7.1/10
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19 user 10 critic

My Sister Eileen (1942)

Approved | | Comedy | 24 September 1942 (USA)
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 »

Director:

Alexander Hall

Writers:

Joseph Fields (screenplay), Jerome Chodorov (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Reviews

On TV

Airs Sat. Sep. 29, 8:00 PM on TCM

ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Rosalind Russell ... Ruth Sherwood
Brian Aherne ... Robert Baker
Janet Blair ... Eileen Sherwood
George Tobias ... Appopolous
Allyn Joslyn ... Chic Clark
Grant Mitchell ... Walter Sherwood
Gordon Jones ... 'The Wreck' Loomis
Elizabeth Patterson ... Grandma Sherwood
Richard Quine ... Frank Lippincott
June Havoc ... Effie Shelton
Donald MacBride ... Officer Lonigan
Frank Sully ... Jenson
Clyde Fillmore Clyde Fillmore ... Ralph Craven
Jeff Donnell ... Helen Loomis (as Miss Jeff Donnell)
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Storyline

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 <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Famous Broadway Coast-to-Coast Stage Hit Hilariously Hits the Screen!

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 September 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ma soeur est capricieuse See more »

Company Credits

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

The play, "My Sister Eileen," opened on December 26, 1940 at the Biltmore Theatre. The Broadway production, directed by George S. Kaufman, adapted for the stage from Ruth McKinney's book by Joseph Fields and Jerome Chodorov. The production featured Shirley Booth as Ruth and Jo Ann Sayers as Eileen, with Richard Quine as the soda jerk Frank Lippincott. (He reprises his role in the 1942 film.) The play moved three times, and closed on January 16, 1943, after a run of 864 performances. In 1952, Fields and Chodorovand adapted "My Sister Eileen" into the musical, "Wonderful Town," with music by Leonard Bernstein. The Broadway production of "Wonderful Town" opened at the Winter Garden Theater in New York on February 25, 1953 and ran for 559 performances. In 1955, Columbia Pictures made a separate musical of My Sister Eileen (1955), starring Janet Leigh, Betty Garrett, and Jack Lemmon, and directed by Richard Quine. My Sister Eileen (1960) also became a short-lived TV comedy series starring Elaine Stritch and Shirley Bonne. See more »

Goofs

When Bob puts Ruth in the taxicab outside of the police station, the shadow of the boom mic can be seen moving across the hood of the cab. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Subway Builder: Hey Moe, I think we made da wrong toin!
See more »

Connections

Version of My Sister Eileen (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech
(uncredited)
Written by Billy Walthall, Frank Roman, Charles Ives and Michael Greenblatt
Sung by Gordon Jones
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A decent film, but often it seemed to try a bit too hard.
3 February 2009 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

The film begins in Columbus, Ohio and young Eileen has visions of stardom on the stage--though she only has worked in community theater. Her older sister, Rosalind Russell, is an aspiring writer and they agree to both go to New York to seek fame and fortune. Along the way, they meet a bazillion crazy characters who wander into their basement apartment faster than is humanly possible. And, yes, I truly do mean wander into the apartment. It's like Grand Central Station in there and after a while the gimmick just doesn't make sense. Subtle it ain't!

MY SISTER EILEEN is a screwball comedy that is very, very aware that that is exactly what it should be. While often cute and enjoyable, all too often the film seems to think that by being too loud, too chaotic and too goofy, it will be a successful film. Personally, I enjoyed it but wish they'd perhaps slowed the whole thing down and tried for at least some subtlety and style. It made the pacing of ARSENIC AND OLD LACE and BRINGING UP BABY seem absolutely slow by comparison!! Throughout this film, whenever the action seems to slow, the film makers seem to just randomly toss characters into the mix with the instructions "act kooky"--sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. As a result, it's a very hit or miss production. However, fortunately, the film ends on a very high note with a surprise (and funny) cameo appearance. I won't say more--it might spoil the fun.

Overall, it's a good time-passer and a decent film, but don't expect magic.


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