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Arsenic and Old Lace (1944) Movie Reviews

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  View Daniel Corleone's Profile
Daniel Corleone
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11/05/2012 (0 of 0 found this helpful)

Arsenic and Old Lace review

There are times when a popular classic is praised and yet when viewed, one feels differently. Typical talkies are okay, having too much tends to be too dull despite a known actor. This felt like a skit or soap opera rather than a film. Mortimer Brewster (Cary Grant) gets married to Elaine Harper (Priscilla Lane). Aunts Abby (Josephine Hull) and Martha (Jean Adair), and his brother Teddy (John Alexander) have a secret. Surprisingly a talkie instead of a comedy. This critic doesn't mind constant conversations and a slow pace, this however was grueling. On a positive note, Grant's performance and plot was worth viewing. Arsenic and Old Lace is the type of film that mixes mystery, dark humor and comedy elements which can be enjoyed with patience and appreciation of the cast.

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  View Yojimbo's Profile
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03/07/2012 (0 of 0 found this helpful)

"Arsenic And Old Lace" by Yojimbo

The newly married nephew of a pair of dear old ladies is shocked to discover that they have been euthenising the lonely old gents of their neighbourhood. I'm a fan of Frank Capra and Cary Grant both, but Arsenic And Old Lace is rather too broadly played and self-consciously "kooky" for my tastes. In my opinion, Grant is at his best when he is being silver tongued and debonair but in this film he leaps around, hopping and howling like a chimpanzee (the film it reminded me of most in approach was probably Monkey Business) and it's just full of people running in and out of the same one room location, shouting, blowing bugles and generally being rather loud and irritating. It's born of the same school of screwball comedy of falling over and double takes rather than fast talking wise-cracks an...

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  View mdtinney's Profile
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05/28/2010 (0 of 0 found this helpful)

One of the funniest movies ever. A pure classic!

Brilliantly brought from screen to stage, "Arsenic and Old Lace" is as funny today as it was 60 years ago. Newlywed Mortimer Brewster receives the worst of all wedding gifts - he finds out everyone in his family is completely nuts. He knew about his murdering brother Jonathan, who disappeared, and his uncle who thinks he's Teddy Roosevelt. But it's not until he finds a body in his aunts' window seat that he learns that his elderly aunts have been poisoning old men and burying them in the cellar.
Josephine Hull and Jean Adair, who performed the aunts on Broadway, are perfection. Cary Grant's Mortimeris a masterpiece. His reactions to his situation are astonishing. For me it is one of his great performances. Raymond Massey as the returning Jonathan, who now looks like Boris Karloff since h...

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