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Yojimbo's Movie Reviews (2315)

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Arsenic and Old Lace 
"Arsenic And Old Lace" by Yojimbo
2/4 stars

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 and as such isn't really my cup of tea. I would have to say that the scenes involving the body removals in the dark are so beautifully shot that they could've been lifted straight from The Third Man, but otherwise I found it overlong and mildly annoying rather than funny.


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