Sisters (1973)

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Blood Sisters Brian De Palma

What the Devil hath joined together let no man cut asunder.

Directed by .

Written by Brian De Palma and Louisa Rose.

AKA

UK: Blood Sisters

Italy: The Two Sisters

Phillip Woode (Lisle Wilson) wins a night out for two on a game show called Peeping Toms. He ends up going with French model and actress Danielle Breton (Margot Kidder), also from the show, but they are interrupted by Danielle’s ex-husband Emil Breton (William Finley) who is then thrown out. Phillip and Danielle end up at Danielle’s apartment but Phillip notices Emil hanging around outside. Phillip goes out and lures Emil away then returns to the apartment.

The next morning Danielle’s unstable twin sister Dominique Blanchion (also Margot Kidder) visits the apartment and the two start arguing. Danielle sends Phillip to the drugstore for her pills. She thinks she has two pills left but Phillip accidently knocked them into the sink; she starts to get very sick and collapses while Phillip is out. When Phillip returns he is brutally murdered by Dominique.

The murder is witnessed from across the street by reporter Grace Collier (Jennifer Salt) who calls the police. Emil, who was still hanging around outside, shows up at Danielle’s apartment and helps Danielle conceal the body. Grace arrives at the apartment with the police but they can find no sign of a murder and Danielle denies everything. Grace sets about investigating the murder herself with the help of private investigator Joseph Larch (Charles Durning).

Brian De Palma’s first thriller (horror if you like) is a classic in the Hitchcock/Polanski vein. De Palma’s use of split screen echoed in Carrie (1976) is put to good use, there’s a nice giallo-esque level of violence and gore, albeit with blood that looks a little like red paint, and a depth to the story that doesn’t patronise or pander to the lazier viewer either. The real highlight for me is the scene where we first meet Dominique and I’ve got to say the combination of De Palma’s direction and Margot Kidder’s performance at this point was jolting, simply masterfully done. It’s a film you’d be likely to discuss for a while afterwards and make no mistake this isn’t De Palma finding his feet in pre-Carrie days, this is a strong film in its own right.

What are you waiting for? Check it out!

Also stars Dolph Sweet as Detective Kelly, Mary Davenport as Mrs. Peyson Collier, Justine Johnston as Elaine D’Anna, Olympia Dukakis as Louise Wilanski and Catherine Gaffigan as Arlene.

Other Brian De Palma classics:

Phantom of the Paradise (1974)

Obsession (1976)

Carrie (1976)

The Fury (1978)

Dressed to Kill (1980)

Blow Out (1981)

Raising Cain (1992)

Blood Sisters Brian De Palma