When French Canadian divorcée Danielle Breton (Margot Kidder) meets a young man after appearing on a TV show, she invites him home to her Staten Island apartment, only to attract the ire of her twin sister Dominique Blanchion. In a neighbouring block, journalist Grace Collier (Jennifer Salt) witnesses the man being murdered – but the police find no body or any physical evidence.
Exasperated by the police’s lack of interest, Grace follows up the case herself with the help of a private eye (Charles Durning), and when she discovers that Danielle was one of a pair of Canadian Siamese twins who were separated by Danielle’s ex-husband Dr Emil Breton (William Finley), Grace then sets out to uncover the truth about the supposedly dead Blanchion twin…
This is the first great shocker from director Brian De Palma and almost every scene features some kind of reference to the films of Alfred Hitchcock, which was De Palma intent. Its even topped off with a brilliant, nerve-wracking score from Psycho composer Bernard Herrmann.
Before 1973, De Palma made comedies and experimental satires, but with Sisters (originally released as Blood Sisters in the UK) he found his mojo, and his perfect audience, in the suspense thriller. It was a genre he would go onto master with Carrie, Dressed to Kill and Blow Out. While De Palma borrows the personality-transference theme from Psycho and the early killing-off of a sympathetic character and the witness of a murder through binoculars from Rear Window, he also brings his own cinematic touches to the proceedings with the introduction of one of his trademarks, the use of split screen, which is employed here with imaginative and inventive effect. De Palma also gives us one of the most powerful scenes he has ever done, a disturbing hallucination sequence that will haunt you forever.
THE ARROW FILMS UK RELEASE
Arrow Films, who have been championing De Palma’s oeuvre with restored releases of Phantom of the Paradise, The Fury and Obsession, are now releasing the UK Blu-ray debut of the director’s 1973 suspense thriller Sisters, which has been given an all-new restoration and features a host of entertaining extras.
The extras including interviews with co-writer Louisa Rose, actress Jennifer Salt, editor Paul Hirsch and unit manager Jeffrey Hayes, a film-by-film guide to Brian De Palma’s five-decade career by critic Mike Sutton, a visual essay by author Justin Humphreys and an all-new collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by author Kier-La Janisse, Brian De Palma’s original 1973 Village Voice essay on working with composer Bernard Herrmann as well as a contemporary interview with De Palma on making Sisters, and the 1966 Life