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  • This is a charming movie featuring an nonmustached, gorgeous Errol Flynn and a young, lovely Bette Davis. Davis gives a wonderful ingénue performance as the less fortunate of three pharmacist's daughters who live and love at the turn of the century (with the action beginning with the election of Roosevelt and ending with the election of Taft). The Davis character marries Errol Flynn, who runs into trouble with employment and alcohol. The other two daughters stay closer to home and do better. Davis, however, is determined to stand by her man and make her marriage work.

    It's delightful to see these stars in somewhat different roles than they would play later in their careers. They are ably supported by Anita Louise, Jane Bryan, Ian Hunter, Beulah Bondi, Lee Patrick, Dick Foran, Alan Hale, and Laura Hope Crewes.

    The Warners film intended to be true to the book - however, the preview cards demanded another ending. I have to say, I like the changed ending as well.
  • Errol Flynn and Bette Davis did the first of two films together in The Sisters and curiously enough it followed landmark films for both of them, The Adventures of Robin Hood for Flynn and Bette's second Academy Award winner, Jezebel.

    It was an interesting project for both, but fell somewhat flat at the box office. Still it's not a bad film at all and for Flynn it was an attempt to expand his range as player.

    Bette's usual shtick is held firmly in check my director Anatole Litvak. She's one of three daughters of Henry Travers and Beulah Bondi of Broken Bow Montana and the action of the film takes place between Election Day of 1904 and 1908. Shortly after the first election where all three encounter the men they would marry.

    For Jane Bryan it's Dick Foran, a proper young man of business who soon becomes president of the bank and they settle down to a nice middle class existence. It's only threatened when Foran falls victim to the town tart briefly, one of many men in the area.

    For Anita Louise, she's a naughty flirt who likes romance, but also likes her creature comforts. She marries Alan Hale who's the wealthiest guy in town, who's also a widower looking for a trophy wife. She lucks into the best of both worlds when he dies leaving her well provided for and free to pursue love in comfort.

    But the main plot revolves around Bette Davis who marries newspapermen Errol Flynn, a charming, but essentially weak character. He likes to drink and carouse and even impending fatherhood doesn't put a damper on that. He leaves her, purely coincidentally right in the middle of the San Francisco Earthquake.

    Some don't like Flynn's performance, but I think he did fine in the role. The problem was that the brothers Warner filmed two different endings and gave into public opinion in the one you see. Flynn, by the way thought they did the wrong thing. Without giving it away, the ending should have resembled one they gave Four Daughters which was also produced by them in 1938.

    Despite the fact that Errol and Bette hated each other they got through the film and it's not bad. Look also for good performances from Donald Crisp as Flynn's sportswriter friend and Ian Hunter who gives Bette a job after Flynn leaves her and loves her as well.
  • 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!
  • wes-connors15 September 2007
    Bette Davis (as Louise Elliott) is a Montana woman who marries San Franciscan sports reporter Errol Flynn (as Frank Medlin). Her sisters Anita Louise (as Helen), and Jane Bryan (as Grace) marry at the same time; the three sisters find wedded bliss is short-lived. Supporting floozies Lee Patrick and Laura Hope Crews are a very well-matched mother and daughter tag-team who befriend the deserted "Louise".

    Whatever the film's original intentions may have been, it is really about ONE sister; naturally, it's the sister played by Bette Davis, and HER marriage to the character played by Errol Flynn. The stars are in fine form as the love-struck young couple who hit on hard times. Ms. Davis is refreshing as a housewife who becomes ill in a smoke-filled boxing arena, and Mr. Flynn is convincing as the husband who drinks to heal his wounded pride. Flynn asks a significant question about his character: why did marriage make his wife strong, and himself weak? Similarly, the objective of "The Sisters" as a film is strong, and the story weak. Yet, the production level is high; and, historical events like Presidential elections (Roosevelt, Taft) and the San Francisco earthquake are used to great advantage.

