6.9/10
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34 user 4 critic

The Sisters (1938)

Approved | | Drama | 14 October 1938 (USA)
Three daughters of a small town pharmacist undergo trials and tribulations in their problematic marriages between 1904 and 1908.

Director:

Anatole Litvak

Writers:

Milton Krims (screen play), Myron Brinig (from the novel by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Errol Flynn ... Frank Medlin
Bette Davis ... Louise Elliott
Anita Louise ... Helen Elliott
Ian Hunter ... William Benson
Donald Crisp ... Tim Hazelton
Beulah Bondi ... Rose Elliott
Jane Bryan ... Grace Elliott
Alan Hale ... Sam Johnson
Dick Foran ... Tom Knivel
Henry Travers ... Ned Elliott
Patric Knowles ... Norman French
Lee Patrick ... Flora Gibbon
Laura Hope Crews ... Flora's Mother
Janet Shaw ... Stella Johnson
Harry Davenport ... Doc Moore
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Storyline

Sisters Louise Elliott, Helen Elliott and Grace Elliott - the daughters of pharmacist Ned Elliott and his wife Rose Elliott - are considered the most attractive and desirable young women in 1904 Silver Bow, Montana. The eldest Louise is the smart, practical one who is pre-engaged to stuffy Tom Knivel, middle daughter Helen is the one who wants excitement in her life regardless of love, and youngest Grace is the naive one. Louise's practicality is why it is somewhat of a surprise when she immediately falls in love with newspaper sportswriter and aspiring novelist Frank Medlin, marries him and runs off with him to his home base of San Francisco. Long pursuing him, Helen marries wealthy older Sam Johnson, who she doesn't love, but who can provide the exciting lifestyle she wants. And Grace, nursing his broken heart, marries Tom. As each sister endures the problems in her marriage - Louise's whose becomes the most obvious as Frank drowns whatever his problems in life in a bottle of booze,... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 October 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

As Irmãs See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Several people are in studio records/casting call lists as cast members, but they did not appear or were not identifiable in the movie. These were (with their character names, if any): Edwin Brian (Newsboy), Rosella Towne, Susan Hayward, Paulette Evans and Frances Morris (Telephone Operators), John Harron, Lew Harvey, Richard Bond and Mira McKinney. The 4 telephone operators were possibly among a group seen only from the rear and are not recognizable. See more »

Goofs

At the ball on the night of Theodore Roosevelt's presidential election in 1901, the song "In My Merry Oldsmobile" is played. This song wasn't published until 1905. See more »

Quotes

Frank Medlin: [Asking the City Editor for a raise] I'm a married man with responsibilities, and all I'm asking you for is enough money to live like a human being.
City Editor: You can't come around here complaining about "hard times" when you smell like a saloon most of the time!
Frank Medlin: Ha! You're a fine one to preach! Why, you've had your nose in a whiskey bottle so long it looks like an old cork!
City Editor: I've had enough out of you, Medlin. You're fired!
Frank Medlin: [Slightly taken aback] Fired?... That's fine. I'll go get myself a decent job, now....
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Elizabeth & Essex: Battle Royale (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree
(uncredited)
Music by Egbert Van Alstyne
Played in the saloon full of sailors
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The young Errol Flynn is the whole point
18 February 2005 | by mik-19See all my reviews

Big sister Louise from small-town Silver Bow, Montana, falls in love instantly with dashing sports reporter Frank from San Francisco. The year is 1904, and Roosevelt is getting re-elected. The couple elope and try to eke out a living in the big city, but he is restless and nothing comes of his writing ambitions, and their marriage looks like it is failing ...

There is nothing great or everlasting about 'The Sisters', but you might want to watch it for its stars. Bette Davis is resourceful and unassuming as Louise, a far cry from her Jezebel of the following year.

So that leaves Errol Flynn, the very young Errol Flynn, but nevertheless an actor of such abundant charisma that you quite understand how Louise's heart skips a beat, and how her dancing gets out of sync, as she gazes at him at their first meeting. Frank is the quintessential reckless, impetuous and fundamentally enchanting man about town, earnest in love, but quick to give up on all he holds dear. It goes without saying that he looks stunning, with his exquisite bone structure and muzzled up hair. How could Ian Hunter ever hope to compete? Director Anatole Litvak does provide a few touches to redeem this otherwise quite pedestrian romantic melodrama. The earthquake was well done, and the cunning way the sisters conspire to rid the town of the local tramp by telling their menfolk, "We consider it a community problem". Point taken!


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