Sisters Ruth and Eileen Sherwood move from Ohio to New York in the hopes of building their careers. Ruth wants to get a job as a writer, while Eileen hopes to succeed on the stage. The two ... See full summary »
Sisters Ruth and Eileen Sherwood move from Ohio to New York in the hopes of building their careers. Ruth wants to get a job as a writer, while Eileen hopes to succeed on the stage. The two end up living in a dismal basement apartment in Greenwich Village, where a parade of odd characters are constantly breezing in and out. The women also meet up with magazine editor Bob Baker, who takes a personal interest in helping both with their career plans. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <email@example.com>
Rosalind Russell was one of the finest comediennes in the American movies, and this in a period which saw the likes of Claudette Colbert, Carole Lombard, Jean Arthur, Ginger Rogers, Irene Dunne, Katharine Hepburn and others. Russell was a rarity: though all the others often played dizzy women, in her comedies, Russell always played smart, hard-edged career women (the exception was her first major comedy role, as the catty Sylvia in THE WOMEN).
At a time when HANNAH TAKES THE STAIRS is set to open, with its lackadaisical heroine pursuing a writing career as she tries to make sense of her romantic entanglements, it behooves us to remember MY SISTER EILEEN, which (when it was filmed in 1942) is the prototype, as the two Sherwood sisters (Ruth, played by Rosalind Russell, and her younger sister Eileen, played by Janet Blair) come to New York City to try their hands at writing (for Ruth) and acting (for Eileen). The slapstick annoyances, the charmingly maladroit Greenwich Village denizens (part ethnic, part "bohemian"), the stereotypical romantic encounters, all make for a charming entertainment. In the wake of the sexual frankness of HANNAH TAKES THE STAIRS, MY SISTER EILEEN might seem dated, but it's a lovely reminder of the wit and the humor of the generation growing up during World War II, when women were (again) finding new possibilities in the workplace, but still had the same problems finding proper dates.
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