Sister Sister (1988)

R | 91 mins | Mystery, Horror, Drama | 5 February 1988

Director:

Bill Condon

Producer:

Walter Coblenz

Cinematographer:

Stephen M. Katz

Editor:

Marion Rothman

Production Designer:

Richard Sherman

Production Company:

Odyssey Film Partners
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HISTORY

End credits state the following: “Shot on location at Madewood Plantation, Napoleonville, Louisiana and Greenwood Plantation, St. Francisville, Louisiana. Additional scenes filmed at Raleigh Studios, Hollywood, California.” End credits list: “Special Thanks to: Michael Crane; the Louisiana Film Commission; the cities & people of Thibodaux & St. Francisville, Louisiana; the Holiday Inn, Thibodaux, La.; M.S. Rau Antiques, Royal Antiques, Didier French Collectibles, European Importers, Whisnant Gallery New Orleans, Louisiana; Fairlight Instruments and Dan DeSouza.”
       Production charts in the 12 Nov 1986 Var and 18 Nov 1986 HR stated that principal photography began on 11 Nov 1986 in the Southwest US. An article in the Mar 1988 AmCin listed the following locations used during filming: the interior of the Madewood Plantation situated on Bayou Lafourche in Thibodaux, LA; and the exterior of the Greenwood Plantation in St. Francisville, LA. The article also reported that director of photography Stephen M. Katz had eight weeks pre-production time to visit locations with storyboard artist Marcie Dale, and that Katz shot the film using Super 35 film format. A news brief in the 8 Jan 1987 HR reported that during filming in swamps, the crew had detonated small amounts of dynamite to ward off snakes and alligators, but the explosions instead awakened the hibernating wildlife. An announcement stating that principal photography was completed appeared in the 30 Jan 1987 HR , and noted that the picture was available at the 1987 American Film Market.
       A number of contemporary sources, including the 18 Nov 1987 HR production chart and the 16 Sep 1986 Var ... More Less

