My Sister Ellen (1942)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
German title My sister Ellen
Original title My sister Eileen
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1942
length 96 minutes
Director Alexander Hall
script Joseph Fields ,
Jerome Chodorov
production Max Gordon
music Sidney Cutner
camera Joseph Walker
cut Viola Lawrence

My sister Ellen (original title: My Sister Eileen ) is an American comedy film by Alexander Hall from 1942. The literary model was the play of the same name by the scriptwriters Joseph Fields and Jerome Chodorov , who in turn were based on autobiographical short stories by the author Ruth McKenney .


The two sisters Ruth and Ellen move from their rural hometown in Ohio to New York , where they rent a modest place in Greenwich Village with the little money they have . While Ruth has worked as a reporter so far, Ellen has already tried her hand as an actress in Ohio. She also wants to try her luck on stage in New York. On her search for a job, she meets the reporter Chic Clark. Meanwhile, Ruth tries to get a job with a local newspaper, but gets into an argument with the owner of the newspaper, which is why she immediately returns. She accidentally leaves a manuscript behind, which the editor Robert Baker finds and tries to bring back to her.

When Robert meets Ruth at home, he invites her to a restaurant, where he encourages her to write about her life so far. While Robert is enthusiastic about the resulting story, his boss rejects it, which is why Robert feels compelled to quit. In order to be able to be alone with Ellen in her apartment for a few hours, Chic orders Ruth to drive to the port in Brooklyn , where she is supposed to document the arrival of the Portuguese merchant fleet as a reporter. Chic's plan goes wrong, however, so that Ellen also ends up in Brooklyn, where she and her sister encourage the sailors to have a wild party. Ellen is arrested by the police for disturbing the peace.

The next morning, Ruth and Ellen's grandmother and father Walter unexpectedly arrive at their Greenwich Village apartment and insist that both girls return to Ohio. While Ruth is packing her bags, Robert arrives with her with a check for $ 250 as a fee for her story, which he was ultimately able to sell to his old boss. Happy about the news, Ruth decides to stay in New York. Robert's boss also wants to publish Ruth's latest stories, which Ruth only gets involved in when he introduces Ellen to a few theater producers in return.


The screenplay is based on the Broadway stage success of the same name by screenwriters Joseph Fields and Jerome Chodorov . These were inspired for the play by autobiographical short stories by Ruth McKenney , which she had published in The New Yorker . In these stories, which Ruth McKinney compiled into a book after the newspaper was published, she reports on how the different sisters grew up together. Eileen McKinnon (1913–1940), the role model for Eileen, later married the writer Nathanael West and died with him in a car accident.

The film, in which The Three Stooges had a guest appearance, premiered on September 24, 1942 in the United States. In Germany, the film was first shown in cinemas in September 1946. The name of Janet Blair's character was changed from Eileen to Ellen.

1955 resulted in a Musical - remake in technicolor with Janet Leigh and Jack Lemmon . While Richard Quine played a supporting role in the 1942 version, he took over the direction of the remake. From 1960 to 1961, a CBS series based on the same material ran on American television .


For the lexicon of international films , My Sister Ellen was a "[a] must-have adaptation of a Broadway hit comedy" that was "tailored to the point-safe Rosalind Russell". Russell is so good that she "plays her fellow actors on the wall". According to Bosley Crowther of the New York Times , the film is "a comic balancing act" in parts. Rosalind Russell embodies the clever sister "in a pleasantly surly and cynical way", while Janet Blair comes along as "disarmingly naive as the pretty, desirable one". Variety described Russell's performance as an "effective mixture of scarcity and cordiality".

Craig Butler of the All Movie Guide said in retrospect that the film was "silly and shallow", but at the same time "not only adorable, but downright adorable". The script has "lots of laughs" ready. Russell is in "top form". She throws funny lines around, has “very good timing” and carries the film “as if it were the easiest thing in the world to deliver such a remarkable achievement”. Butler also praised Janet Blair, Brian Aherne and Richard Quine, but said it was Russell who won the hearts of the audience and made My Sister Ellen "the kind of movie" you could watch over and over again on television. The film critic Leonard Maltin spoke of a "[a] must-have story of two Ohio girls" that seems "sometimes forced". Russell stole the show for the most part.


Rosalind Russell was for her performance at the Oscars 1943 in the category Best Actress nomination, but had to Greer Garson in Mrs. Miniver beaten.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b cf.
  2. ^ Dwight Garner: Married to Their Colorful Histories . In: The New York Times . March 18, 2010, ISSN  0362-4331 ( [accessed February 8, 2020]).
  3. My sister Ellen. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed June 9, 2019 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  4. “This film is largely a farcical juggling act […]. But Rosalind Russell plays the smart sister with a delightfully dour and cynical air, and Janet Blair is disarmingly naive as the pretty, desirable one. " Bosley Crowther : 'My Sister Eileen,' With Janet Blair and Rosalind Russell, at Music Hall . In: The New York Times , October 23, 1942.
  5. ^ "Rosalind Russell's performance as authoress Ruth is an effective blend of curtness and warmth." See My Sister Eileen . In: Variety , 1942.
  6. My Sister Eileen is admittedly silly and light, but it's […] not only charming but downright lovable. […] It also boasts a good deal of laughs […]. Russell is in supreme form, tossing off one-liners with scorchingly precise timing, […] and carrying the film as if it were the easiest thing in the world to turn in such a remarkable star turn. […], But it's Russell that wins your heart and makes My Sister Eileen the kind of film you're always glad to run across on TV. " Craig Butler, cf.
  7. “Amusing tale of two Ohio girls […]; strained at times. Belongs mainly to Russell. " Leonard Maltin : Leonard Maltin's Movie and Video Guide 2002 . Plume, 2001, p. 950.