    ****** The Sisters (1938) Anatole Litvak ~ Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, Anita Louise
  • A very watchable chick flick, with a marvelous Bette Davis, and a mundane Errol Flynn. Chick flick (a damnable moniker) is modern shorthand for movies that deal with female themes, relationships, romance, and emotions, which this movie has in abundance. But this film is wonderful; and at the very least is a time capsule preserving 1938 attitudes of turn of the 20th Century history. (From one who has been in a few earthquakes, trust me, the San Francisco Quakescenes are very well done). The story is about the wooing and wedding tales of three sisters, and focuses primarily on the Bette Davis character's romance with Errol Flynn. Davis is pushing the outside of the envelope for a great performance (more than the script gives her),and Flynn is a handsome but uninspired scarecrow. He did not have to reach very far to find the serious minded, alcoholic, sexually confused, and restless soul that he plays here. What spills out is drab. Still, even when he was mediocre, he was special.

    I found it difficult to turn this one off, as the production values are superb. The set director does an incredible job of decoration, placing the story in the era. The cinematography and lighting are exceptional. And the makeup! The characters are full of detail from the period, right down to the grease on the face of the automobile drivers. A film lovers film. Don't miss this.
  • This is a most excellent drama, set in San Francisco from 1904 to 1908, with the great earthquake of 1906 at its center. While the business failure of Flynn's character is a little unrealistic, both he and Bette Davis play sympathetic characters; they made me feel the disappointment of people who expect a lot out of Life and then suffer through its hardships.

    The scenes of the earthquake are terrific - don't miss the seemingly ENDLESS shaking and destruction of Bette's rented room, as her neighbor comes screaming into the room looking for comfort, and the indoors gives way to the OUTDOORS! Very nice effects for 1938, 60+ years before computer imaging! That part of the story seems all the more poignant to me, now that we know the death figures were faked - at least 10 times as many died as the officials admitted.

    I won't give away the ending, but it was satisfying and made me glad to have seen the film. Do catch it on Turner, which runs it a couple times per year.
  • "The Sisters" is not seen often these days. It is a curiosity piece because it's a minor Bette Davis film in which she plays an ordinary woman, a departure from some of her other more intense dramas we are more accustomed to seeing. As directed by Anatole Litvak, the film doesn't show anything new.

    The story about the Eliott sisters from Montana, is mildly interesting. The Eliott household is a happy one. We see them at the beginning of the film as they are preparing for the election night ball in their small town in which Theodore Roosevelt is the winner in the presidential race. The three sisters make a quite an attraction among the young male population because their good looks.

    What appears to be a nice family when we first meet them, suddenly fades into memory as the three sisters go in different directions, as life intervenes along the way. Louise, the older sister, proves to be a survivor, if only she has to experience a lot in her own life before real happiness can be achieved. Helen, the beautiful middle sister, marries an older man who offers her security. Grace, the younger one, is the only one to stay in town and marries Tom.

    Louise experiences the worst fate of all the sisters when she finds herself abandoned in San Francisco by her husband Frank. He wants to get away from the scene of his failure in order to prove himself worthy of Louise's love. By going overseas as a merchant seaman, he wants to see if he can make any good out himself. Louise is in the middle of the 1906 earthquake and loses all she had.

    At the end, all sisters are back home on another election night ball as they watch Willliam Taft being proclaimed as president of the nation. Their lives come together at the end, as all find peace.

    The most exciting time in the film centers around the vivid scenes of the San Francisco earthquake. It's done in a realistic manner. Louise is helped by the next door neighbor, a woman of easy morals, who turned out to be a real friend.

    The performances are good, but don't expect any sparks from the subdued Louise of Bette Davis. Ms. Davis gives a nuanced performance. The problem is, one expected an over the top star turn by the actress, and her Louise is the epitome of common sense and kindness. Errol Flynn, as Frank, the deserting husband, is seen in a different role as well. He is not as dashing and debonair as in his signature performances, but in spite of playing against type, his take on Frank gives another dimension of his acting range.

    The beautiful Anita Louise makes an interesting contribution to the film. Ian Hunter as the kind Mr. Benson, also adds to the picture. The wonderful Lee Patrick plays Flora, the good neighbor, with conviction. Donald Crisp makes another great appearance as Frank's friend. Henry Travers and Beulah Bondi are seen as the Eliott sister's parents. Jane Bryan, as Grace has some good moments, but she is eclipsed by the more interesting older sisters.

    This is a film to watch Bette Davis and Errol Flynn playing roles that are completely different from others we are used to see them in.
  • This movie is about three affluent sisters, the men they marry and the result this has on their lives. The focus in particular is on Bette Davis and her unwise choice of Errol Flynn for a husband. This SHOULDN'T come as a big surprise to the audience, as this sort of behavior is more expected from the real-life Flynn than the other male leads! The other sisters have differing success with their love lives, though through it all they have a strong sense of family and decency.