End credits state the following: “Shot on location at Madewood Plantation, Napoleonville, Louisiana and Greenwood Plantation, St. Francisville, Louisiana. Additional scenes filmed at Raleigh Studios, Hollywood, California.” End credits list: “Special Thanks to: Michael Crane; the Louisiana Film Commission; the cities & people of Thibodaux & St. Francisville, Louisiana; the Holiday Inn, Thibodaux, La.; M.S. Rau Antiques, Royal Antiques, Didier French Collectibles, European Importers, Whisnant Gallery New Orleans, Louisiana; Fairlight Instruments and Dan DeSouza.”
       Production charts in the 12 Nov 1986 Var and 18 Nov 1986 HR stated that principal photography began on 11 Nov 1986 in the Southwest US. An article in the Mar 1988 AmCin listed the following locations used during filming: the interior of the Madewood Plantation situated on Bayou Lafourche in Thibodaux, LA; and the exterior of the Greenwood Plantation in St. Francisville, LA. The article also reported that director of photography Stephen M. Katz had eight weeks pre-production time to visit locations with storyboard artist Marcie Dale, and that Katz shot the film using Super 35 film format. A news brief in the 8 Jan 1987 HR reported that during filming in swamps, the crew had detonated small amounts of dynamite to ward off snakes and alligators, but the explosions instead awakened the hibernating wildlife. An announcement stating that principal photography was completed appeared in the 30 Jan 1987 HR , and noted that the picture was available at the 1987 American Film Market.
       A number of contemporary sources, including the 18 Nov 1987 HR production chart and the 16 Sep 1986 Var review, referred to the film by the working title, Sister, Sister.
       A 24 Sep 1986 Var article listed the film’s budget as $5 million, yet producer Walter Coblenz was reported by the 18 Jan 1988 HR as stating the film “came in for about $4 million.”
       The picture was shown at the Toronto Festival of Festivals on 11 Sep 1987, according to the 16 Sep 1987 Var review. A Mar 1987 New World Pictures press release listed Oct 1987 as the scheduled month for the film’s opening. However, by 5 Nov 1987, a HR news brief reported the release date was set for 29 Jan 1988. The film did not open until 5 Feb 1988, as advertised in the 5 Feb 1988 LAHExam and other newspapers.
       A news brief from the 17 Sep 1986 HR stated that writers Ginny Cerrella and Joel Cohen had been “omitted by New World Pictures as coscripters with Bill Condon,” preceding an announcement of New World Pictures’ upcoming 1986 production roster. However, Condon, Cohen, and Cerrella are all credited as writers onscreen in the version viewed by AFI.
       The film marked the feature directorial debut of Bill Condon. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
American Cinematographer
Mar 1988.
p. 69.
Daily Variety
31 Oct 1986
p. 6.
Daily Variety
10 Nov 1986
p. 3.
Daily Variety
15 Dec 1986
p. 3.
Daily Variety
15 Sep 1987
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Sep 1986.
---
Hollywood Reporter
18 Nov 1986.
---
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jan 1987.
---
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jan 1987
pp. 18-19.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Nov 1987.
---
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jan 1988.
---
Hollywood Reporter
1 Feb 1988
p. 3, 18.
LAHExam
5 Feb 1988
p. 5.
Los Angeles Times
5 Feb 1988
p. 22.
Variety
17 Sep 1986
p. 28.
Variety
24 Sep 1986
p. 6.
Variety
12 Nov 1986
p. 6.
Variety
16 Sep 1987
p. 12.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
New World Pictures
In association with Odyssey Entertainment, Ltd. presents
A Walter Coblenz Production
A Bill Condon Film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Gaffer
Best boy
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Grip
Still photog
Dir of photog, 2d unit
Cam asst, 2d unit
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Storyboard artist
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Assoc film ed, Post prod
Asst film ed, Post prod
Asst film ed, Post prod
Negative cutter, Post prod
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Asst set dec
Set dresser
Set dresser
Prop master
Asst prop master
Const coord
Carpenter
Carpenter
Painter
Scenic artist
Scenic artist
COSTUMES
Cost des
Costumer
MUSIC
Mus ed, Post prod
Mus eng & management by, Post prod
Mus eng & management by Tom Lazarus with the, Post
Orch, Post prod
Synthesizer, Post prod
Vocalise, Post prod
Re-rec mixer, Post prod
Re-rec mixer, Post prod
Re-rec mixer, Post prod
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Sd des, Post prod
Supv sd ed, Post prod
Sd FX/Foley, Post prod
Sd FX/Foley, Post prod
Sd FX/Foley, Post prod
Sd FX/Foley, Post prod
Dial/ADR, Post prod
Dial/ADR, Post prod
Dial/ADR, Post prod
Asst, Post prod
Asst, Post prod
Apprentice, Post prod
Foley artist, Post prod
Sd eng, Post prod
Stereo consultant
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Prod exec
Prod consultant
Scr supv
Prod coord
Asst to prod mgr
Transportation coord
Casting asst
Animal handler
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
STAND INS
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer, Post prod
Col by
Prints by
SOURCES
MUSIC
“La Valse J’aime (The Waltz I Love),” arranged by Ann Savoy, performed by Savoy-Doucet Cajun Band, courtesy of Arhoolie Records, © Tradition Music Co. (BMI)
“That Same Old Song,” written by J. C. Phillips and Bob Boykin, performed by Pat Henley, © Glory Music Co. (ASCAP).
SONGS
“Saturday Night Special,” written by Darrel Higginbotham, performed by The Sundown Playboys, courtesy of Swallow Records/Floyd Soileau, by arrangement with Original Sound Entertainment, © Flat Town Music Co. (BMI).
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Sister, Sister
Release Date:
5 February 1988
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 5 February 1988
Production Date:
11 November 1986 -- late January 1987 in Louisiana
Copyright Claimant:
New World Pictures, Ltd.
Copyright Date:
16 February 1988
Copyright Number:
PA359248
Physical Properties:
Sound
Recorded in Ultra-Stereo®
Color
Lenses
Camera and lenses by Panavision ®
Duration(in mins):
91
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
28625
SYNOPSIS

