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My Sister Eileen (1955)

Approved | | Musical, Comedy, Romance | 22 September 1955 (USA)
After submitting a story of her beautiful sister, a woman assumes her identity to maintain the attention of a playboy publisher.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »

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Complete credited cast:
Frank (as Robert Fosse)
'Papa' Appopolous
Ted 'Wreck' Loomis (as Richard York)
Barbara Brown ...
Helen's Mother
Police Officer Lonigan
Henry Slate ...
Second Drunk
Hal March ...
Pete - First Drunk


Ruth and her beautiful sister Eileen come to New York's Greenwich Village looking for "fame, fortune and a 'For Rent' sign on Barrow Street". They find an apartment (such as it is!), but fame and fortune are a lot more elusive. Ruth gets the attention of playboy publisher Bob Baker when she submits a story about her gorgeous sister Eileen. She tries to keep his attention by convincing him that she, (a "spinsterish old-maid writer") and the gorgeous, man-getting Eileen are one and the same person. Written by A.L.Beneteau <albl@inforamp.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


That Joyous New Musical !


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

22 September 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Gay Girls  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(magnetic prints) (RCA Sound Recording)| (optical prints) (RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?


Columbia Pictures' original plan was to make the film version of the 1953 Broadway hit "Wonderful Town," which had been based on the Columbia property My Sister Eileen (1942). Whereas Rosalind Russell had starred in both the original Columbia film and the stage musical, the studio wanted "Wonderful Town" specifically for its reigning comedy star Judy Holliday. However, the asking price for the rights to the Leonard Bernstein/Betty Comden/Adolph Green score was so steep that Columbia decided to pass on the stage show and go ahead with its own version, keeping the original title, which they already owned, and commissioning a new score from Jule Styne and Leo Robin. Ironically, by the time the wheels were in motion, Holliday was committed to a Broadway show of her own, Bells Are Ringing (1956), and Russell was tied up with the stage version of Auntie Mame (1956) -- all of which paved the way for Betty Garrett stepping into the role of Ruth. Garrett was a surprise choice, as she had been off the screen for several years following the termination of her MGM contract, and she was primarily appearing in nightclubs and summer stock with her husband Larry Parks, whose career had crumbled following the McCarthy-era blacklist. Though she received third billing (Janet Leigh was top-billed) and lacked the star quality of Holliday or Russell, My Sister Eileen was inarguably the finest hour of her career. In a further twist, once filming was completed, Garrett returned to New York to step in for Judy Holliday while she took her two-week vacation from Bells Are Ringing. Meantime, Wonderful Town finally came to the screen in 1958, albeit on television, in a faithful, complete two-hour broadcast that allowed Russell to reprise and preserve her Tony Award-winning performance, and prompted Columbia Records to release a sound track album from the show -- a further irony, as no sound track album was released for My Sister Eileen. See more »


When Eileen is dancing at El Morocco, she is wearing shoes with small heels. Later on that night when they dance at the bandstand, Eileen is wearing flat shoes. See more »


Receptionist: Mr. Wallace, she isn't on the list.
Mr. Wallace: Don't be so technical, Miss Stevenson. Was America on Columbus' map?
See more »


Remake of My Sister Eileen (1942) See more »


Give Me A Band And My Baby
Music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Leo Robin
Performed by Betty Garrett, Janet Leigh, Bob Fosse and Tommy Rall
See more »

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User Reviews

Not an improvement over the original.
17 January 2013 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This is the 1955 musical remake of the 1942 film of the same name. I was not a huge fan of the original (it tried way too hard to be kooky) and I was curious if the remake would be any better.

"My Sister Eileen" (1955) stars Janet Leigh (as the title character) and Betty Garrett as her sister. The pair come to make their fortune--Eileen as an actress and Ruth as a writer. Unfortunately, like in real life, success does not come quickly and they are forced to rent an ultra-crappy basement efficiency. Along the way, they both have some romances and flirts with success. Where will it all end? See the film.

So is this film any better than the 1942 version. Not really. While I like that the pace of the remake isn't quite as frenetic (a big improvement), the songs are not particularly good. One in particular (the one where they pretend to be playing musical instruments) is downright annoying...at best. Overall, it's a time-passer and that really is about it.

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