    The movie scores high marks for excellent acting, writing and production values. While not the best Warner Brothers has to offer, it certainly is among their better efforts.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Upon seeing this relatively forgotten film, I kept getting flashes of the type of movie adaptations of E. M. Forster's novels "Howard's End" and "Where Angels Fear to Tread", both made into successful movies during the early 1990s.

    Despite being a story heavily entrenched in Americana, beginning and ending with the election of presidents and the symbolic position of the three Eliott sisters and their relation to their husbands and their parents, there is an interesting feel that this would have eventually been picked up by the BBC and turned into a Masterpiece Theatre miniseries. The reason for this being that while Bette Davis' character Louise Elliot gets the lion's share of the story of the three sisters, I felt that the other two -- Grace and Helen -- are left somewhat adrift and under-developed, and this leaves the title of the movie a little misleading. There is so much that could have been done had the entire Elliot family been fleshed out, but due to an expiration date of 100 minutes and the presence of Davis, Errol Flynn and Ian Hunter (all stars in their own right and needing screen time), this would have been nearly impossible and back then, ensemble movies were rare.

    However, THE SISTERS is a very good movie that holds up well. The San Francisco earthquake scene is handled well using a mix of stock footage and a shaking set, making the viewing experience real, even when it's clear that the background "skyline" is as still as Ayer's Rock. It's also a part of the films Bette Davis made during the time when she was getting better parts and high-profile projects and was about to become BETTE DAVIS. She looks remarkably similar -- minus the pencil-thin line she draws on her mouth -- to Regina Giddens in THE LITTLE FOXES, without the harshness. Errol Flynn is well-matched with Davis although she stated not liking working with him and fought to have her name over his in the opening credits due to the fact the plot revolved around her and not him. She would get this, though, the next time they'd work together in THE PRIVATE LIVES OF ELIZABETH AND ESSEX, and by then she'd be an even bigger, stronger star than Flynn.
  • Despite the authentic period detail and a very well-staged, realistic earthquake scene that takes place late in this story of early San Francisco (but fails to wake up the sluggish plot), the tale itself is a weak one that gives neither BETTE DAVIS nor ERROL FLYNN very much chance to emote as their fans would like them to. Davis plays a loyal wife while Flynn is the family man who can't settle down. Both are professionally competent here, but seem to be fully aware of the script limitations imposed on their bland characters.

    Nevertheless, it's nice to see a more restrained Davis playing a nice, normal woman for a change--but one would expect a few more sparks from their relationship than we get here. Their separation, after he goes off on a binge that takes him away for a four year period while he tries to find himself--and their ultimate reunion--is about all the plot has to offer in the quest for tracing the family history of three daughters who each experience their share of problems in choosing hasty marriages. Beulah Bondi and Henry Travers are their worried parents.

    Bette and Errol have both given better performances in more detailed roles--and were fine a year later in their flashier costume roles as Elizabeth and Essex. This seems to be merely an attempt to work up some box-office interest in two of the studio's top stars while at the same time taking Flynn away from his swashbuckling roles. Then too, this might have been Jack Warner's promotional idea of working up audience interest in the two stars before presenting them in the lavish ELIZ. AND ESSEX the following year.

    Unfortunately, all of the supporting roles are on the bland side except for Alan Hale, Sr. as a wealthy Irishman who marries Anita Louise, a lovely young thing who wants the security his wealth can provide. A plain looking Jane Bryan is totally wasted as the youngest sister who marries Dick Foran, both terminally bland in their respective roles. Donald Crisp is convincing as Flynn's loyal friend.

    But whatever real interest the film has, it owes to the performances of Bette Davis and Errol Flynn who are able to give even this kind of weak material some substance and strength. Ian Hunter as Davis' understanding boss handles his meager assignment with customary charm and skill.

    Negative note: Director Anatole Litvak should have toned down Lee Patrick's performance as an inquisitive chatterbox neighbor. Nice to see Laura Hope Crews (Aunt Pittypat from GWTW) as her fluttery mother.

    Summing up: Whatever energy was put into this production, the end results are meager, even for Davis and Flynn fans.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Errol Flynn had been in movies since 1935 in the U.S., and his films for Warner Brothers were mostly swashbucklers and adventure films. With his slightly British (actually Australian - Irish) accent, he fit so well into exciting period films. Occasionally he did modern films, like the comedy FOURS A CROWD, but these were considered secondary for his fans. They wanted more of Captain Peter Blood or Robin Hood.

