Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
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as Mortimer Brewster
as Jonathan Brewster
as Abby Brewster
as `Teddy Roosevelt' Brewster
as Elaine Harper
as Martha Brewster
as Mr. Witherspoon
as Dr. Einstein
as Lt. Rooney
as Rev. Harper
as Taxi Driver
as Judge Cullman
as Dr. Gilchrist
as Man in Phone Booth
as Marriage License Clerk
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.
Arsenic and Old Lace Quotes
|"Teddy Roosevelt" Brewster:||[Mr. Witherspoon has just met Teddy and Teddy pulls Mortimer aside] Is he trying to move into the White House before I've moved out?|
|"Teddy Roosevelt" Brewster:||[points to Mr. Witherspoon] Taft!|
|Dr. Einstein:||You shouldn't have killed him. Just because he know something about us, what happens?|
|Jonathan Brewster:||We come to him for help, and he tries to shake us down. Besides, he said I looked like Boris Karloff!|
|Mortimer Brewster:||[singing] There is a Happydale, far, far away...|
|Martha Brewster:||For a gallon of elderberry wine, I take one teaspoon full of arsenic, then add half a teaspoon full of strychnine, and then just a pinch of cyanide.|
|Mortimer Brewster:||Hmm. Should have quite a kick.|