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Sisters (The Criterion Collection)

83 customer reviews

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(Oct 03, 2000)
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Criterion Collection
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Editorial Reviews

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

Special Features

  • Director Brain De Palma's 1973 VILLAGE VOICE essay, "Murder by Moog: Scoring the Chill," on working with composer Bernard Herrmann
  • A 1973 interview with De Palma on the making of SISTERS
  • Rare Study of Siamese Twins in the Soviet, the 1966 LIFE magazine article that inspired De Palma
  • Excerpts from the original press book, including ads and posters
  • Hundreds of production, publicity, and behind-the-scenes stills

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: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: October 3, 2000
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004W3HG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,661 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sisters (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Forke on August 8, 2000
Format: DVD
A terrifyingly twisted cult classic that wholly deserves Criterion's exceptional red-carpet treatment. Some people believe "Carrie" brought Brian DePalma his first critical and commercial notice -- but it was actually this sinister concoction (starring the lovely Margot Kidder) that paved his way to the big-leagues.
I saw this for the first time in high school on one of those late-night, local independent stations in Baltimore. Being a huge "Superman" fan, once I saw Margot's name top billed, I was hooked. I had no idea what I was in for.
By today's horror-movie standards, "Sisters" begins rather slowly. Be patient. You'll soon be drawn into a world of mad doctors, inquisitive neighbors, overbearing mothers, slayings, slashings, malevolent institutions and one seriously unbalanced set of Siamese twins. Top this off with Bernard Herrmann's weird, wonderful score plus the best split-screen editing I've ever seen and you've got a flick even Hitchcock would've been proud of.
Many thanks to Criterion Collection for resurrecting "Sisters" -- it's been out-of-print for at least a decade. Great cast... clever story... it's perfect for late-night viewing. I strongly urge fans of the genre to give this diabolical baby a whirl.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 8, 2000
Format: DVD
First of all, "Sisters" is a great movie and one of the best of the Hitchcock influenced movies. Also, it is De Palma's best movie, mainly because he shows an incredible enthusiasm and energy for filmmaking, and the limited budget probably made him more aware of all the elements of the movie, as well as more liberated to express his film ideas more visually exciting than ever before or since. Also, the performances are very good especially Margot Kidder looking very alluring as well as psychotic. Not to mention the incredible musical score by one of the greates master composers Bernard Hermann, which definitely adds tremendously to the movie. The Criterion Collection DVDs are always great even if some of their DVDs don't have many extras, the picture and sound quality is always excellent. The "Sisters" DVD is great, it looks and sounds better than ever, although their are no behind the scenes featurettes or audio commentary, the overall presentation is again excellent, especially since this movie had disappeared from video. Also, I would be great if Criterion would put out more great movies on great DVDs as they are able to do and more often, I can't get enough of them and buy them as soon as they are made available.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By R. A. Bean on October 29, 2007
Format: DVD
In 1973, after spending the last few years making great independant films like "Murder a La Mod", "The Wedding Party", "Greetings", and "Hi, Mom!", Brian Depalma was put on the map as the new Master Of Suspense with his first 'mainstream' film, "Sisters", a very demented, deranged, twisted, psychological horror film that rivals even the best of todays top thrillers. He uses themes that would continue throughout his career in this film: The doppleganger, split personalities, multiple personality disorder(s), mistaken identity, voyuerism, and horrorfying psychological madness and muder and mayhem. And sinister satire!
The film starts as a game show "Peeping Toms" is being played out before a live audience. The contestant on the show, a young black man named Philip Woode (Lisle Wilson), and the guest 'prankster', a model named Danillele Breton (Margot Kidder in her BEST performance ever). After the show is over, Philip recieves a gift card which is a ticket for two to have a free dinner at an African themed restaraunt, and for Danielle's participation on the show, she recieves a very nice set of steak knives (establishing sterotypes and irony in one set piece).
They attend dinner together, where they are followed by Danielle's ex-husband, Emil Breton (William Finley), but he is removed from the restaraunt; so they have a very nice dinner together, then go to Danielle's to spend the night together. As they are making out, we are shown a very large, ugly scar on Danielle's thigh.?.?.
The next morning, there is loud yelling from the next room, someone calling out "Danielle! Danielle!
Read more ›
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 3, 2000
Format: DVD
A very cerebral bloodbath by a young mad scientist of a director with sex and murder on the brain. They don't make 'em like this anymore!
The folks at Criterion have rescued another lost classic from the wear and tear of time. Previously available only in inferior prints, this lovingly remastered SISTERS marks the beginning of De Palma's smart series of Hitchcock hommages, and for sheer terror really can't be touched by any of its successors (Carrie, Obsession, Dressed to Kill, etc.) The plot unfolds with a terrifying calculation that avoids the arrogance of De Palma's later work; coming off of his string of low budget independent releases (GREETINGS, HI MOM!) the young writer/director seems like a kid in a candy store. (For deeper commentary on the Hollywood milieu in which this picture was created, read Peter Biskind's exceptional history EASY RIDERS, RAGING BULLS.)
I was pleasantly shocked to find that Criterion had reissued SISTERS and immediately picked it up; once again--this company chooses the lesser known work of established artists. The colors and tracking shots alone are worth the price of admission. Criterion has done a masterful job with De Palma's considerably complex palette, balancing the bright, deceptively safe daylight tones (Danielle's apartment), with the muted deep focus hues of night (the mental institution). Deserves a whole new cult of aspiring filmmakers to analyze every frame, a job this DVD simplifies.
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