    Flynn himself wanted to have more regular roles, but found his requests met with limited success. Jack Warner knew that the key to it all was Flynn's box office, and that depended on adventure stories. So he was amazed by the offer from Warner to appear opposite Bette Davis in THE SISTERS. His role: a newspaper reporter who marries Bette, moves with her to San Francisco, and proves less good at domesticity than she wanted. It was a complete change for Flynn, and he would try to do the role justice. And he failed to do so.

    I keep thinking Warner, a very cagey film producer, was doing two things in giving Flynn the role. First he was testing the waters to see if Flynn and Davis were good together as a film team. Warner had plans to make GONE WITH THE WIND, and wanted Davis to play Scarlett O'Hara, but he wanted Flynn to be Rhett Butler. Davis is on record as having told Warner (more or less) that she did not believe him (he apparently blurted out his plan to stop her when she left the studio in 1936 to fight her contract in England). But later, when she returned to the studio, she told Warner that she wanted someone who could act, and she did not think that Flynn was an actor.

    The other reason was to give Flynn an opportunity to "get it all out of his system". Flynn wanted to be a serious actor - well here was his chance. It was like Daryl Zanuck and Tyrone Power, when the latter wanted to do a serious part. Zanuck gave Power NIGHTMARE ALLEY to "get it out of his system". The difference was that Zanuck did not pick NIGHTMARE ALLEY (Power did), and Power's performance was marvelous as a result (but the film did poorly at the box office). So Power got it out of his system, but showed what he could do. Flynn did not pick THE SISTERS, but was given it by Warner. So for all his determination to perform the part well, he lacked the excitement of playing a role he wanted.

    The story begins in November 1904 when the citizens of a small town in Colorado are celebrating the election of President Theodore Roosevelt for a full term of his own over the Democratic Candidate (one of the two least recalled defeated candidates of the 20th Century: Justice Alton B.Parker of New York State's Court of Appeals). Davis and her two sisters (Anita Louise and Jane Bryant) are shown in their being courted by different men (Flynn, Alan Hale Sr., and Dick Foran), and how they all prosper or don't prosper. Davis and Flynn end up living in San Francisco, and Flynn's wanderlust keeps interfering with his duty as a breadwinner. Due to this and various circumstances, he is on a boat to China when the San Francisco Earthquake occurs (halfway through the film). Louise has a brief marriage to Hale, which leaves her very wealthy - and constantly squired around by men. Bryant and Foran seem to have a fairly routine marriage in comparison. The film ends with Flynn and Davis reunited (but will it last?) at the celebration of the election in November 1908 of William Howard Taft over William Jennings Bryan (paging Robert Culp in THE GREAT SCOUT AND CATFISH THURSDAY).

    While not a bomb, THE SISTERS was no bell ringer at the box office. Davis got most of the critical acclaim (for a relatively quiet role for her - the loss of her baby was the best scene she had). Hale had a more interesting part as a millionaire drunk than Flynn did. Flynn did well - but no more than that. Davis' views of Flynn as a co-star hardened, and she fought (unsuccessfully) to keep him from being the Earl of Essex to her Queen Elizabeth I in ELIZABETH THE QUEEN within a year. But they never did make GONE WITH THE WIND together.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The Sisters (1938) Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, Anita Louise. Jane Bryan, Henri Travers, Buelah Bondi. A wonderful "Matinee' Ladies" film. I was a young girl and would come home from school and there would be my Mom and a friend or two talking about the movie they had seen that afternoon at the downtown movie palace where a Bette or Loretta or any of the other "women-who-suffer" latest film was playing. This one has small town in Montana women, finding the men who will become their partners in life. Bette picks bounder Errol, who she sticks by through thick and thin, even the San Francisco earthquake. Bette suffers the most, but it is the sister who stays in Montana who finally brings them all back together, to help her solve a scandal involving a local femme fa tale who is after the youngest sister's banker husband. The episodic film has major time shifts bookended by the Presidential elections and large celebration balls. The final one with Taft beating Teddy Roosevelt has a lovely shot of each of the women coming from different parts of the ballroom as the camera follows each to the center where they meet and as the celebration goes on, they stand with their arms around each others waist, as the camera tracks back and up. They are highlighted in a glow, and it is just a very moving, lovely end to the film. All three actresses have never been filmed more beautifully. 8/10 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0030755/
  • When I discovered that there were a few films featuring my favorite actress of all time, Bette Davis, that I hadn't yet seen I jumped to find them. One of them is Anatole Litvak's 1938 film "The Sisters", starring Davis as Louise, a young woman in a small Montana town. She and her sisters Helen (Anita Louise) and Rose (Jane Bryan) are attending an election night ball for Theodore Roosevelt when Louise falls in love at first sight with Frank (Errol Flynn). The two run away to San Francisco, where he is a sports writer, and over the next couple of years the sisters' lives take different turns. Louise and Frank fall on hard times together due to his drinking problem and unemployment. Helen marries Sam (Alan Hale), a rich older man who knows it is simply a marriage of convenience, and Rose ends up marrying Louise's ex-boyfriend Tom, the one she left behind when she and Frank married. Throughout all of these problems, the sisters find that they are still there for each other, particularly when each of them has to deal with one crisis or another.

