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Ladies in Retirement (1941)

 -  Drama  -  9 September 1941 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 465 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 5 critic

The housekeeper to a retired actress tries at the same time to look after her own two emotionally disturbed sisters, with dramatic results.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: Ladies in Retirement (1941)

Ladies in Retirement (1941) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »


Complete credited cast:
Ellen Creed
Albert Feather
Emily Creed
Edith Barrett ...
Louisa Creed
Isobel Elsom ...
Leonora Fiske
Emma Dunn ...
Sister Theresa
Queenie Leonard ...
Sister Agatha
Clyde Cook ...


In the late nineteenth century, Ellen Creed works as the live-in companion to Miss Leonora Fiske, a retired actress who lives in the English countryside and who still retains her theatrical mannerisms. Ellen receives notice that the landlady of her two sisters, Emily Creed and Louisa Creed, who currently live in London, is threatening to call the police to haul them away to an asylum because of their disruptive behavior due to their mentally deranged state. Ellen will not allow her sisters to be institutionalized, and convinces Miss Fiske to allow them to stay with them for a couple of days. Miss Fiske was unaware of their deranged mental state when she agreed and is also unaware that Ellen hopes to make their stay permanent. Both issues eventually become apparent to Miss Fiske, who cannot tolerate how Emily and Louisa disrupt her home life. However, Ellen "convinces" Miss Fiske to take an extended leave from the house, while Ellen tells her sisters that she bought the house from Miss... Written by Huggo

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Release Date:

9 September 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ladies in Retirement  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Ida Lupino and Louis Hayward were married during the filming of the movie. See more »


Microphone shadow visible over fireplace when Mrs. Fiske has showdown with sisters about hauling junk into her home. See more »


Ellen Creed: It takes a lot of courage to kill for the first time, Albert. Once you've sold your soul to the devil, it becomes easier. Much easier.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title of the film and the names of Ida Lupino and Louis Hayward appear as if they were rising to the surface of the swamp and floating there; the rest of the credits appear on tombstones and signs surrounding the area. See more »


Version of Paradies der alten Damen (1971) See more »

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User Reviews

There are worse things than stealing...
20 June 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Ida Lupino as Ellen Creed cryptically says to her nephew (Louis Hayward). Lupino is in top form here as a housekeeper who must care for her two sisters who are being evicted or sent to an asylum. It is the late 1800's and the weather on the heath is unforgiving and reminiscent of a Bronte novel.

Elsa Lanchester and Edith Barrett portray the two sisters whom Lupino must care for. She lives at Leonora Fiske's (well-portrayed by Isobel Elsom) mansion and at first the sisters are allowed to stay. But Ms. Fiske is an eccentric matron and tires of their company. She informs Ellen Creed (Lupino) they must leave. ..."Have you no compassion, no feeling for the poor?"... Lupino intones this even as she sees the mistress of the house will be throwing her out on the street. Lupino feels obligation to the two wayward sisters, who have some mental issues and would have been (at that time probably) committed to Bedlam state asylum. So she decides what she must do.

Later, Louis Hayward pops up and is the nephew. He becomes suspicious when Ms. Fiske never shows up; He is intrigued that his aunt suddenly owns the house. There is much suspense here and the cinematography is haunting and shadowed; we are not certain at the capabilities of Ellen Creed (Lupino) or what she may do next. I also highly recommend "Road House" with Ida Lupino and Richard Widmark. Excellent and could never be remade today. 10/10.

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