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Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Crime, Thriller | 23 September 1944 (USA)
A drama critic learns on his wedding day that his beloved maiden aunts are homicidal maniacs, and that insanity runs in his family.

Director:

Frank Capra

Writers:

Julius J. Epstein (screen play), Philip G. Epstein (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Edward McNamara ... Brophy
Garry Owen Garry Owen ... Taxi Cab Driver
John Ridgely ... Saunders
Vaughan Glaser Vaughan Glaser ... Judge Cullman
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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:

Strike. You're out! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

23 September 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Frank Capra's 'Arsenic and Old Lace' See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,120,175 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hal B. Wallis outbid "every major film company" in February 1941 for the rights to the play. See more »

Goofs

When Mortimer Brewster pushes the policeman O'Hara out the front door, he firmly shuts the door behind the policeman. However, he immediately goes to leave the house and, when he approaches the door, it is wide open. See more »

Quotes

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

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Andy Griffith Show: Alcohol and Old Lace (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

Home, Sweet Home
(1823) (uncredited)
aka "There's No Place Like Home"
Music partly composed, and arranged by H.R. Bishop from a Sicilian air
Played when Jonathan first speaks with his aunts
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
This caught me by surprise
6 May 2008 | by nygfanSee all my reviews

I didn't really know what to expect going into this. I have seen a lot of Cary Grant's movies, but none of them prepared me for this dark comedy. Grant is hilarious as the frantic Mortimer Brewster, who finds a body in his aunt's home and tries to get to the bottom of how it got there. There are so many scenes in this film that had me laughing my head off. Much of the credit goes to the actors who all play their parts well, but Frank Capra did a fantastic job with this. A fast pace and great timing and reaction shots made this film that much better. Overall, i would recommend this to nearly everyone. If you don't laugh during this film, I would say that you should check if you still have a pulse.


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