Soundtrack & Movie Tidbits:
My Sister Eileen originated as a series of short stories by Ruth McKenney that eventually evolved into a book, a play, a musical, two films, and a CBS television series in the 1960-1961 season.
The autobiographical stories originally were published in The New Yorker, then collected and published as the book My Sister Eileen in 1938. It centers on two sisters from Ohio who move to a basement apartment in the Greenwich Village section of New York City in order to pursue their careers. Older, sensible Ruth aspires to be a writer, while Eileen dreams of success on the stage. A variety of oddball characters bring color and humor to their lives.
In 1955, Columbia remade the film as a musical comedy with a score by Jule Styne and Leo Robin. Richard Quine and Blake Edwards wrote the screenplay, and Quine directed. The cast includes Betty Garrett as Ruth, Janet Leigh as Eileen, and Jack Lemmon, Bob Fosse (who choreographed the musical numbers), Kurt Kasznar, Dick York, and Tommy Rall in supporting roles. Richard Quine, who had played the drug store clerk, Frank Lippincott, in the 1940 stage play and the 1942 movie, directed and co-wrote the screenplay with Blake Edwards.