Two Sisters from Boston
movie poster
Directed byHenry Koster
Written byMyles Connolly
Produced byJoe Pasternak
StarringKathryn Grayson
June Allyson
Lauritz Melchior
Jimmy Durante
Peter Lawford
CinematographyRobert Surtees
Edited byDouglass Biggs
Production
company
Distributed byLoew's Inc.[1]
Release date
  • April 1946 (1946-04)
Running time
112 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$2,223,000[2]
Box office$4,461,000[2]

Two Sisters from Boston is a 1946 musical comedy film directed by Henry Koster and starring Kathryn Grayson, June Allyson, Lauritz Melchior, Jimmy Durante and Peter Lawford. The film features songs by Sammy Fain and Ralph Freed.

Plot

Abigail, a young lady from Boston, leaves home to go to New York City for singing lessons in pursuit of her grand ambition to sing for the Metropolitan Opera. Unable to make ends meet, she takes a job singing in a Bowery beer hall without telling anyone from her family back home.

When a rumor gets back to Boston that Abigail is performing at a beer hall and showing her limbs, her family is shocked and they decide that they must come to New York and investigate the rumor. Abigail then lies to her family and claims to sing in the Metropolitan Opera, not a beer hall. She even sneaks into a performance at the Met, persuading her family that she really is a singer there, despite causing a mishap that interferes with Olaf Olstrom, the company's top tenor.

Martha, Abigail’s sister, eventually figures things out. She decides that she must help Abigail really get into the opera so that Abigail can leave her scandalous job at the beer hall. Along the way, Martha must cover for Abigail and protect the secret of her job at the beer hall. Martha ends up meeting a young man named Lawrence and begins a romance with him.

Cast

Songs

Music by Sammy Fain, lyrics by Ralph Freed.

Reception

According to MGM records, the film was a hit, making $3,334,000 in the US and Canada and $1,127,000 elsewhere, leading to a profit of $605,000.[2][3]

Influence

The English post-punk band The Chameleons used a sample from the film as the introduction to the song "Don't Fall," the first song on their 1983 debut album Script of the Bridge. The scene features Lawford's character, Lawrence Tyburt Patterson, Jr., asking his mother, played by Nella Walker, about the age of his father. After she tells him that his father is younger than he looks and still 'spry,' Patterson, Jr. says "In his autumn, before the winter, comes man's last mad surge of youth." His mother quickly replies, "What on earth are you talking about?"[4] These two lines consist of the sample as used by the Chameleons.[5] Patterson, Jr. goes on to say that he is quoting the ancient Greek dramatist Sophocles, but the quote itself appears to be either apocryphal, misattributed by the screenwriters or else created by them originally. The Chameleons also used the same sample on an otherwise instrumental recording from the same period, "Prisoners of the Sun."[6]

References

  1. ^ Two Sisters in Boston at the American Film Institute Catalog
  2. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
  3. ^ See also "60 Top Grossers of 1946", Variety 8 January 1947 p8
  4. ^ "YouTube clip: 'In his autumn before the winter comes mans last mad surge of youth'". Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  5. ^ "YouTube clip: 'The Chameleons - Don't Fall (Original Album Version)'". Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  6. ^ "YouTube clip: 'The Chameleons - Prisoners of the Sun'". Retrieved 17 June 2013.