Overall Rank: 460
Average Rating: 3.1/4
# of Ratings: 163
Theatrical Release Date: 09/23/1944
Genre: Comedy, Mystery
MPAA Rating: NR
Director: Frank Capra
Actors: Cary Grant, Peter Lorre, Josephine Hull, Jean Adair, Priscilla Lane, Raymond Massey
Plot: A nephew of two aunts comes home to find that his aunts may have been killing people and storing them in the basement, as if it was normal - he finds out on his wedding day.
Quick Movie Reviews
Logan D. McCoy - wrote on 06/17/2019
"Arsenic and Old Lace" is the right blend of screwball and dark comedy.
sapien - wrote on 04/19/2012
I found this movie to be absolutely hilarious! And, at times, it was even very suspenseful. But, mostly just really funny.
SIngli6 - wrote on 06/14/2011
Though directed by the sultan of saccharine, Frank Capra's adaptation of this famous broadway farce is so irreverent and macabre that you'd be forgiven for thinking Howard Hawks ghost-directed the thing. The chef-d'oeuvre of screwball comedy.
Full Movie Reviews
cacb3995 - wrote on 06/20/2018
Back in the 1930s and 40s, as the studio system and the Hays code were in their peaks, Frank Capra was one of the most important directors in Hollywood. He helmed such classics like “It Happened One Night” (1934), “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” (1939) and “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946). His films have become milestones of american cinema, always blended in with a heartfelt story and clever humour. In 1944 he released “Arsenic and Old Lace”, today somewhat lesser known than the previously mentioned titles, and yet still considered an undisputable classic for those who know it. Based on a classic Broadway play by the same name and starring Cary Grant, the film is a clear example of how classy and utterly funny comedies at the time could be.
“Arsenic and Old Lace” …
Daniel Corleone - wrote on 11/05/2012
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.
Yojimbo - wrote on 03/07/2012
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 …
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