Synopsis by Mark Deming
Love turns into an unhealthy obsession in this offbeat drama. Millie (Zasu Pitts) and Peggy (Boots Mallory) are two friends who leave behind the small town where they were raised to try their luck in New York City. Before long, Millie and Peggy meet Jimmy (James Dunn) and Mac (Terrance Ray); Millie is immediately attracted to Jimmy, but much to her displeasure she learns he's more interested in Peggy. Determined to have Jimmy as her own, Millie attempts to sew discord between Jimmy and Peggy by telling each of them foul lies about the other; when this fails, Millie becomes desperate and attempts to kill herself as an attention-getting device. The production history of Hello, Sister! was in many ways more interesting than the film itself. Originally titled Walking Down Broadway, the film was the first sound picture from the legendary Erich von Stroheim; hoping to mend the reputation as an egocentric spendthrift he acquired while directing epic-scale silent films, von Stroheim managed to bring in Walking Down Broadway on time and on budget. However, executives at 20th Century Fox were a bit puzzled by the film, which originally had a sub-plot suggesting a lesbian relationship between Millie and Peggy and other sexual undercurrents which were quite daring for the time. Uncertain about audience reactions to the movie, Fox brought in the less-than-distinguished Alfred Werker to re-shoot and re-edit von Stroheim's urban melodrama, and the resulting picture, entitled Hello, Sister!, was released without an on-screen directorial credit, and died a quick and little noticed death at the box office. No print of von Stroheim's original cut is known to exist.
love-triangle, tragic-love, sister, walking