    There's nothing particularly great about "The Sisters"; the acting is decent, the story is decent and pretty melodramatic at times, but there is nothing remarkable about it. I enjoyed the film for what it was – a typical 1930's Warner Bros. Melodrama, and admittedly, Bette Davis absolutely gleams in this film, made one year before she won the Oscar for "Jezebel" and just two years before her true heyday, the 1940's. I honestly wouldn't recommend this film to anyone but a solid Bette Davis fan, or a classic drama film lover. I personally love that genre, so I really enjoyed the film, but it wasn't a "great" production. 6/10 --Shelly
  • Elizabeth-32821 July 1999
    This movie is pretty darn good! Of course you feel like slapping Louise around a little and saying "Frank isn't worth it, honey!", but of course she thinks he's the greatest thing around. Oh well, I guess it would be hard to kick Errol Flynn out!~ Bette is great in the martyr act...really saintly. There is also a fine if small performance by one of my favorite actors, Henry Travers.

    Although some parts can be kind of long and boring, this is a good movie, and worth seeing. And it's not just for Flynn's handsome face!!!

    Rating: 9/10
  • Incalculacable20 April 2006
    The Sisters (1938) is a little-known Bette Davis movie set in the Victorian era. Louise Elliott (Bette Davis) is expecting a proposal any minute but when she goes to celebrate the inauguration of Teddy Roosevelt, her mind changes when she meets the charming Frank Medlin (a young Errol Flynn). They elope to San Francisco and start their life together. Meanwhile, her two younger sisters back home are making decisions of their own.

    This is a predictable story, yes, but that does not make it less entertaining. It was a sweet and hopeful movie. Bette Davis is just amazing in it as the sweet sister, hopelessly in life. Her accent is much changed from the last movie I saw her in. Errol Flynn is very dashing, but I can't help thinking he looks a little different from what I remember him as Robin Hood. His acting isn't the best, but he does his best with the material given to him. It's a little soppy at times (especally Flynn's lines) but it brings a smile to your face - it doesn't make you cringe.

    Overall, a lovely little drama from start to finish. Bette Davis is her usual perfect, captivating self. Thoroughly enjoyable.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    In this fluffy, 1938, period, Chick Flick - The one scene that really killed me was when Flynn's and Davis's characters first meet.

    And here's how it went - Standing in a moderately-sized ballroom of about 60 dancing couples, Flynn's dashing character carefully scans the busy room and, sure enough, his gaze zeros in on one of the most plain and homely females in the crowd (Yep. That's Bette Davis). And instantly he's mesmerized, falling madly in love with her and immediately marrying her on a total whim. (Yeah. Right. Give me a break, already!)

    Set mainly in San Francisco (circa 1904) - "The Sisters" story was hardly about the "sisters" at all. (There were 3 of them) It was chiefly concerned with just one sister, and, that, of course, was Davis's character.

    In my opinion - The Sisters (which is now close to 80 years old) really didn't stand up to the test of time. For the most part this rather predictable, little soap opera was so "dish-water" dull that even the scene of simulated earthquake effects did nothing to alleviate the story's overall monotony.
  • Bette Davis to me and many others is/was one of the greatest actresses of her time and still one of the greats, 'All About Eve', 'Now Voyager', 'Little Foxes', 'The Letter' and 'Jezebel' (all very good to masterpiece films) being especially great performances. Am also fond of Errol Flynn, though don't consider him as good an actor, with my first and favourite film of his being 'The Adventures of Robin Hood' (he's great in his other swashbucklers too).

