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Sisters (Widescreen)

Margot Kidder , Jennifer Salt , Brian De Palma    R (Restricted)   DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
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Product Description


Sisters is not Brian De Palma's first film, but in many ways it is the first Brian De Palma film, or at least the first to reveal (and revel in) his affinity with Hitchcock. A pre-Superman Margot Kidder struggles with a French-Canadian accent as an aspiring actress whose one-night stand leads to a homicidal morning-after. Jennifer Salt is a reporter with more moxie than tact or skill who sees the killing from her apartment window across the way. When the police fail to turn up any evidence of the crime, Salt investigates with a private eye (the hilariously relentless Charles Durning), uncovering the secret story of a pair of Siamese twins and a weaselly, stalker doctor. It's a mystery simmering in a stew of voyeurism, guilt, sex, and obsession. De Palma borrows from Rear Window, Psycho, and Vertigo (as well as Roman Polanski's Repulsion), and composer Bernard Herrmann quotes from his own Hitchcock scores (notably Psycho) for the unsettling music, but the result is more original than you might imagine. Laced with dark humor, inventive technique, and impressive technical precision (the split-screen sequences are breathtakingly effective), De Palma flexes his cinematic muscles with thrilling results, right down to the mordantly wry conclusion. De Palma graduated to big-budget thrillers, but this modest little production remains one of his sharpest, slyest, most engrossing films. Long available only in pallid video transfers, the Home Vision/Criterion letterboxed restoration is bright, clear, and beautiful. --Sean Axmaker

Product Description

Margot Kidder is Danielle, a beautiful model separated from her Siamese twin, Dominique. When a hotshot reporter (Jennifer Salt) suspects Dominique of a brutal murder, she becomes dangerously ensnared in the sisters' insidious sibling bond. A scary and stylish paean to female destructiveness, De Palma's first foray into horror voyeurism is a stunning amalgam of split-screen effects, bloody birthday cakes, and a chilling score by frequent Hitchcock collaborator Bernard Herrmann. Criterion is proud to present Sisters in a new Special Edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Does your sister have issues like this? Nov. 8 2007
By Jenny J.J.I. TOP 500 REVIEWER
This is a great film! Although the acting is a bit rough for a few characters I found myself drawn into the story line. We have Danielle Breton (Margot Kidder) has a one-night stand with a black TV-game show player. The morning after, he is killed by Danielle's psycho twin sister, Dominique Blanchion. But Grace Collier (Jennifer Salt), an aspiring journalist, sees everything from her flat across the street. Things get even uglier when the journalist starts following Danielle and his strange ex-husband, Dr. Emil Breton (De Palma perennial weirdo Bill Finley). What dark secret lies behind this murder? Uh? Of course, nobody really seems to care about the plot - De Palma plays the genre rules, twisting every second with his split screen techniques and neat suspense touches. There is a "dream" sequence, some blood, a hideous scar, drugs and a birthday cake.

Sure, the movie owes more than a passing nod to Psycho (Collector's Edition) and Rear Window (Collector's Edition)specifically, but De Palma's exhilarating use of that split-screen technique as well as Margot Kidder's creepy performance add up to a genuinely frightening experience. The "peeping tom" opening is brilliant. The humor doesn't lessen the shock, but rather enhances it by keeping the audience continually caught off guard. He takes the most vulnerable and receptive of human reactions--laughter, fear, and anticipation--and pushes them to their extremes until the audience is caught up in giddy bewilderment. You don't know what the director is going to pull next, so you can't prepare yourself.

