the film takes place between Election Day of 1904 and 1908. Shortly after the first election where all three encounter the men they would marry.

For Jane Bryan it's Dick Foran, a proper young man of business who soon becomes president of the bank and they settle down to a nice middle class existence. It's only threatened when Foran falls victim to the town tart briefly, one of many men in the area.

For Anita Louise, she's a naughty flirt who likes romance, but also likes her creature comforts. She marries Alan Hale who's the wealthiest guy in town, who's also a widower looking for a trophy wife. She lucks into the best of both worlds when he dies leaving her well provided for and free to pursue love in comfort.

But the main plot revolves around Bette Davis who marries newspapermen Errol Flynn, a charming, but essentially weak character. He likes to drink and carouse and even impending fatherhood doesn't put a damper on that. He leaves her, purely coincidentally right in the middle of the San Francisco Earthquake.

Some don't like Flynn's performance, but I think he did fine in the role. The problem was that the brothers Warner filmed two different endings and gave into public opinion in the one you see. Flynn, by the way thought they did the wrong thing. Without giving it away, the ending should have resembled one they gave Four Daughters which was also produced by them in 1938.

Despite the fact that Errol and Bette hated each other they got through the film and it's not bad. Look also for good performances from Donald Crisp as Flynn's sportswriter friend and Ian Hunter who gives Bette a job after Flynn leaves her and loves her as well.


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