MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 569 this week

Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

 -  Comedy | Crime  -  23 September 1944 (USA)
8.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 48,827 users  
Reviews: 245 user | 63 critic

A drama critic learns on his wedding day that his beloved maiden aunts are homicidal maniacs, and that insanity runs in his family.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play), 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

Live Chat with Keanu Reeves

We conducted a Live Chat with Keanu about his upcoming film John Wick.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 34 titles
created 05 Apr 2012
 
a list of 33 titles
created 27 May 2012
 
a list of 24 titles
created 19 Jun 2012
 
a list of 26 titles
created 22 Jun 2012
 
a list of 40 titles
created 9 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

Arsenic and Old Lace (1944) on IMDb 8.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Arsenic and Old Lace.

User Polls

1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

While trying to secure a $1 million donation for his museum, a befuddled paleontologist is pursued by a flighty and often irritating heiress and her pet leopard "Baby."

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Charles Ruggles
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

When a rich woman's ex-husband and a tabloid-type reporter turn up just before her planned remarriage, she begins to learn the truth about herself.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A newspaper editor uses every trick in the book to keep his ace reporter ex-wife from remarrying.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A spoiled heiress, running away from her family, is helped by a man who's actually a reporter looking for a story.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Walter Connolly
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A naive man is appointed to fill a vacancy in the US Senate. His plans promptly collide with political corruption, but he doesn't back down.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Claude Rains
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Longfellow Deeds, a simple-hearted Vermont tuba player, inherits a fortune and has to contend with opportunist city slickers.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur, George Bancroft
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A man from a family of rich snobs becomes engaged to a woman from a good-natured but decidedly eccentric family.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Jean Arthur, James Stewart, Lionel Barrymore
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Missing for seven years and presumed dead, a woman returns home on the day of her husband's second marriage.

Director: Garson Kanin
Stars: Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Randolph Scott
Charade (1963)
Comedy | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Romance and suspense in Paris, as a woman is pursued by several men who want a fortune her murdered husband had stolen. Who can she trust?

Director: Stanley Donen
Stars: Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Walter Matthau
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Unfounded suspicions lead a married couple to begin divorce proceedings, whereupon they start undermining each other's attempts to find new romance.

Director: Leo McCarey
Stars: Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Ralph Bellamy
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A high school girl falls for a playboy artist with screwball results.

Director: Irving Reis
Stars: Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, Shirley Temple
Harvey (1950)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Due to his insistence that he has an invisible six-foot rabbit for a best friend, a whimsical middle-aged man is thought by his family to be insane - but he may be wiser than anyone knows.

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: James Stewart, Josephine Hull, Peggy Dow
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Josephine Hull ...
Jean Adair ...
John Alexander ...
...
Edward McNamara ...
Garry Owen ...
Taxi Cab Driver
John Ridgely ...
Saunders
Vaughan Glaser ...
Judge Cullman
Edit

Storyline

Mortimer Brewster is a newspaperman and author known for his diatribes against marriage. We watch him being married at city hall in the opening scene. Now all that is required is a quick trip home to tell Mortimer's two maiden aunts. While trying to break the news, he finds out his aunts' hobby; killing lonely old men and burying them in the cellar. It gets worse. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

She Passed Out On Cary ! No Wonder . . . She's just discovered his favorite aunts have poisoned their 13th gentleman friend !

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

23 September 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Frank Capra's 'Arsenic and Old Lace'  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,120,175 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

On stage, Boris Karloff played the monstrous Jonathan Brewster, Raymond Massey's film character, who, in eerie-looking screen makeup, resembled Karloff, which was a running gag throughout the picture. Because Karloff was still appearing in the Broadway play during the film's production, he was unable to do the picture. See more »

Goofs

When Mortimer discovers the body in the window seat his hair changes from being flipped over his forehead to being neat and then back again without any obvious motions that would have changed it. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Baseball Fan: I'll knock your block off, you big stiff! You're a bum!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Pushing Daisies: Dummy (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Fifth Symphony
(uncredited)
Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven (1804-1808)
Grant hums first four notes.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
My favorite classic movie!
7 September 2002 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

This is my all-time favorite classic movie. It has an very sophisticatedly entertaining plot line, the casting is superb, the pace is breathtaking, and it deals with a subject (euthanasia) that is still controversial today. The story is a fine example of "black comedy", where a socially unacceptable idea is shown in a very entertaining manner.

The story is set up brilliantly right from the get-go; where a 'certifiable' publicly-acclaimed bachelor is secretly getting married. The personality of the cast is excellent. I know that Cary Grant reckoned this was his worst movie, saying it was more of a "Jimmy Stewart-type part"; but his spot-on comic timing and professional style hamming plays the role to perfection. Also co-starring in the movie is a brilliant Peter Lorre as a maniac doctor and Raymond Massey as the psychotic brother. Most critics have attacked this film by saying the script refers to the psycho being a Boris Karloff look-alike, highlighting the fact that Boris played the role is the original stage play. However Massey plays the role to deadpan perfection, and the humor of the scenario still works.

My favorite scene is the self-referential one where Mortimer (a theater critic)is describing "bad plays (and movies)". If you watch the background action, and pay attention to the dialog, the ironic situation is brilliantly realized. This film also has my personal favorite quote, said by Cary Grant as Peter Lorre frantically tries to warn him of impending doom; "Stop underplaying - I can't hear you!"


34 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The actual Brooklyn neighborhood? beatabeatrix
Over the top? ImOkayLarry
Some jokes many people won't get today... lewis-51
100 things stoolfam
A Remake? amurphy2
Best black comedies fearedmemories
Discuss Arsenic and Old Lace (1944) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?