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Sisters (Widescreen)

3.7 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Margot Kidder, Jennifer Salt, Charles Durning, William Finley, Lisle Wilson
  • Directors: Brian De Palma
  • Writers: Brian De Palma, Louisa Rose
  • Producers: Edward R. Pressman, Lynn Pressman-Raymond, Robert Rohdie
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Criterion
  • Release Date: Sept. 19 2000
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00004W3HG
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #24,101 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

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.

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

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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. She later falls in love with a man who she subsequently kills. A woman next door witnesses the murder through her window and tries to track down the killer.
The movie has several shots of the World Trade Center which was still under construction at the time of filming. The film's soundtrack is a very impressive electronic score performed on the Moog Synthesiser. There are several violent scenes in the film but the stage blood is very fake looking. There are some scenes that are disturbing in other ways including a woman who is forcibly put under hypnosis and scene of the same woman having a nightmare that she is one of the conjoined twins during the seperation surgery.
The poor acting of some characters is expected for a film with a budget of only $500,000 Some actors play their part well though.
The Criterion DVD has several special features including an extra essay in the liner notes on the film's music. There is also a theatrical trailer, over 200 production and publicity photos and stills, a text interview with director Brian DePalma, there is also a Life Magazine article on conjoined twins which inspired the film, and reproduction of the orginal press book.
This is one of the films which I think was not worthy of the Criterion treatment, but it is not as bad as many other films I have seen.
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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
Brian De Palma has made so many ultra cool films that it would be extremely easy to overlook "Sisters," one of his earliest efforts. What can you say about a director responsible for films like "Carrie," "Body Double," "Scarface," and "The Untouchables" except that he is one of the best filmmakers around? Sure, he has made a few clunkers like "The Bonfire of the Vanities" and "Mission to Mars," but even at his worst De Palma runs everyone else into the ground. His contributions to pop culture alone reveal that this director certainly has an eye for creating the memorable. "Scarface" particularly seems to have a fond place in many people's hearts (mine included); one need only blurt out "Say hello to my little friend" in your best Cuban accent and most people instantly recognize where you got that line from. If you are looking for a touchstone for the amazingly effective "Sisters," think of none other than Alfred Hitchcock. Obviously, no one can replicate what Hitchcock accomplished during his lengthy career, but De Palma comes close as he adds his own unique style. Starring the inimitable and gorgeous Margot Kidder, "Sisters" is a roller coaster ride of a film that will stay with you long after the closing credits roll.
What you have in "Sisters" are two French Canadian Siamese twins, Dominique and Danielle, who doctors surgically separated when the two were in their teens. Danielle works as a model and sometime television actress when she meets a guy named Phillip on the set of a "Candid Camera" type show.
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