At the Willows, inn and estate in Louisiana, Lucy Bonnard dreams of making love to a man in her bedroom during a rainstorm, with water falling from the ceiling and flooding the room. Before Lucy drowns, she awakens. Getting dressed, she wanders outside to the nearby bayou, where her childhood friend and the inn’s repairman, Etienne LeViolette, playfully chases her back to the house at the Willows. Lucy’s sister, Charlotte Bonnard, calls out to Etienne to finish his repairs before guests arrive the following day. That evening Charlotte goes to a local dance with her boyfriend, Sheriff Cleave Doucet. At the dance, Cleave tells her they need to break up because she has put off marrying him for years, using Lucy’s mental instabilities as her excuse. Back at the house, Lucy and Etienne are startled by the sudden appearance of Matt Rutledge, a new guest at the inn. The following morning, Charlotte chats with Matt over breakfast about his life as a congressional aide in Washington D.C. Etienne joins them and invites Matt on a tour of the bayou. During the tour, Etienne tells Matt how Lucy believes ghosts of people killed in the swamp speak to her. He also mentions that she was in a mental institution for three years. That afternoon, Mrs. Bettleheim, her daughter, Fran Steuben, and her son-in-law, Lenny Steuben, arrive as guests at the Willows. In the evening, the guests and the sisters have dinner in the main dinning room. As Charlotte refills wineglasses, she notices Lucy flirting with Matt as he feeds scraps from his plate to Lucy’s dog, Beau. ... +


