The objectives in this study were to characterize quaternary polymethacrylate-sodium alginate (QPM-SA) films prepared using high G block or high M block SA (GSA or MSA, respectively), and to investigate the effects of QPM-SA ratios, film-coating levels and SA block structures on propranolol HCl (PPN) released from coated tablets. The results demonstrated that GSA and MSA shared a similar interaction mechanism with QPM. The QPM-GSA films had higher puncture strength than the QPM-MSA films in dry and wet states, whereas the % elongations were not different. The drug permeability of the QPM-GSA films was lower than that of the QPM-MSA films in both acidic and neutral media, but higher water uptake of the QPM-GSA films was found at neutral pH. Moreover, the QPM-MSA-coated tablets had a greater PPN release rate than the QPM-GSA-coated tablets, and drug release was dependent on the film-coating levels. In addition, the QPM-SA films at a ratio of 4:0.5 produced a stronger film and could sustain PPN release. These results indicate that the QPM-GSA films had greater film strength and lower drug permeability than the QPM-MSA films. Additionally, the QPM-SA films have a strong potential for use in sustained-release tablets.