05/27/2016  
Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

'Nashville': 12 Best Music Moments From TV Series ...
The Voice Finale: Alisan Porter Wins Season 10 ...
Pink's Hairstylist on Her Billboard Music Awards Look...
Adele's Send My Love to Your New Lover video: Director ...
Bryan Cranston Mesmerizes as LBJ in HBO's 'All the Way'...
Kristin Chenoweth takes on a different kind of role ...
Survivor: Kaoh Rong: And the winner is... ...
Ghostbusters Are Desperately Trying to Save New York Ci...
The Beach Boys' 'Pet Sounds' Turns 50: How Brian Wilson...
Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom Pack on the PDA at Cannes ...





Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment presents
My Sister Eileen (1955)

Robert: I usually can figure out what a person is like from the way they write. But you don't seem to me like a confirmed cynic.
Ruth: Spinsters can be pretty deceptive sometimes.
Robert: I didn't mean to offend you.
Ruth: Offend me? Just 'cause you say I write like a frustrated old maid?
Robert: Look, I'd love to discuss this thing further with you, but I can't, you see. And just to keep the record straight, I didn't call you frustrated.
Ruth: Thank you.

- Jack Lemmon, Betty Garrett

Review By: David Krauss   
Published: February 22, 2005

Stars: Janet Leigh, Jack Lemmon, Betty Garrett
Other Stars: Robert Fosse, Kurt Kasznar, Richard York, Lucy Marlow, Richard Deacon
Director: Richard Quine

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 01h:47m:20s
Release Date: February 22, 2005
UPC: 043396073272
Genre: musical


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B C+B+A D

DVD Review

There's a lot of quality talent involved in My Sister Eileen, but somehow this perky 1950s musical never reaches the scintillating heights one expects from such an impressive collection of résumés. Despite choreography by Bob Fosse, a screenplay co-written by Blake Edwards, songs by Jule Styne (Gypsy, Funny Girl), and a cast that includes Janet Leigh, Jack Lemmon, Betty Garrett, and Fosse himself, the story of two Ohio sisters who struggle to make it big in New York becomes mired in mediocrity early on, and can't muster the muscle to dig itself out.

Okay, so Leigh, Lemmon, and Garrett can't hold a candle to Garland, Astaire, and Charisse, and Columbia ain't no MGM—especially where musicals are concerned. But even if we cut My Sister Eileen the necessary slack, it still comes up short. Few of the songs or dance routines sparkle, and though the plot's premise is cute enough, the execution is often clumsy, and the whole enterprise drags on far too long. Early in his career, director Richard Quine co-starred with Garland and Mickey Rooney in one of their Busby Berkeley backyard musicals, so he's familiar with the format; he also played the Fosse role in the earlier non-musical version of My Sister Eileen, starring Rosalind Russell. But unfortunately, he has trouble parlaying all that experience into a successful motion picture.

With high hopes and a low bank account, plain-jane Ruth Sherwood (Garrett), a practical would-be writer, arrives in New York with her knockout blonde sister, Eileen (Leigh), an aspiring actress. They rent a rundown basement apartment that's constantly rocked by underground subway blasting, and deal with a host of kooky neighbors, including Ted "Wrecks" Loomis, a former college football star played by, of all people, a pre-Bewitched Dick York. A letter of introduction gets Ruth an interview with magazine editor Robert Baker (Lemmon), but when he abruptly rejects her melodramatic love stories, Ruth decides to write about the all-too-true escapades of Eileen and how she effortlessly manipulates the opposite sex. The steamy yarns turn Robert's head, yet Ruth makes him believe Eileen is merely a fictional version of herself—a little white lie that balloons into a great big headache. Meanwhile, soda jerk Frank Lippincott (Fosse) and newspaperman Chick Clark (Tommy Rall) help Eileen break into show business—and vie for her affection.

If all this sounds a lot like Wonderful Town, there's a good reason. Both musicals are based on the same story, yet My Sister Eileen lacks the pizzazz of the Leonard Bernstein-Betty Comden-Adolph Green Broadway hit. The cast wrings a few laughs from the script by Edwards and Quine, but much of the humor seems forced, and though Styne's songs sound bright and melodic, they're instantly forgettable.

Enthusiasm, however, abounds, and helps transform My Sister Eileen into a painless piece of fluff. Leigh unveils some palpable musical ability, singing There's Nothing Like Love in a surprisingly pleasant voice, and dancing quite capably (with Garrett, Fosse, and Rall) in perhaps the film's best number, Give Me A Band and My Baby. Even Lemmon proves he can carry a tune, but leaves the flashy moves to Fosse and Rall, both of whom deserved far better film careers, and whose acrobatic competition dance showcases their supreme craftsmanship, while providing a glimpse of the choreographic genius Fosse would soon become.