At the Willows, inn and estate in Louisiana, Lucy Bonnard dreams of making love to a man in her bedroom during a rainstorm, with water falling from the ceiling and flooding the room. Before Lucy drowns, she awakens. Getting dressed, she wanders outside to the nearby bayou, where her childhood friend and the inn’s repairman, Etienne LeViolette, playfully chases her back to the house at the Willows. Lucy’s sister, Charlotte Bonnard, calls out to Etienne to finish his repairs before guests arrive the following day. That evening Charlotte goes to a local dance with her boyfriend, Sheriff Cleave Doucet. At the dance, Cleave tells her they need to break up because she has put off marrying him for years, using Lucy’s mental instabilities as her excuse. Back at the house, Lucy and Etienne are startled by the sudden appearance of Matt Rutledge, a new guest at the inn. The following morning, Charlotte chats with Matt over breakfast about his life as a congressional aide in Washington D.C. Etienne joins them and invites Matt on a tour of the bayou. During the tour, Etienne tells Matt how Lucy believes ghosts of people killed in the swamp speak to her. He also mentions that she was in a mental institution for three years. That afternoon, Mrs. Bettleheim, her daughter, Fran Steuben, and her son-in-law, Lenny Steuben, arrive as guests at the Willows. In the evening, the guests and the sisters have dinner in the main dinning room. As Charlotte refills wineglasses, she notices Lucy flirting with Matt as he feeds scraps from his plate to Lucy’s dog, Beau. Later, a sudden rainstorm shorts out the power while Lucy tells the guests about the ghosts in the swamp and how they protect her from the ghost of Jud Nevins, a local young man who went missing in the marsh years ago. Etienne enters the house, informing Charlotte that the generator is down. As they go outside to fix it, Lucy and Matt close windows throughout the house. Outside, Etienne gets the generator working and sees Matt and Lucy’s silhouettes kissing by a window as the power returns. Upset, he runs to his shack, and takes a knife from his cupboard. Meanwhile, Matt hides with Lucy in her room when Charlotte enters to give Lucy her medication followed by Beau the dog. After she leaves, Matt asks Lucy why Charlotte treats her like a child. Upset, Lucy tells him to leave. Hours later, a shadowy figure lurks in the attic with a knife and spies on Lucy from a gap in the floorboards. Hearing a noise, Beau wanders into the kitchen, surprising Mrs. Bettleheim. She tells the dog everyone in the house is crazy, and she will be leaving in the morning. After she leaves, the shadowy figure with the knife comes into the kitchen. In the morning, Lucy comes downstairs looking for Beau. However, Charlotte instructs Lucy to get the vacuum from the hall closet and complete her chores. As she opens the closet door, she finds the vacuum cord tied around Beau’s severed head. Later, as Mrs. Bettleheim checks out of the Willows, she suggests Matt should leave as well. Elsewhere, Cleve and his deputy, Roger, arrive at Etienne’s empty shack, investigating the repairman in connection with Beau’s killing. They find a knife missing from his tool cupboard. Afterwards, Cleve returns to the Willows and tells everyone to evacuate until Etienne is found. Charlotte believes Lucy is not well enough to leave and goes to comfort her. Matt and Cleve bury Beau and leave the sisters. Lucy tells Charlotte she believes Jud Nevins has returned from the dead to kill her. Charlotte dismisses her claim and tells her to go upstairs. Just then, Etienne enters the house and tells Charlotte he knows she murdered Jud Nevins. Before she responds, Etienne runs away. That night as Matt drives to the house, Etienne tries to stop him on the road and warn him about Charlotte. Unfazed, Matt continues driving. Elsewhere at the sheriff’s station, Cleave asks Roger to bring him the folder relating to Jud Nevins’ murder. As he looks over the file, he notices a picture of Jud with a little boy who looks like Matt. He attempts to call the Willows, but the telephone line is dead. Meanwhile, Charlotte confronts Lucy in her room about Etienne’s knowledge of Jud’s murder. Lucy explains that he saw the murder happen. To sooth Lucy’s nerves, Charlotte turns on a music box before she leaves the bedroom and locks the door. When Matt returns, Charlotte meets him at the door and tells him that Lucy does not want to see him. He runs upstairs and knocks on Lucy’s door, but she does not answer because of the music. Lucy goes to her window, however, and sees Matt. She breaks the window with the music box, grabbing his attention. He runs back inside and breaks down the door. They kiss and make love on her bed. After Matt leaves Lucy’s room, she takes a bath and recalls playing hide-and-seek with Etienne when they were children at Charlotte’s birthday party. While searching in the family graveyard, young Lucy sees Jud Nevins forcing himself on teenage Charlotte, and slams a rock at his head to stop him. Angry, Jud releases Charlotte and attacks Lucy. Charlotte picks up his knife and stabs Jud to death. As the sisters drag Jud’s body into the swamp, Charlotte orders Lucy to return to the graveyard and find his baseball cap. At the graveyard, Lucy finds a young boy. Unable to find the cap, she tells the boy not to tell anyone about Jud and runs back to find Charlotte, pushing the body into the swamp. Getting out of the bathtub, Lucy sees Jud Nevins in his baseball cap out the window. Meanwhile, Etienne leaves his shack and gets into his boat after hearing someone. He is shot with arrows, and falls into the water. He climbs out and he finds Matt wearing Jud’s baseball cap. Matt stabs Etienne and remembers being a young boy in the Willows graveyard where Lucy, mistaking him for Etienne, told him not to tell on Charlotte. After Matt leaves Etienne, Lucy finds her friend and watches him die. Returning to the house, Lucy finds Matt and tells him Etienne is dead. He convinces her that Charlotte murdered Etienne. Downstairs, Lucy finds Charlotte holding a rifle and tells her that Etienne is dead. Charlotte puts down the rifle to call for help. When she realizes the phone is dead, Lucy aims the rifle at her. To convince Lucy she does not intend to hurt her, Charlotte shows Lucy a photograph. Lucy believes the picture is of Matt, but Charlotte informs her that it is Jud: Matt was Jud’s little brother. Matt appears, and is able to persuade Lucy to give him the rifle. Charlotte runs upstairs, followed by Matt. As he corners her in the attic, Charlotte tells him that his brother’s death was an accident, but he states that he saw her kill him. Hearing Matt’s confession about being Jud’s brother, Lucy hits him in the head, and the sisters run outside. Matt follows with the rifle, and is met by Cleve and Roger, who know who he is. Enraged, Matt shoots Cleve in the shoulder, and runs after Lucy. She stops when reaches the spot where she and Charlotte dumped Jud’s body, but Matt grabs her. He wades into the water carrying her, and pushes her head underwater. However, a number of hands emerge and begin to grab at him, allowing Lucy to escape. As she crawls to land, Matt is dragged into the swamp. Just then, a fog rolls in, and Lucy sees shadows of people, including Etienne’s ghost. As the fog dissipates, Charlotte finds her. Days later, at the Willows, Lucy helps Charlotte get ready for her wedding to Cleve. Before the ceremony, Lucy retrieves her hat from her bedroom. She looks into the mirror and sees an image of Matt running at her and breaking through the mirror. Shocked, she looks around and sees that the mirror is unbroken and she is alone in the room. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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