    There is a lot to recommend in regard to 'The Sisters'. It is not a classic by any stretch and not everything works, with the balance not being quite right. The biggest attraction though is Davis and Flynn, and 'The Sisters' does nothing to disgrace either of them and they are two of the main best things about the film. Neither at their best sure, but for anybody who likes or is a fan of either or both should find little reason to not watch this, even if it is just the once.

    Davis doesn't disappoint, it is a restrained performance but a wholly riveting one. Flynn is dashing and charismatic and their chemistry is very sensitively written and acted. The production values are very handsome, time, effort and money and a huge amount of all three at that clearly went into them. The earthquake effects are still impressive and put a vast majority of earthquake effects in films today to shame. The whole earthquake sequence is very memorable.

    Max Steiner's score is typically luscious and dramatic. The script avoids being too soapy, it's nicely directed and the story generally moves along nicely. The supporting cast are not exceptional but do more than competently, Lee Patrick standing out.

    On the other hand, the supporting characters seem underdeveloped and sidelined in favour of Davis and Flynn. It was right for them to be focused on primarily, but it really shouldn't have been to the extent that there is not an awful lot else in characterisation that one remembers.

    Also, the ending felt too pat and tacked on, not ringing true with what happened before in the story and like the writers were favouring star power over realism.

    In summary, not great but worth seeing. 7/10
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Bette plays Louise Elliot, one of the three lovely daughters of the local long-suffering druggist and his cantankerous wife. Louise is beautiful, calm, placid. Helen is pretty, but a flibbertygibbet and Grace is the youngest, very pragmatic but wanting more than Big Bow, Montana can offer. Louise is almost engaged to the town banker's son, Tom, a big, slow moving not too bright guy. "Almost engaged" because Tom seems to be taking his own sweet time. Then Louise locks eyes with handsome stranger Frank Medlin (played by Errol Flynn) at a ball celebrating Theodore Roosevelt's election. It is love at first sight for both and they elope. At first, Louise and Frank have a sweet little life, but it soon comes out that he is a drunk and ashamed over how poorly he is providing for her, which makes him drink even more. Finally, embarrassed over how he has botched things, Frank takes a position on a ship headed for China, by coincidence it is the same day the 1906 earthquake hits. Louise is certain Frank will return, so she steadfastly remains in their broken down building until she is forced out by authorities. Sick and confused, she remains in the area until her dad comes from Montana looking for her. Fearing Frank is dead in the earthquake, she returns to MT with her father. After the election of Taft, we discover that Frank is still alive, and Louise conveniently forgets everything he put her through when she takes him back with open arms.
  • Louise is swept off 19th century feet When Frank comes to a local dance. These characters in the film are your neighbors next door, likeable and honest. Errol gives a fine performance of a man who wants to accomplish more in his life. Frank is frustrated he wants to provide more for his wife, seven by guilt it's easier to bend your elbow with a drink in your hand Donald Crisp plays a friend to Frank yet Frank is torn up inside The scene where Frank meets Louise at her office he tells her about a job he is taking the look of anguish and guilt hit me hard. Watch this movie Enjoy the story An afternoon spent with Errol Flynn is never a waste of time
  • utgard1410 January 2014
    Warning: Spoilers
    Three sisters (Bette Davis, Anita Louise, Jane Bryan) marry three winners in early 20th century Montana. Bryan marries meathead Dick Foran. Louise marries sugar daddy Alan Hale. Davis marries handsome but undependable Errol Flynn and moves to San Francisco. They all have troubles but Bette has her hands full.

