My Sister Eileen (1942)

My Sister Eileen (1942)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

My Sister Eileen Photos

Movie Info

Rosalind Russell plays aspiring Ohio journalist Ruth Sherwood, who heads for New York to seek her fortune, accompanied by her sister, Eileen (Janet Blair), an aspiring actress. The girls take a basement apartment in Greenwich Village, which becomes a gathering place for several oddball characters, including a football jock (Gordon Jones), his silly wife (Miss Jeff Donnell) and an eternally drunken fortuneteller (June Havoc). Ruth tries to sell her writing, but is advised by a friendly magazine editor (Brian Aherne) that she'll never succeed unless she writes from her own experiences. Meanwhile, Eileen is continually getting in trouble due to her ingenuous attractiveness. Ruth secures an assignment to interview several visiting Portuguese sailors, who follow her to her apartment, are immediately entranced by Eileen, and break up the joint with an impromptu conga line. Everyone ends up in jail, and it looks as though Ruth is going to have to leave New York without achieving success. But when Ruth begins writing about her life with her sister Eileen, she becomes a success -- and wins the love of the magazine editor in the bargain. My Sister Eileen was based on a series of autobiographical articles by real-life writer Ruth McKenney, who with Joseph Fields and Jerome Chodhorov adapted these stories into a Broadway play. The play was later musicalized for the stage as +Wonderful Town (again with Rosalind Russell), while the film version was itself adapted into a separate movie musical in 1955. There was also a brief 1960 TV series, starring Elaine Stritch and Shirley Bonne. As an added fillip, the 1942 My Sister Eileen includes a fleeting guest appearance by the Three Stooges!
Classics , Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Columbia Pictures

Watch it now


Rosalind Russell
as Ruth Sherwood
Janet Blair
as Eileen Sherwood
Brian Aherne
as Robert Baker
Elizabeth Patterson
as Grandma Sherwood
George Tobias
as Appopolous, Landlord
Allyn Joslyn
as Chick Clark
Grant Mitchell
as Walter Sherwood
Richard Quine
as Frank Lippincott
June Havoc
as Effie Shelton
Donald MacBride
as Officer Lonigan
Gordon Jones
as `The Wreck'
Jeff Donnell
as Helen Loomis
Clyde Fillmore
as Ralph Craven
Minna Phillips
as Mrs. Wade
Frank Sully
as Jansen, Janitor
Charles La Torre
as Capt. Anadato
Almira Sessions
as Prospective Tenant
Kirk Alyn
as Cadet
Tom Lincir
as Cadet
Ann Doran
as Receptionist
Robert Kellard
as Bus Driver
Forrest Tucker
as Sand Hog
Walter Sande
as Policeman
Pat Lane
as Policeman
Ralph Dunn
as Policeman
Larry Fine
as Subway builder
Moe Howard
as Subway Builder
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for My Sister Eileen

All Critics (4) | Top Critics (1)

My Sister Eileen is gay and bouncing. It is a farce which depends entirely upon two doors. And we hate to think what would have happened to it if some one had thought to nail one of those doors shut.

Full Review… | August 24, 2007
New York Times
Top Critic

Rosalind Russell, who earned the first of four Oscar nominations for the lead, is the best element and only reason to see this verbose movie, which is still a play.

Full Review… | April 15, 2011

One of those comedies one damns by calling it "unsuccessful," even though parts of it work just fine.

Full Review… | May 11, 2009
Goatdog's Movies

Stagy urban comedy.

Full Review… | August 22, 2007
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for My Sister Eileen

Very delightful movie. The high jinks of the girls in New York is tremendously funny and the surprise cameo is great.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

Roz makes this rollicking good fun. Cute situations and good supporting performances add to the overall quality of this. Make sure you see this and not the very average musical remake from the 50's.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer


Very enjoyably comedy, Rosalind Russell is terrific in a role ideal for her. George Tobias is a musing in a supporting role. Well written. Janet Blair is weak and not up to the rest of the cast.

James Higgins
James Higgins

My Sister Eileen Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss My Sister Eileen on our Movie forum!

News & Features