7.1/10
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32 user 12 critic

Ladies in Retirement (1941)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 9 September 1941 (USA)
The housekeeper to a retired actress tries at the same time to look after her own two emotionally disturbed sisters, with dramatic results.

Director:

Charles Vidor

Writers:

Garrett Fort (screenplay), Reginald Denham (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ida Lupino ... Ellen Creed
Louis Hayward ... Albert Feather
Evelyn Keyes ... Lucy
Elsa Lanchester ... Emily Creed
Edith Barrett ... Louisa Creed
Isobel Elsom ... Leonora Fiske
Emma Dunn ... Sister Theresa
Queenie Leonard ... Sister Agatha
Clyde Cook ... Bates
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 September 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Damas retiradas See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Remade as The Mad Room (1969) starring Shelley Winters and 'Stella Stevens'. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Albert Feather: Well, Auntie, where's your cane? From the look on your face, I'd say that you're about to take down my britches and give me a dozen.
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 »

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User Reviews

 
Bizarre British noir film full of eccentrics and plenty of mist
18 November 2007 | by robert-temple-1See all my reviews

This is a weird one, atmospheric, moody, and brooding. It has a script by Reginald Denham based on his play, and although director Charles Vidor makes sure it does not come across as stagey, but makes the confined atmosphere work for him, the action has a kind of mental proscenium arch around it. This was Edith Barrett's first film, and she is superb. Elsa Lanchester does well in another one of her roles as an insane eccentric. What is particularly fascinating is to see the young Evelyn Keyes aged 25 but looking a virginal 18, and the sweetest little thing you ever saw. It is hard to imagine she had already made 15 films, as she looks straight out of the milk parlour. When I knew her in her mid-fifties she was so ultra-sophisticated that the idea of her ever having been innocent seems inconceivable. But she certainly is in this film! I guess that's called acting! She later married the director of this film, before moving on to Artie Shaw and John Huston (and anyone who could survive Huston as a husband was no little girl!). Ida Lupino plays the lead role, but it is a thankless task, because it is her job to look intense all the time, with very little scope for anything else. What a waste of her talents! She kisses the heads of her mad sisters very lovingly, and that's about all the emotion she is allowed to show. This is a claustrophobic story of how crazy people do crazy things. There might be a murder committed, but I'm not telling. It is set in a kind of mythical Essex marshes, and the sun never shines once through the mist. They must have used up all the dry ice in London for this film.


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