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The Sister in Law (1974)

Robert and Edward are brothers involved in a web of adultry and deceit. They share Edward's wife and his mistress and a mission to deliver a package of jewels across the Canadian border, but the mission turns out to be deadly.


Joseph Ruben


Joseph Ruben


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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Savage ... Robert Strong
Will MacMillan ... Edward Strong (as W.G. McMillan)
Anne Saxon Anne Saxon ... Joanna Strong
Meridith Baer Meridith Baer ... Deborah Holt
Frank Adonis ... Benjo (as Frank Scioscia)
Jon Oppenheim Jon Oppenheim ... Fat Man
Tom Mahoney Tom Mahoney ... Thin Man
Jan DeCarlo Jan DeCarlo ... Mrs. Strong
Jack Cooper Jack Cooper ... Mr. Strong
Larry Sontag Larry Sontag ... Hood (as Larry Powers)
Gillian Gordon Gillian Gordon ... Lena
Michael Ruben Michael Ruben ... John Strong
Ray Valente Ray Valente ... Messenger
Robert Baines Robert Baines ... Literary Agent
Bruce G. Sparks Bruce G. Sparks ... Producer #1


Robert and Edward are brothers involved in a web of adultry and deceit. They share Edward's wife and his mistress and a mission to deliver a package of jewels across the Canadian border, but the mission turns out to be deadly.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


She Helped Her Husband Destroy His Brother By The Most Immoral Act Imaginable See more »




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Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

24 September 1981 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

La cognata See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Directorial debut of Joseph Ruben. See more »


[first lines]
Joanna Strong: Where is everybody?
See more »


Referenced in The Cinema Snob: The Stepfather (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

Good Brother in Bad Situation
30 August 2000 | by jess-12See all my reviews

Robert (Savage) comes home from a long trip to find things quite different between his brother Edward (McMillan) and sister-in-law Joanna (Saxon). Edward admits to Robert that he's taken a mistress named Deborah (Baer), but he hasn't totally abandoned his wife either and proves this by bringing Deborah to the house when Joanna is home. At first, both ladies are cordial to one another and actually appear friendly. Later, the two start a cat fight and push each other into the pool - all while Edward and Robert are watching from the window. Eventually, both Joanna and Deborah fall for Robert's boyish charm and humor and he develops relationships with both of them - behind Edward's back. In time, Edward tells Robert he is in a jam and asks if he would go and pick up a package for him in Canada since he can't do it himself. Robert obliges, but unwillingly. As an extra incentive, Edward sends Deborah along for the ride to make the job more "appealing". After Robert gets the package, he opens it and realizes he's now involved in something he never wanted part of. But, this was all part of Edward's plan in the first place and now he has left his little brother to take the fall for him in the surprising ending.

This movie is entertaining, but not really a zinger. The only performance I enjoyed was John Savage's as he was clearly the star of this picture. Matter of fact, of the four lead actors, he is the only one who went on to achieve major fame in the industry. Now I understand why Savage received accolades for his singing and composing of the songs in this picture -- they are really great. I knew he was a singer from his Broadway days and his role in the movie "Hair", but I had to rewind this video at least twice because the final two songs were sung so well that I couldn't believe it was him. If you are a John Savage fan, try to rent this one - at least to hear his great musical compositions.

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