TWO SISTERS FROM BOSTON
(director: Henry Koster; screenwriters: based on a play by Myles Connolly, Harry Crane, James O’Hanlon; cinematographer: Robert Surtees; editor: Douglass Biggs; music: Calvin Jackson, Conrad Salinger, George Stoll; cast: June Allyson (Martha Canford), Kathryn Grayson (Abigail Chandler), Jimmy Durante (Spike), Lauritz Melchior (Olstrom), Peter Lawford (Lawrence Tyburt Patterson Jr.), Ben Blue (Wrigley), Harry Hayden (Uncle Jonathan), Isobel Elsom (Aunt Jennifer); Runtime: 112; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Joe Pasternak; MGM; 2023-in B/W)
“Though pleasant, it’s still old-fashioned and has an outdated sense of decorum and ideas.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A lightweight period-piece musical set at the turn of the 20th century. It’s directed by Henry Koster (“Harvey”/”The Robe”). It’s based on a play by Myles Connolly, and is written by Harry Crane and James O’Hanlon. Though pleasant, it’s still old-fashioned and has an outdated sense of decorum and ideas.
Abigail (Kathryn Grayson) ieaves her traditional blue-blood Boston family to work in NYC. In a letter to her stuffy relatives, Aunt Jennifer (Isobel Elsom) and Uncle Jonathan (Harry Hayden), she lies and tells them she has joined an opera company. The truth is she’s singing in a Burlesque show in the Bowery, with songman Spike (Jimmy Durante) as her boss.
Abigail’s trying to finance her opera studies through Burlesque. She tells this to her younger sister, Martha (June Allyson), who initially covers for her.
The Metropolitan Opera tenor, the Danish singer Lauritz Melchior, performs the opera songs, while Durante sings “Gw’an Home, Your Mother’s Calling,” with Grayson singing “More Than Ever.” Durante and Grayson sing the duet ” There Are Two Sides to Every Girl.”
REVIEWED ON 9/4/2023 GRADE: B-