Hollywood also gave Garrett a raw deal, indirectly blacklisting her after her husband, Larry Parks (The Jolson Story), admitted to the House Un-American Activities Committee a former affiliation with the Communist party. Garrett's considerable career momentum, built from key roles in On the Town and Take Me Out to the Ball Game, screeched to a halt, and she was off the screen for six years. She hoped My Sister Eileen would spark a professional renaissance, but even though the film gave her the kind of starring role of which she'd always been worthy, and showcases both her effervescent, wisecracking personality and marvelous talent for musical comedy, it didn't generate any buzz. Garrett would eventually find a niche on TV's All in the Family and Laverne and Shirley, but at the very least, this minor musical, for all its flaws, shows us the type of career this fine actress could have—and should have—enjoyed.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: C+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio2.55:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: Remastered in high definition, the widescreen anamorphic transfer possesses good clarity, although some interior scenes could stand a bit of brightening. The source print, however, remains largely free of any age-related defects, allowing viewers to concentrate on the vibrant and well-saturated Technicolor hues. Fleshtones look natural, blacks are solid and inky, and though some sequences possess more grain than others, the transfer preserves the film-like feel. My Sister Eileen has certainly never looked better, and the lush treatment will please fans of the musical genre.

Image Transfer Grade: B+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital
4.0
Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: The DD 4.0 track really impresses, taking full advantage of stereo separation during the musical numbers, and never failing to provide clear, dynamic sound. No surface noise or distortion interferes, and the rumbling bass during the several incidents of tunnel-blasting possesses more sonic oomph than most action movie explosions. (You've really gotta hear it to believe it.) Dialogue is always easy to understand, and the music enjoys solid fidelity. Many classic musicals advertise multi-channel audio, but My Sister Eileen truly delivers it.

Audio Transfer Grade: A

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Japanese with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
3 Other Trailer(s) featuring It Should Happen to You, Bye Bye Birdie, Born Yesterday
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: The film's original theatrical trailer and a few peeks at other Columbia classics are the only extras offered. Chaptering is also a bit thin for a film that runs close to two hours.

Extras Grade: D

 

Final Comments

Despite a formidable talent pool, My Sister Eileen still works better as Wonderful Town. This sprightly yet bland musical never quite catches our fancy, but fans of Bob Fosse might get a kick out of seeing the Oscar-winning director in his only leading movie role. Sony's meticulous audio and video transfers add some welcome luster, but can't make this mid-'50s curio truly shine.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

television, nashville, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, music, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, hbo, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, movie, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked, survivor: kaoh-rong, reality, michelle fitzgerald, aubry, tai, jeff probst, comedy remake, ghostbusters, melissa mccarthy, kristen wiig, kate mckinnon, leslie jones, beach boys, pet sounds, brian wilson, bob dylan, blonde on blonde, cannes film festival, selena gomez, beyonce, crazy in love, lemonade, sorry, donÕt hurt yourself, daddy lessons, dancing with the stars, nyle dimarco, bruno tonioli, carrie ann inaba, len goodman, live! with kelly and michael, kelly ripa michael strahan, beyoncˇ, jay z, rachel roy, cheating, prince, little red corvette, purple rain, linus and lucy, the bourne supremacy, the bourne ultimatum, matt damon, alicia vikander, vincent cassel, tommy lee jones, julia stiles, paul greengrass, game of thrones, sansa, ramsay bolton, theron greyjoy, reek, petyr baelish, cersei, jaime, stephen colbert, hillary clinton, carnegie deli, the late show with stepen colbert, jungle book, disney, neel sethi, bill murray, rudyard kipling, captain america: civil war, captain america, iron man, black panther, scarlet witch, the jungle book, virtual productions, avatar, gravity, jon favreau, fantasy, james cameron, avatar sequels, avatar 2, christmas 2018, movies, tribeca film festival, the first monday in may, andrew rossi, justin bieber, anna wintour, met gala, 38 interactive and virtual-reality exhibits, the bomb, the meddler, j.j. abrams, chris rock, tom hanks, john oliver, elvis & nixon, mtv movie awards, dwayne johnson, kevin hart, warner bros. studios, will smith, suicide squad, jared leto, margot robbie, cara delevingne, kiss, freedom to rock, 35 date tour, july 7, caleb johnson, dead daisies, kiss online, merle haggard, died, okie from muskogee, sing me back, mama tried, the bakersfield sound, country music. willie nelson, waylon jennings, gram parsons, eric church, hungry eyes, jimmy fallon, the boss, brand new key, x gonna give it to ya, miles ahead, don cheadle, miles davis, rock and roll hall of fame, ewan mcgregor, michael stuhbarg, lakeith lee stanfield, house of lies, finding dory, ellen degeneres, finding nemo, albert brooks, hayden rolence, animation

On Facebook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store