Synopsis by Hal Erickson
My Sister Eileen is a Technicolor, musicalized remake of the 1942 comedy of the same name. It is not, however, the film version of the 1949 Broadway musical Wonderful Town, which was also based on the 1942 film. Adapted from the short stories of Ruth McKinney, the film stars Betty Garrett as aspiring writer Ruth Sherwood, and Janet Leigh as her gorgeous sister Eileen. Moving from Ohio to New York, the girls take up residence in a basement apartment, which seems to be a gathering place for every eccentric character in the Big Apple. Ruth tries to get her stories published, but handsome editor Bob Baker (Jack Lemmon) doesn't buy anything until Ruth stops trafficking in fiction and begins writing about her own experiences. Most of those experiences are predicated on the misadventures of would-be actress Eileen, who has an uncanny knack for attracting strange men--not to mention a whole heap of trouble. Dancer/choreographers Bob Fosse and Tommy Rall costar as a timid soda jerk and wise-guy reporter, respectively, but their "roles" are merely excuses for a steady stream of flashy musical numbers, penned by Jule Styne and Leo Robin. Even Jack Lemmon gets to sing in this sprightly film, which compares quite favorably to all the My Sister Eileen adaptations which went before and were still to come.
apartment, dance [art], family, friendship, life-changes, musical [play], romance, sister, slice-of-life, songwriter, success, tenant, urban