IMDb > Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
Arsenic and Old Lace
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Arsenic and Old Lace (1944) More at IMDbPro »

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Arsenic and Old Lace -- Oscar-winner Cary Grant stars as a drama critic whose life is turned upside down when he discovers that his two spinster aunts have taken to poisoning their gentlemen house guests.


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8.1/10   52,316 votes »
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Down 1% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Julius J. Epstein (screen play) and
Philip G. Epstein (screen play) ...
View company contact information for Arsenic and Old Lace on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
23 September 1944 (USA) See more »
She Passed Out On Cary ! No Wonder . . . She's just discovered his favorite aunts have poisoned their 13th gentleman friend !
A drama critic learns on his wedding day that his beloved maiden aunts are homicidal maniacs, and that insanity runs in his family. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 nomination See more »
(66 articles)
User Reviews:
Frank Capra having fun See more (251 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Cary Grant ... Mortimer Brewster

Priscilla Lane ... Elaine Harper

Raymond Massey ... Jonathan Brewster

Jack Carson ... O'Hara

Edward Everett Horton ... Mr. Witherspoon

Peter Lorre ... Dr. Einstein

James Gleason ... Lt. Rooney
Josephine Hull ... Abby Brewster
Jean Adair ... Martha Brewster
John Alexander ... 'Teddy Roosevelt' Brewster

Grant Mitchell ... Reverend Harper
Edward McNamara ... Brophy
Garry Owen ... Taxi Cab Driver
John Ridgely ... Saunders
Vaughan Glaser ... Judge Cullman
Chester Clute ... Dr. Gilchrist

Charles Lane ... Reporter
Edward McWade ... Gibbs
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Spencer Charters ... Marriage License Clerk (uncredited)
Jimmy the Crow ... Graveyard Raven (uncredited)
Sol Gorss ... New York Pitcher (uncredited)
Herbert Gunn ... Undetermined Supporting Role (uncredited)
Roland Jones ... Undetermined Supporting Role (uncredited)
Hank Mann ... Photographer at Marriage License Office (uncredited)
Spec O'Donnell ... Young Man in Line (uncredited)
Lee Phelps ... Umpire (uncredited)
Don Phillips ... Undetermined Supporting Role (uncredited)
Raymond Walburn ... Drummer at baseball game (uncredited)
Leo White ... Man in Phone Booth (uncredited)
Jean Wong ... Young Woman in Line (uncredited)

Directed by
Frank Capra 
Writing credits
Julius J. Epstein (screen play) and
Philip G. Epstein (screen play)

Joseph Kesselring (play)

Produced by
Jack L. Warner .... executive producer
Frank Capra .... associate producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Max Steiner 
Cinematography by
Sol Polito (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Daniel Mandell 
Art Direction by
Max Parker 
Costume Design by
Orry-Kelly (gowns)
Makeup Department
Perc Westmore .... makeup artist
George Bau .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Anita De Beltrand .... hair stylist (uncredited)
John Wallace .... makeup man (uncredited)
Production Management
Eric Stacey .... unit manager (uncredited)
Steve Trilling .... production manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Claude Archer .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Russell Saunders .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Lucien Hafley .... props (uncredited)
Keefe Maley .... second propman (uncredited)
Alfred Williams .... assistant propman (uncredited)
Levi C. Williams .... assistant propman (uncredited)
Sound Department
C.A. Riggs .... sound
Everett Alton Brown .... sound mixer (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Robert Burks .... special effects
Byron Haskin .... special effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Wesley Anderson .... second camera (uncredited)
Joe Cramer .... best boy (uncredited)
Frank Evans .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Mickey Marigold .... still photographer (uncredited)
Harold Noyes .... grip (uncredited)
Charles O'Bannon .... gaffer (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Cora Lobb .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Leon Roberts .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Music Department
Leo F. Forbstein .... musical director
Hugo Friedhofer .... orchestrator
Other crew
Russel Crouse .... producer: stage play
Howard Lindsay .... producer: stage play
Harold Winston .... dialogue director
Bob Fender .... unit publicist (uncredited)
Herman Lissauer .... researcher (uncredited)
Mal Merrihugh .... stand-in: Cary Grant (uncredited)
Wandra Ramsey .... script clerk (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production Companies
  • Warner Bros. (A Warner Bros.-First National Picture) (presents)

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Frank Capra's 'Arsenic and Old Lace'" - USA (complete title)
See more »
118 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Argentina:Atp | Australia:G (cable rating) | Australia:PG (original rating) | Brazil:14 (DVD rating) | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Denmark:11 | Finland:K-16 (1949) | Finland:(Banned) (1946) | France:U | Germany:12 (re-rating) (2000s) | Italy:T | Spain:T | Sweden:(Banned) (original rating) | Sweden:15 (re-rating) (1948) | UK:PG (1990) | UK:A (1944) | USA:Not Rated | USA:Approved (PCA #7855) | West Germany:16 (re-rating) (1980s) | West Germany:12 (original rating) (1952)

Did You Know?

The city backdrop was achieved with two-dimensional models of the Manhattan skyline and, in front of that, a foreshortened three-quarter-angle miniature of the Brooklyn Bridge. The tall buildings were covered with a scrim to make them appear farther off, and a glow was projected around the distant city. In front of the bridge were Brooklyn buildings, with a glow of lights in the windows, and still closer, the cemetery next to the Brewster home. From the front tombstone to the Manhattan skyline the 3-D perspective effect was done in 40 feet of studio space.See more »
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): Near the end of the film, Mr. Witherspoon addresses Mortimer as Mr. Witherspoon and Mortimer corrects him and saves the scene. Cary Grant appears to be genuinely amused by his mistake.See more »
[first lines]
Baseball Fan:I'll knock your block off, you big stiff! You're a bum!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Boogie Man Will Get You (1942)See more »
Sing With All the Saints in GlorySee more »


Is there a name for Teddy's delusional disorder?
How closely does the movie follow the play?
What is the name of the music that Teddy is performing when we first see him?
See more »
59 out of 69 people found the following review useful.
Frank Capra having fun, 23 July 2004
Author: caspian1978 from Boston, MA

Cary Grant should have had his second Academy Award before he filmed Arsenic and Old Lace. After, he should have taken home his third for best Actor in one of his best comedic performances in his amazing career. Arsenic and Old Lace takes place pretty much in one location. A stage comedy, the movie does justice to its original theatrical version. Cary Grant makes you laugh, even an audience 50 and 60 years after its original release. The story of innocent guilt and laughable situations, other movies like What's Up Doc, Marvin's Room, and even Lake Placid (with its moments of ignorance and bliss) have all stolen moments of Arsenic and Old Lace. No one but Cary Grant could have starred in this movie. A delightful performance and an over the top comedic talent was showcased in this comedy classic.

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Cary Grant caganimalover-272-31843
Some jokes many people won't get today... lewis-51
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