Cast & Crew
Ben K. Blake
On her deathbed, Rachel Glickstein asks her twelve-year-old daughter Betty to educate and watch over her younger sister Sally, and Betty swears that she will. Because their father Gershon goes to work very early every morning, he asks his brother Laibush, a butcher in the Bronx, if he and the girls can live with him, his wife Channa and their son Jack. Laibush and Channa are happy to oblige, and they soon all move into a large apartment. Eighteen years later, Jack, a dentist, has fallen in love with Sally, who is now a nurse, while Betty, who has continually put her sister's welfare above her own, plans to marry Jack's friend, Dr. Max Feinberg, a young intern. Gershon has moved to Denver because of an illness. One day, Jack complains to Max that Sally doesn't love him and expresses envy that Max has Betty, who dotes on the man she loves. Max responds that Betty, who encouraged him to become a doctor and supported him financially while he was at school, loves with the feeling of a mother. When an emergency operation is needed and Sally cannot locate a doctor, she convinces the head nurse to let her call Max. With Sally at his side to give him confidence, Max successfully performs his first major operation. When Betty offers Max $1,000 to open a new office, he at first refuses to accept it, but she insists. At the opening of Max's office, Sally gets drunk, and Max publicly thanks Betty and vows to take care of her happiness and future. However, Max and Sally, who have been working together frequently, realize that they have fallen in love with each other. They are reluctant, however, to acknowledge their feelings. Betty buys a house for her and Max to move into after they marry, and she has wedding invitations printed. Seeing the invitations, Sally breaks down and cries, and when Betty questions her, she says that she wants to leave New York. Thinking that Sally has had a minor spat with Jack, Betty makes her sister swear to remain. Sally then convinces Max that love is stronger than duty or gratitude and that Betty will understand this when they break the news of their love to her. Jack sees them together and confronts them, concerned more for Betty's feelings than for his own wounded ones. Max then confesses to Betty that he loves Sally. Betty is flooded with anguish, and she accuses Sally of robbing her not only the best years of her life, but now her heart and soul. Sally refuses to acknowledge that she owes her sister anything and stands firm in her resolve to love Max. When Sally argues that Max, if he married Betty, would be ashamed of her because she is not educated, Betty points out that she sacrificed her own life to take care of her and sent her to nursing college instead of pursuing her own education. Betty pleads with Sally to give Max up, and when Sally instead attempts to jump from a window, Betty finally understands how strong their love is. She resigns herself to continue to fulfill the duties of a mother, as Sally and Max now prepare to marry. When Gershon arrives for what he thinks will be Betty's wedding and finds Sally in the wedding dress, he orders her to remove it, and Sally is about to comply when Betty falsely asserts that she broke the engagement because she stopped loving Max. Before the ceremony, Max asks for Betty's forgiveness, and she tells him that she forgave him a long time ago. When they hear music, she asks him to dance with her. After the dance, Betty swoons, and then sends Max to Sally to begin the ceremony. Alone, Betty looks at the portrait of her mother and says that she has kept her oath.
Ben K. Blake
Because the print viewed had no English subtitles, the plot summary above was taken from a dialogue continuity in the NYSA, while the credits came from the print. The Yiddish title of this film was Tsvey Shvester. This was the only film produced by Graphic Pictures Corp. and the first and perhaps only film of Jennie Goldstein, whom Variety called "one of the great dramatic stars of the Yiddish theatre." Variety went on to call this "one of her typical roles," and noted "this gives her excellent opportunities for emoting, but unlike her lachrymal moments on the Yiddish stage, when she has shown heed for restraint, Miss Goldstein has been wisely checked by Blake in most of the dramatic moments." Most reviews praised the performance of Michel (also called "Michael") Rosenberg in the film's comedic interludes.