Another little remembered film that I streamed yesterday on Netflix is Sis Hopkins. The movie is directed by Joseph Stanley and was released on April 12, 1941. One of the main characters is Sis Hopkins played by Judy Canova, who is the mother of actress Diana Canova. Sis Hopkins also stars Susan Hayward as Carol Hopkins, Bob Crosby as Jeff Farnsworth, Charles Butterworth as Horace Hopkins, Jerry Colonna as Professor and Katharine Alexander as Clara Hopkins.
Horace Hopkins is one half of twins. Horace is wealthy, but his twin brother was not and raised his daughter Sis in the rural countryside. Horace is a decent man who is married and has one daughter named Carol. Sis becomes homeless when her small hovel in the country burns down. Horace is not about to leave his niece there to live in the barn, so he happily takes Sis home with him. Sis is adorable and lovable in her country bumpkin innocence. Horace is very proud of her and loves her.
Horace’s wife Carol and daughter however are appalled and embarrassed about Sis. When Sis arrives at Horace’s mansion she receives a very cool reception from Clara, Carol and the butler. Even though Sis is a very nice young lady, Clara and Carol feel that she does not belong in their home and circle of friends. In other words, Clara and Carol are both major snobs. Horace is very down to earth and even though he was able to attain status and wealth he is very grounded. Horace adores his niece and wants to help her make a better life for herself.
Susan is in a relationship with handsome musician Jeff Farnsworth. I like Jeff a lot because not only is he talented, but he is also very grounded as well. When Jeff meets Sis he is very hospitable towards her and recognizes her talents.
After Sis arrives to live with Horace and his family, Carol leaves for Berkeley College. Horace wants Sis to get a good education too, so after pulling some strings Sis is also enrolled at Berkeley and takes the train to the college.
When Horace and Sis arrive at the train station he meets up with a professor that he knows and asks him to look out for Sis on the train and while she is at school.
Clara is jealous of her cousin Sis. Despite the fact that Sis is quite simple and not as learned in the social graces, she is very well liked by everyone at school. Sis naturally makes everyone feel at home and comfortable around her. Carol witnesses Sis performing an audition for Jeff Farnsworth’s show. Sis impresses everyone with her singing ability and a financial backer suggests that Sis be the star of the show.
Carol comes up with some catty and very mean-spirited things to do to Sis to remove her from Berkeley. As a result the school Dean has to let Sis go as a student even though he likes Sis and really wants to her to stay. As Dean of the school though, he has to uphold the rules and regulations, as well as keep the schools reputation intact.
All is well in the end, and you will have to watch the movie for yourself to see how it unfolds. Sis Hopkins is a lovely feel-good movie that will warm your heart. The acting is good and I loved the musical scenes. Musicals are what is missing from Hollywood. Judy Canova’s talent for acting and singing makes you want to search for more movies featuring her. Sis Hopkins is a movie that you can sit down with your entire family to watch.