My Sister Eileen (1942)

my sister eileen 1942 2

Screwball comedy that can wear you out with its mile a minute dialogue and wacky characters that won’t go away. I was ready to hang it up two-thirds of the way through. Glad I didn’t. The last shot was a classic surprise.

In Columbus, Ohio, Ruth Sherwood (Rosalind Russell) is a reporter and her sister Eileen (Janet Blair) is in the Columbus Little Players with dreams of stardom. Over their father’s (Grant Mitchell) objections but Grandmother’s support they take off for New York.

While pounding the pavement looking for a place to stay they’re fast talked by Mr.Appopolous (George Tobias) into renting a basement flat. It’s forty-five bucks a month and he says at the end of that time if they’re not satisfied he’ll give them a full refund. They find out real soon that there’s construction going for a subway right underneath the place. The blasting only stops between midnight and six am.

That night they leave the window open and a pair of drunks harass them until the beat cop chases them away. He tells the girls they should leave in the morning.  The next day Eileen goes to a producer’s office and meets reporter Chic Clark (Allyn Joslyn). He says he wants to interview her. She’s too naive to know it’s just a scam to get together with her.

Meanwhile Ruth goes to a magazine called Manhatter to get a job. Inside publisher Ralph Craven’s office editor Robert Barker (Brian Aherne) is trying to tell him his policies are stale and he needs to make some changes. Craven doesn’t want to hear it. Robert asks Ruth to chime in and she agrees with him. She and Craven argue and she runs out of the office leaving her manuscript behind.

Back home Eileen has asked drug store clerk Frank Lippincott over for dinner. Then a drunk walks in and makes himself at home. He says he’s looking for fortune teller Effie Shelton (June Havoc) who used to live there. Eileen gets their neighbor “The Wreck” Loomis to toss him out. He was expelled from Georgia Tech and now plays pro football. Loomis then asks if he can stay there while his mother-in-law visits. She doesn’t know her daughter Helen is married to him. Now Chic shows up followed by a doorman who is carrying a passed out Effie. He dumps her on the couch. To complete the menagerie Robert comes in with Ruth’s manuscript.

Robert and Ruth go to dinner and he won’t shut up. He recommends that she write about her life in New York. She likes the idea and calls her story “My Sister Eileen.” Craven turns it down and Robert says he’s quitting after the next issue comes out.

Chic pulls another scam to be alone with Eileen. He calls Ruth and pretends to be an assignment editor from his paper and sends Ruth to Brooklyn to write a story about the Portuguese Merchant Marine Fleet which has just docked. Robert shows up at the apartment and gets Eileen away from Chic. They go to dinner to celebrate his quitting his job.

By this time I was ready to stop watching. What happens now is beyond stupid and very wearing on the nerves. I muddles through anyway and though it didn’t redeem it for me the last shot was way out of left field and a lot of fun.





About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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