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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

My Sister Eileen (1942)

Two sisters from Ohio, one a writer (Rosalind Russell) and the other an actress (Janet Blair), move from Ohio to Greenwich Village in New York to further their careers. They rent a basement apartment and their very lives become an adventure as they struggle to get a foot in the door. Based on the 1940 Broadway play by way of Ruth McKenney's short stories published in the New Yorker magazine and directed by Alexander Hall (HERE COMES MR. JORDAN). This is a delightful screwball farce, quickly paced and full of interesting quirky characters. Russell really was a crackerjack comedienne, the kind of actress who could take the simplest line and twist it into a biting wisecrack. The pretty Blair doesn't have much to do but look pretty which she does effortlessly but the supporting cast is full of ace character actors doing what they did best. Bouncy and lively, it's a comic treat. Russell would play the same role in a 1953 Broadway musical version of the story called WONDERFUL TOWN. With Brian Aherne, June Havoc, George Tobias, Allyn Joslyn, Elizabeth Patterson, Jeff Donnell, Donald MacBride and Richard Quine, who would direct the 1955 film version. 

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