Fiona, Evelyn and Susanna are sisters. Their mother dies on the Lusitania, their father is killed in France, they must manage their Fifth Avenue mansion by themselves. Fiona marries Charles Barclay in order to get an inheritance and he begins a campaign to obtain the mansion to level it for real estate development. She vows that this will never happen.Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
According to an article in the 21 February 1941 edition of The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros bought the film rights to the novel for $35,000 and intended this to be a vehicle for Bette Davis. Mary Astor was considered for the role of Evelyn, but Davis objected, thinking Astor was too old for the part. Astor was subsequently assigned to The Maltese Falcon (1941). Davis was eventually replaced by Barbara Stanwyck because she was tired of playing hard, bitter women - qualities she felt were too similar to her role in The Little Foxes (1941). See more »
This was probably one of the most well-made films of the 40's - Warner Bros. at the very height of their style. The photography by Sol Polito is arguably his finest achievement - gorgeous compositions and lighting with delicate shadowing. Max Steiner contributes one of his most complex and beautiful scores - the epitome of his classical leit motif method. The music adds great emotion and excitement to the plot and is exquisite and memorable. It's interesting to note that the same production team that made this movie went right on to make "Now, Voyager" later that year - a fine film which won honors and awards and went down as a historical favorite, ciefly because it starred Bette Davis. IN my opinion, "The Gay Sisters" is a much better film - better made in all departments, and more interesting, complex and enjoyable. A most unusual film which entertains those who take it for what it is, rather than project their own modern creative sensibilities or their advanced and demanding standards of hyper-critical perfection. Each thing has to be judged in it's own time reference and for what it is trying to achieve on its own terms. Most of the complaints I've read in these reviews are so childish and totally missing the point. If you're hungry for a perfect filet mignon, don't go to the bakery counter and start whining and complaining about the fluff pastry. The art of film criticism is truly lost on a large segment of the population. Sorry folks - maybe if this movie had had a score by the Rolling Stones and a hundred intricate and soul searching subplots, you'd all be gleefully gratified. I'll take an old movie without modern intellectual pretensions an day of the week!
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