My Sister Eileen (1942): Comedy Starring Oscar Nominee Rosalind Russell

This classic comedy of two sisters who come to the Big City with their big dreams, from the screenplay of Joseph Fields and Jerome Chodorov, based on the stories of Ruth McKenney first published in the New Yorker, earned Rosalind Russell her first Best Actress nomination.

Russell plays would be-writer Ruth, and more importantly the sister of the would-be actress Eileen (Janet Blair).  The two wide-eyed femmes rent a small apartment in the basement of New York’s Greenwich Village.

Faithfully adapted to the big screen, the movie is still a play, despite efforts to open it up.  There are some changes, though.  The parents, who did not exist in the stage production, are played by Elizabeth Patterson and Grant Mitchell.

Richard Quine, who plays a drugstore clerk here, remade the movie in 1955 with Betty Garrett, Janet Leigh, and Jack Lemmon.

As for Russell, she reprised her role as Ruth in the 1953 musical production of “Wonderful Town.”  Russell was nominated three more times for the Best Actress Oscar but never won a legit award

The secondary cast includes Brian Aherne, as the editor of a magazine who encourages Ruth to write.


Oscar Nominations: 1

 Actress: Rosalind Russell

 Oscar Awards: None

 Oscar Context:


The winner of the Best Actress Oscar was Greer Garson for “Mrs. Miniver,” which also won Best Picture and Best Director.


The other contenders were: Bette Davis in “Now, Voyager,” Katharine Hepburn in “Woman of the Year,” and Teresa Wright in “The Pride of the Yankees.”