Sisters – aka Blood Sisters – is a 1972 [released 1973] psychological thriller directed by Brian De Palma from a screenplay co-written with Louisa Rose. The movie stars Margot Kidder, Jennifer Salt, Charles Durning, Bill Finley and Lisle Wilson.
This was the first thriller for DePalma, who followed this film with other shocking, graphic thrillers. De Palma was inspired by reading an article about the Soviet Siamese twins Masha and Dasha Krivoshlyapova. Sisters was heavily influenced by the films Alfred Hitchcock and De Palma even persuaded Hitchcock’s semi-retired composer, Bernard Herrmann, to write the score.
Inquisitive journalist Grace Collier (Jennifer Salt) is horrified when she witnesses her neighbor, fashion model Danielle Breton (Margot Kidder), violently murder a man. Panicking, she calls the police. But when the detective arrives at the scene and finds nothing amiss, Grace is forced to take matters into her own hands. Her first move is to recruit private investigator Joseph Larch (Charles Durning), who helps her to uncover a secret about Danielle’s past that has them both seeing double.
” …the film has a very dark feel to it, and keeps the audience guessing until the very end. De Palma uses a number of interesting techniques in this film, which separate it from other thrillers […] There are also a number of sequences presented in split screen, where we watch simultaneous events from two perspectives, which adds to the urgency of these sections. De Palma also employs dream sequences to do his exposition, which adds to the surreal effect the film has as it gets further along.” Digitally Obsessed!
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“The succession of references stops just short of the risible, while the use of the split-screen to show scenes from different angles and the elaborate tracking shots indicate the arrival of a prodigious new stylist forging an original signature.” Philip French, The Guardian
“Sisters is a good psychological murder melodrama, starring Margot Kidder as the schizoid half of Siamese twins, and Jennifer Salt as a news hen driven to terror in her investigation of a bloody murder. Brian De Palma’s direction emphasizes exploitation values which do not fully mask script weakness.” Variety
Cast and characters:
- Margot Kidder … Danielle Breton / Dominique Blanchion
- Jennifer Salt … Grace Collier
- William Finley … Emil Breton
- Charles Durning … Joseph Larch
- Lisle Wilson … Phillip Woode
- Barnard Hughes …Arthur McLennen
- Mary Davenport … Mrs Peyson Collier
- Dolph Sweet … Detective Kelly
- Olympia Dukakis … Louise Wilanski
- Catherine Gaffigan … Arlene
- Justine Johnston … Elaine D’Anna
- James Mapes … Guard
- Burt Richards … Hospital Attendant
- Bill Durks … Sanitorium resident