    OK "women's picture" that understandably focuses more on the Davis/Flynn coupling than the others. Davis and Flynn are good, as is most of the cast, but no one is that exceptional. The film's message is the expected "marry the stable and dependable guy not the exciting but irresponsible one." Amusingly, the film's ending contradicts this because test audiences didn't like Bette winding up with a more responsible man (Ian Hunter). They preferred Errol, warts and all. Can't say that I blame them.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Bette Davis never missed a chance to knock Errol Flynn in public--"He thought I was a fool to work so hard," she related to Dick Cavett. But in this well-produced period romance, he's much more interesting than she is, playing a rootless journalist who falls in love with Davis at first sight (and can you believe that, with Anita Louise in the room?) and proves an unreliable, alcoholic, ill-tempered spouse. Bette hasn't much to play, and does so quietly and realistically. But a parade of great character actors keeps turning up in the supporting cast--Beulah Bondi, Henry Travers, Alan Hale, Jane Bryan, Lee Patrick, Laura Hope Crews, Ian Hunter, the always-underrated Dick Foran--and the period details, including a short but spiffy 1906 San Francisco earthquake, are excellent. Max Steiner contributes one of his usual single-tuneful-theme-repeated-over-and-over scores, and Anatole Litvak keeps things moving fast. The happy ending is totally unconvincing, and, as others have suggested, it wouldn't have hurt to provide a little more detail on the lives of the two other sisters. But it's an exceedingly handsome film, with an exceedingly handsome leading man.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The nicest thing I can say about this sad melodrama is that Errol Flynn and Bette Davis were gorgeous! In fact, Errol Flynn is so good looking in this film that I would go so far as to say he was prettier than Bette Davis! His character however was the opposite of pretty. He selfishly elopes with the eldest of three daughters of a small town Montana pharmacists, dragging her to his hometown of San Francisco under the promise of writing the "great American novel". He gave no thought as to how he was going to take care of himself let alone a wife on his meager sports columnists salary. Bette's character, Louise, is a trooper and is not only willing to make due with very little, but willing to be the cheerleader and prop up her miserable husband who would rather drink away his troubles. Unfortunately the stress and strain of doing so causes her to loose their first baby. Louise doesn't let it get her down and in her usual determined way she goes to work after her husband looses the one paying job he had in a fit of temper. In the end he can't handle the shame of his wife working and supporting his sorry self, so he abandons her by hopping on board a ship to the south seas. While he is out to sea, San Francisco and Louise suffer through the "great quake" and fires. Louise takes it on the chin, rises up from the ashes and goes back to work where she is thriving...and sadly still waiting for her husband's return two years later. Her husband does return with some "mystery" illness that he is dying of, I like to think it was syphilis! He sees her again at the same small town Montana election ball that he met her in four years earlier for a Roosevelt's election...but this time it is President Taft's turn. They make a sweet reunion, him knowing he is sick and dying and presumably say their goodbyes on a high note. The assumption is she will eventually marry and have a life with her way too kind, patient and sweet boss.

    On to the middle sister, who was supposedly the pretty one. She marries a rich old man from her small town, both knowing she didn't love him and being ok with the relationship being about the freedoms and experiences that his money could provide for her. She has to endure his same age daughter's barbs about her being a gold digger and he eventually dies within a couple of years. By that time he dies she is already carrying on with some young man who is her age...she marries this fool who seems to love her, but with whom again she doesn't seem to love. They live a life of luxury in New York, but just for a few years...because surprise when she comes back to help the youngest sister with her domestic dispute and attend the Taft election ball back in Silver Bow, Montana...some new guy shows up (she is not even divorced from husband #2 yet) and she introduces him as her fiancé!

    On to the third and youngest of the three sisters, she is the only one to stay in their small Montana town. Sadly she ends up marrying the sweetheart of her eldest sister who had been jilted when Louise ran off to San Francisco. In a parallel story, they have a baby Tom Jr. just when Louise looses her baby. But then around the time Tom jr is celebrating his second birthday, the poor naive youngest sister finds out that her husband Tom has been stepping out in her with the town floozie! This is the domestic dispute that brings home all of the sister. Best scene of the whole film is when the three sisters convince three "upstanding" males in their small town that for the betterment of the town and these "mystery" gentlemen who have taken up with her's marriages it is their duty to return n the floozy out of town.

    Then the movie culminates with the pharmacist and his family attending the election ball for Taft and each dancing with their men-for Louise that is her boss, the middle sister soon to be husband three, and the youngest her now chagrined husband Tom. Queue the credits...

    I don't know if this qualifies as one of the weepies back in the day, but it should have!
  • There's a funny joke behind the promotional poster of The Sisters. Originally, it read "Bette Davis and Errol Flynn in The Sisters," but the leading lady brought the innuendo to the studio's attention, saying it was too provocative and wouldn't be passed by the Code. Miss Davis's name remained the only one above the title, and Errol Flynn was bumped down to below. Was she looking out for the studio or did she want to be the only one above the title? We'll never know, but it's entertaining.

