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Sister My Sister (1995)

Julie Walters , Joely Richardson , Nancy Meckler  |  R |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

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DVD 1-Disc Version $14.99  
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Product Details

  • Actors: Julie Walters, Joely Richardson, Jodhi May, Sophie Thursfield, Amelda Brown
  • Directors: Nancy Meckler
  • Writers: Wendy Kesselman
  • Producers: Joyce Herlihy, Norma Heyman
  • Format: Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • DVD Release Date: May 11, 2004
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001I54RK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #310,039 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sister My Sister" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Case, artwork and disc in like new condition. From private collection.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Set in the 1930's, in the small town of Le Mans in France, two sisters, Christine, the eldest & Lea, the kyounger, are hired on as cook and chambermaid to an upper middle-class widow & her only daughter, Madame and Madamoiselle Lancelin. Based on France's true crime of the century, Julie Walters as the perfectionistic & haughty, Madame Lancelin & Joely Richardson as the eldest master manipulator sister, Christine Papin turn in EXCEPTIONAL performances & the rest of the cast is well above average in their undertakings also.
In February, 1933, the whole of France was horrified to learn of an unspeakably savage double murder that had taken
place in the town of Le Mans. Two respectable, middle-class women, mother and daughter, had been murdered by their
maids, two sisters who lived in the house. The maids had not simply killed the women, but had gouged their eyes out
with their fingers while they were alive and had then used a hammer and knife to reduce both women to a bloody pulp.
The full force of the attack was directed at the heads and the victims were left literally unrecognizable.
Adding the bizarre to the horrifying, the sisters made no attempt to escape (...) Interesting, no? This naturally added a dimension of scandal and titillation to the case. Were the maids having a sexual relationship? If so, it was both homosexual and incestuous. Overnight, the two sisters, aged 21 and 27, became France's most infamous couples who kill.
This film delves into all the speculation of the case but also has some unexplained parts about the sisters' youth & their obvious mistreatment & abuse.
There are quite a many double entendres & a look into both couples chiefly meaning the two sisters and the mother and daughter Lancelin relationships.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing British lesbian incest melodrama April 29, 2003
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Sister My Sister is like "Heavenly Creatures" with more sex and less madness. It simply lacks the nuanced believability of "Creatures'" Paulie and Juliet's descent into madness as well as "Creatures'" top-notch production values. That said, any movie that even deems comparison with the now-classic Heavenly Creatures is clearly good and worth-seeing in some respects. And indeed, Sister My Sister creates a claustrophobic, quietly sickening atmosphere which left an intriguing grab on my emotions.
Jodhi May and Joely Richardson star as unnaturally close sisters, Leah and Christine. The two work as maids for a sadistic gentlewoman (Julie Davies, Mrs. Weasely in Harry Potter) and her adult daughter that she endlessly oppresses. Through various sisterly activities and excellent acting by both May and Richardson, they are completely believable as sisters. Thus their eventual sexual relationship not only intellectually but emotionally feels incestual, a nuanced feat that the filmmakers effectively pulled off.
But what drives Leah and Christine to become lovers and later criminals? Their despotic employer? Too close of quarters? Pre-existing emotional instability? I believe the answer is all three, and speculation seems warranted since this movie is in fact based on a true story, the sensationalistic crime that shocked (and also entertained) 1930's France... the OJ Simpson case of the time...
The primary reason to see this movie is not for a history lesson though. It is about the drama between the sisters, as their relationship evolves towards progressively extreme heights. And it is for this drama that the film should be seen. What keeps it all afloat is the fantastic acting on display.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The notorious Papin sister murder case well-explored February 2, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
There is a saying that damaged people are very dangerous. One extreme case of damage turning people dangerous is the famous case of France's Christine and Lea Papin, who shocked the nation in 1933 by not merely committing murder, but by doing so with such violence that no one could really understand what had happened, "Sister My Sister" is a very accurate, fascinating psychological study of four women in le France profound, a small provincial town where class rules, family behavior, Catholic restrictions combined to make life so circumscribed that any sort of freedom was impossible, even in one's own home. This fact is addressed with light charm in the film "Chocolat" where chocolate-eating equals sinning (unthinkable to us!) and being "different" is nearly criminal, but to those who lived in these places in the not so distant past, one's life was never unscrutinized by someone, somewhere, and for domestics, the mistress or master of the house could become a genuine tyrant, terrorizing the staff into desperation. For those who could not escape to a loving family, or Paris, or any place but where they were stuck, life had to be lived as best as possible. In fact, the costume designer of "Chocolat" pointed out that in the towns they scouted, people were still dressed in clothes from the 1st half of the century; change is slow and progress practically non-existent.

The two sisters, powerfully portrayed by Joely Richardson as the elder Christine, and Jodhi May as the younger, Lea, have only one another for the most part. Their mother,seen abandoning Christine at the start of the film, is an enemy to Christine who, once Lea joins her, encourages Lea to break her ties to her mother immediately.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good movie.
Published 1 month ago by Dijonchef
5.0 out of 5 stars perversely beautiful
Based on the true story of sisters Christine and Léa Papin in 1933 France, these two French maids reach a breaking point in response to the abusive and slave-like treatment... Read more
Published 6 months ago by hredzak
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
The cinematography and casting of this film is what makes me watch it again and again. It amazes me that four actresses can lead an entire film with only two very very brief... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Shay
5.0 out of 5 stars sister My sister
great movie ! loved every min of this movie it's now one if my favorite movie and its on my top ten favorite movie
Published 17 months ago by Nestor
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Flick
This is a subject rarely touched upon. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The ending was certainly a grande finale. Great movie
Published 20 months ago by Phxhawk
3.0 out of 5 stars Tea: A surprisingly odd blend
Overall, this was an intriguingly good movie, based on a true story. However this is not a family movie, about two sisters. Read more
Published on February 26, 2012 by Rantings Of a Girl
3.0 out of 5 stars I got lost apparently
Just finished watching this movie. I remembered one of the actresses from the three part BBC miniseries Tipping the Velvet. Shes just as good in this one. Read more
Published on January 10, 2011 by Yvonne The Great
4.0 out of 5 stars From Headline to a Work of Art
A piece of story in the police pages turns into a historical tale of ancient times, where disguised slavery was a regular practice. Read more
Published on December 14, 2009 by Luiz Orlando C. Lemos
4.0 out of 5 stars "Those two are different"
"Sister My Sister" was a breakout hit for Joely Richardson. Based on a true case in 1930s France, Richardson stars as Christine,the controlling older sister of the shy, humble Lea... Read more
Published on March 25, 2009 by Amaranth
3.0 out of 5 stars Sister My Sister DVD Review
Sister My Sister is a very well-made and well-acted film; however, the DVD quality is below average in both picture and sound; that's why I've given it three stars. Read more
Published on November 19, 2008 by Manny Agah
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