The Sisters

Overview

The 1938 filmization of Myron Brinig's novel The Sisters stars Bette Davis, Jane Bryan and Anita Louise as Louise, Grace and Helen Elliot. The daughters of turn-of-the-century druggist Henry Travers and his wife Beulah Bondi, the Elliot girls all meet their future husbands at a 1904 ball in honor of President Teddy Roosevelt. Special emphasis is given the relationship between Louise and reckless, irresponsible newspaperman Frank Medlin Errol Flynn. Feeling trapped by his marriage, Medlin turns to drink and ...
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Overview

The 1938 filmization of Myron Brinig's novel The Sisters stars Bette Davis, Jane Bryan and Anita Louise as Louise, Grace and Helen Elliot. The daughters of turn-of-the-century druggist Henry Travers and his wife Beulah Bondi, the Elliot girls all meet their future husbands at a 1904 ball in honor of President Teddy Roosevelt. Special emphasis is given the relationship between Louise and reckless, irresponsible newspaperman Frank Medlin Errol Flynn. Feeling trapped by his marriage, Medlin turns to drink and philandering. When Frank eventually runs off to Singapore, Louise is too proud to hold her husband by informing him that she's pregnant. Caught up in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake superbly conveyed with a single interior shot of a collapsing apartment, Louise wanders around dazedly until she finds shelter in an Oakland brothel though it is not so specified. She loses her baby, but is consoled by her employer Ian Hunter, who falls in love with her. The original book ended with Louise giving up her unhappy marriage for a joyous relationship with her boss; the film ends with Louise being reunited with the suddenly sobered Frank despite the protests of both Bette Davis and Errol Flynn. A prime example of Hollywood Soap Opera, The Sisters also yielded an amusing reel of outtakes, the best of which shows Bette Davis breaking up Errol Flynn by sighing "I've just had a baby in the ladies' room."
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Hans J. Wollstein
Despite the title, Warner Bros.' The Sisters actually belongs to Errol Flynn and the actor does receive top billing above Bette Davis. But his clipped accent is not that believable and the patched-on happy ending all but betrays his far from heroic character. Even so, the earthquake scenes (partially lifted from the 1927 silent Old San Francisco) are eye-catching and Davis is her usual stalwart self. She was, they claim, in love with director Anatole Litvak but Litvak nevertheless awarded most of the close-ups to Flynn. As a period piece, The Sisters remains fairly entertaining but in the end it all adds up to just so much soap opera.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/1/2011
  • UPC: 883316387726
  • Original Release: 1938
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Region Code: 0
  • Presentation: Full Frame
  • Time: 1:39:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 25,906

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
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
Ruth Garland Laura Bennett
John Warburton Lord Anthony Bittick
Paul Harvey Caleb Ammon
Mayo Methot Blonde
Irving Bacon Robert Forbes
Arthur Hoyt Tom Selig
Granville Bates Announcer
Richard Bond Boy
Loia Cheaney Maid
Georgia Cooper Woman
Edgar Edwards Soldier
Stanley Fields Ship's Captain
Mildred Gover Black Maid
Stuart Holmes Bartender
Robert E. Homans Editor
Vera Lewis
Mira McKinney
Peggy Moran Girl
Frances Morris Telephone Operator
Jack Mower Ship's Officer
Bob Perry Referee
Lee Phelps
Constantine Romanoff Spectator
Rosella Towne
Bessie Wade
Larry Williams Young Man
Lotta Williams
Paulette Evans
Susan Hayward Telephone Operator
Technical Credits
Anatole Litvak Director
David Lewis Producer
Leo F. Forbstein Score Composer, Musical Direction/Supervision
Tony Gaudio Cinematographer
Milton Krims Screenwriter
Warren Low Editor
Orry-Kelly Costumes/Costume Designer
C.A. Riggs Sound/Sound Designer
Max Steiner Score Composer
Hal B. Wallis Producer
Carl Jules Weyl Art Director
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Sisters
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