Ruth and her beautiful sister Eileen come to New York’s Greenwich Village looking for “fame, fortune and a ‘For Rent’ sign on Barrow Street”. They find an apartment (such as it is!), but fame and fortune are a lot more elusive. Ruth gets the attention of playboy publisher Bob Baker when she submits a story about her gorgeous sister Eileen. She tries to keep his attention by convincing him that she, (a “spinsterish old-maid writer”) and the gorgeous, man-getting Eileen are one and the same person.
A.L.Beneteau <[email protected]>
User Reviews: I’m not sure what the story was with Harry Cohn and this film. Back in the early Forties My Sister Eileen was a big comedy hit for Columbia Pictures starring Rosalind Russell and Janet Blair about the two sisters from Ohio moving to Greenwich Village. So Cohn in fact did own the screen rights.
My Sister Eileen moved to Broadway in the early Fifties with Rosalind Russell repeating her role on stage in a musical adaption renamed Wonderful Town. Leonard Bernstein and Betty Comden and Adolph Green wrote a fine musical score.
So what does Harry Cohn do, he decides to remake My Sister Eileen, but does he shell out any money to Bernstein, Comden and Green for their songs. He does not and pays Jule Styne and Leo Robin to write yet another score. It was one of the weakest scores these two worthy song writers were ever associated. In fact it keeps this version of My Sister Eileen from being a great film.
Still it’s not a bad one with Betty Garrett and Janet Leigh stepping nicely into the roles created by Russell and Blair. As before and as on stage the film is about the Sherwood sisters from Ohio, sensible and witty older sister Garrett and pretty Janet Leigh with a nice pair of weapons of mass destruction. Men just fall over themselves trying to do for her, two of them in this film are dueling dancers Tommy Rall and Bob Fosse.
Jack Lemmon has one of his early roles in My Sister Eileen as a publisher who is interested in both Betty Garrett who is an aspiring writer and the one story that he’s interested in is the one she’s written about her sister Eileen.
Garrett retains all the witty bite of Rosalind Russell and Leigh is guaranteed to get the hormones racing of the male population. My Sister Eileen misses being a great film because of the mediocre songs, but fans of the players shouldn’t miss it. Look also for a great performance by Kurt Kaszner as the Sherwood sisters Bohemian landlord.