Saturday, July 31, 2021


Movie Name:
Year of Release: 1972
Director: Brian De Palma
Starring: Margot Kidder, Jennifer Salt, Charles Durning, William Finley, Lisle Wilson, Barnard Hughes, Mary Davenport, Dolph Sweet, Olympia Dukakis, Bobby Collins, Justine Johnston
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6
Watch it on Amazon

Synopsis and Review:
Director Brian De Palma started the 70s with a series of smaller films, which paved way for the second half of the decade, where a lot of his iconic films came out (including "Carrie", "Obsession" and "The Fury"). "Sisters" focuses on the story of Danielle Breton, a young French Canadian model. Danielle as we initially witness, is working on a TV show, where she meets the handsome Philip whom she eventually has dinner with. While they're on their date, they get accosted by Danielle's ex-husband, though he eventually leaves. After spending the night together, Danielle confesses she has a twin sister by the name of Dominique, who is coming to town to celebrate their birthday. Philip gets murdered in the apartment by one of the sisters, something that is witnessed by the neighbor across the street, the young journalist by the name of Grace Collier. Grace calls the police warning them and reporting the incidents, but when they all go through the apartment, they find no physical evidence of the body or the murder. Grace believing something is very wrong with the situation, sets out to investigate the whole situation, with the assistance of Larch, an actual detective. 
"Sisters" definitely indicates the path of suspense/thriller Brian De Palma would finesse in his career moving forward, particularly centered around characters possessed of a personality duality that is unknown even to themselves (something he'd explore in "Dressed to Kill", "Raising Cain" and even "Femme Fatale"). In the case of "Sisters" there's also an Hitchcock influence at play, particularly when it comes to the murder but also the process of solving it and how the characters are more than what they seem at first glance. While not as genuinely thrilling or as suspenseful as his later films, there's still a lot to admire and celebrate here, particularly how De Palma builds the context for these characters to exist. There's also a very interesting sense of paranoia that comes from the investigation conducted by Jennifer Salt's character, Grace, and she becomes tangled in a very dark web. While the characters don't have as much substance and dimension, as he would later on impart in his films, there's enough being suggested here to imply that not all is as simple as it may seem to be. Margot Kidder is great in the central role of Danielle/Dominique, and she gets good support from Jennifer Salt and Charlies Durning. A somewhat forgotten yet entertaining film worth revisiting, from a gifted director.