De Palma is nothing if not a visceral filmmaker, and in his comfort with the comic and the horrific, he resembles Roman Polanski more than he does Hitchcock.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Nancy Drew on Acid March 8 2005
nancy drew (jennifer salt) would kill to get off of staten island and become the maverick of NYC journalism. the only problem is that all she has done to this point with her 'little job" is write about rampant police corruption, isolating herself even further from the big city. what she needs is a break, and witnessing a murder, (especially a depalma split-screen murder) appears to be her ticket, if she can get anyone to listen.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "You are not a doctor" June 21 2004
nancy drew (jennifer salt) would kill to get off of staten island and become the maverick of NYC journalism. the only problem is that all she has done to this point with her 'little job" is write about rampant police corruption, isolating herself even further from the big city. what she needs is a break, and witnessing a murder, (especially a depalma split-screen murder) appears to be her ticket, if she can get anyone to listen.
nancy drew on acid
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5.0 out of 5 stars In this Hitchcok style this is the best June 9 2004
This film has many aspects to remark. The first of them lies in the style: the film reminds to a slow english picture, in the Hitchcock of the fifties, specially The rear window and the rope, there are many unforgettable shot angles , the sensation you breathe is amazing. You feel the claustrophobic mood and once more, the camera becomes before us once more as a device for making the viewer a real Peeping Tom.
The dual character played in both characters are brilliant played by Margott Kidder in his best rol to date and dazzling direction. The script runs organically , giving visible and suggestive clues. A brilliant psychothriller!.
De Palma made a little masterpiece, soon before one my favorite cult movie any age like Phantom of Paradise. De Palma was in the peak of his powers, undoubtly.
If you are a hard fan of the suspense, this film is for you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Truly, Deeply Scary June 7 2004
After all these years it's easy to forget just how revolutionary and exhilarating Brian De Palma was when he first appeared. His boldly stylish blend of sex, extreme violence, twisted humor and brooding cynicism seemed absolutely up-to-date for the disillusioned 1970's. He made some wonderful movies through the mid '80's. Some of us are still waiting for him to return to his early promise and make some more masterpieces. (His career has suffered during the Spielberg-dumbed-down and homogenized '90's.) "Sisters" is still probably his most consistently terrifying movie, although "Carrie" may be a hair's-breadth away.
Of course there are borrowings from "Psycho" and "Rear Window" but the true genesis of this movie was from an old "Life" magazine article about Soviet siamese twins which the Criterion Collection has included as an extra on the DVD. There is a haunting photograph of the real-life twins which De Palma actually uses in the film. Margot Kidder's performance is so intense as the killer(s) that there are moments where she seems genuinely disturbed (I'm sure this was just acting, and not related to her later real-life problems. Although the resonance is kind of eerie in a Kenneth Anger sort of way.) And there are times (especially the final hypnotic flashback) when it seems like De Palma has burrowed a pipeline into your very own worst nightmares. The director remains probably the most pessimistic mainstream moviemaker America has produced in recent decades (although he has mellowed with "The Untouchables" and "Femme Fatale.") This may account for the difficulty that many moviegoers have with him. But if you remind yourself "It's only a movie" and remember that bad dreams don't last forever (and can even be good for you) you can have a really fun time with "Sisters."
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars As racist as a Stephen King Short Story from the seventies
This movie is the most balsy opaquely racist movie I've ever seen. But I'll get to that in a moment.
Margot Kidder is a bombshell in this movie. Read more
Published on July 19 2004 by N. Siefers
2.0 out of 5 stars a disturbing film with some intense scenes.
This review is for the Criterion Collection DVD edition of the film.
The story is about a recently seperated conjoined twin who has moved to Staten Island in New York. Read more
Published on June 5 2004 by Ted
1.0 out of 5 stars So Bad You Will Want to Share
I couldn't take my eyes off this piece of garbage. It is so truly awful you will want to share it with friends. Read more
Published on May 22 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars A fight between good and evil
This was a great thriller about a woman that must battle her psychotic twin sister. There were some scary and some funny parts. Read more
Published on Jan. 2 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Whew! Intense and massively disturbing
Brian De Palma has made so many ultra cool films that it would be extremely easy to overlook "Sisters," one of his earliest efforts. Read more
Published on Dec 4 2003 by Jeffrey Leach
4.0 out of 5 stars Twisted Sisters
The pun is so obvious; this twisted movie hails many old horror films, but is not so derivative that the allusions get in the way. Read more
Published on Nov. 16 2003 by Rivkah Maccaby
1.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious romp, great camp
It's great camp. I'll give it that.
But let's get serious, nothing holds up to Hitchcock as much as DePalma would have you compare his movie with a masterpiece like Psycho. Read more
Published on Oct. 17 2003 by B. Carpenter
Published on Aug. 29 2003 by John D. Seneca
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