Steve's Review of Arsenic and Old Lace
Arsenic and Old Lace(1944)
Arsenic and Old Lace is a fun film that catches you off guard as it reveals that two sweet old ladies aren't as sweet as you think. Cary Grant plays the nephew of the Grannies whose hobby is to put lonely old men out of their misery in a most interesting way. The film was much darker (literally and figuratively) than I thought it would be and thereby much funnier than I thought it would be. I think people of today are somewhat jaded and have seen a lot of dark comedy wherein the movie goers of the 1940s would have been a lot more shocked and would have found the film much more scary as well as funny. We never really see any dead bodies save for a quick glance in a darkened room when "Teddy Roosevelt" takes one of the "malaria victims" down to the "Panama Canal" for burial. I especially enjoyed Peter Lorre playing Dr. Einstein a plastic surgeon who has made his employer-a murderous brother of Cary Grant-look a bit too much like Boris Karloff's Frankenstein. Interestingly apparently Boris Karloff played the brother in the stage version, but was not available for the film. Too bad Karloff reprising his role from the Frankenstein days would have added a great punchline.