Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
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as Mortimer Brewster
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Critic Reviews for Arsenic and Old Lace
Despite the fact that picture runs 118 minutes, Frank Capra has expanded on the original play [by Joseph Kesselring] to a sufficient extent to maintain a steady, consistent pace.
The timing is abysmal throughout, turning fast pace into numbing frenzy.
Today the stellar cast comes across as overacting, mugging into predictable pratfalls, blustering obtuseness and telegraphed laff lines.
Audience Reviews for Arsenic and Old Lace
While the first half hour is exceptionally hilarious (with Cary Grant displaying a perfect comic timing there), this madcap dark comedy soon resorts to irritating, over-the-top mass hysteria, with everyone yelling around without rest, killing what made it so funny in the beginning.
Way too theatrical for my taste. I couldn't stand watching it anymore, so I turned it off after watching the first hour.
A newlywed discovers that his aged aunts have been poisoning lonely bachelors as his brother returns with a body to hide.
This is a shallow but enjoyable farce. Cary Grant runs about and contorts his face in all the shapes required by the genre, and Josephine Hull and Jean Adair are delightful in their naivete. This isn't substantive comedy, but it's well-plotted and energetic.
Overall, I enjoyed Arsenic and Old Lace for its madcap fun as it's a decent way to while away a couple hours.
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