    Speaking of entertaining, this movie is a favorite of mine of old black-and-white tearjerkers. I could not stop crying throughout the whole ninety minutes! It's a romantic period piece, full of pretty fashions that show off Bette Davis's figure, beautiful Gibson hairdos, and melodramatic plot points. If you liked The Old Maid or Enchantment, you'll love this one. Just be sure to bring your Kleenexes.

    Henry Travers and Beulah Bondi are married and live above their drugstore. They have their hands full with their three grown daughters, Bette Davis, Anita Louise, and Jane Bryan, as they all have fashion and love on their minds. At an election night ball, Bette's boyfriend, Dick Foran, is about to propose. However, a stranger in town, Errol Flynn, catches her eye and sweeps her off her feet. Bette ditches Dick and runs away with Errol, much to her parent's disapproval. She doesn't care if he's taking her away from her family, or that he has very little income and an unreliable profession. He's Errol Flynn!

    It's pretty ironic that Jane Bryan, who plays Bette's daughter in the following year's The Old Maid, plays her sister in this movie. It's her character who helps soothe Dick's broken heart, and she marries him shortly after Bette leaves home. What is superficial Anita's fate? Alan Hale is sweet, but he's no Errol Flynn, so her heart doesn't really go pitter-pat when she's with him. He's kind, though, and very rich; so she might be tempted to become a good man's wife rather than be the only unmarried sister.

    In the supporting cast, you'll also see Patric Knowles, Donald Crisp, Harry Davenport, and Paul Harvey. I'm not going to tell you any more about the plot, since it's one of those great melodramas that unfold best as you're watching it. The story is interesting, but it's the acting that really carries this movie and brings it to the upper tier. You'll get to see a classic Bette Davis performance in The Sisters, with tears and sacrifice. There's no Margo Channing in this role, but tons of Aunt Charlotte. She cries, and you cry, and you feel that you've been dragged along with her troubles. Errol Flynn also takes on a different role, and he masters it. He's not a swashbuckling hero in this one with a winning smile and fencing skills. He's a brooding writer who doesn't know how to settle down, and although he breaks hearts, he feels pain in the process.

    Rent this oldie if you haven't seen it yet. I hadn't even heard of it, but now it's one I'll be sure to come back to when I need a good cry.
  • DKosty1232 December 2015
    Warning: Spoilers
    Once upon a time there were 3 sisters. All of them score husbands. All of them have rocky times in their marriages. This 99 minute film was made as the under card for double features. Yet it has and A List Cast.

    Bette Davis is already a major star who would make Jezebel and Erroll Flynn would go on to make Robin Hood, both classics, within a stones throw of this movie.

    There is some good drama here. Flynn and Davis Marriage seems doomed from the start. Anita Louise and Jane Bryan always call the folks and return home when they have problems. Davis husband leaves her for 2 years the night of the San Francisco earth quake and she never comes back home until the next election.

    The movie is set at the election party of Teddy Roosevelt where Davis and Flynn meet. They next get back together at the election party for Taft. The story is in between the parties.

    The quake was a subject for more than 1 film in the 1930's. It is a minor thing here though Davis is nearly killed.

    This film has a lot of cast members who would move into different roles, but for a minor effort it is a solid film.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    While Fox attempted to cash in on the success of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's San Francisco with In Old Chicago, Warner Brothers turned to the recently published Myron Brinig novel, The Sisters, for a less obvious rip-off which utilized stock footage from Old San Francisco (1927) and Frisco Jenny (1933) as well as a remarkably staged "new" sequence in which Bette Davis and Lee Patrick are bombarded by falling debris without benefit of doubles in a specially rigged set. As might be expected, the movie focuses more on Davis than the other sisters, though Anita Louise and Jane Bryan still get a good innings. Also in the support cast, Alan Hale gives us one of his most effective portraits. Although the film is bit over-weighted with dialogue (Lee Patrick, Henry Travers and Beulah Bondi have some deliberately garrulous goings-on), Litvak keeps the story moving, assisted by lavish production values including a great music score by Max Steiner (and fourteen others, including Charles Harris whose "After the Ball" is played at the end post-election ball which completes the circle). He also makes the "happy" conclusion more acceptable and dramatic than the "unhappy" one which was also filmed. As usual, Tony Gaudio's cinematography rates as nothing short of superb.
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