A writer of books on the futility of marriage risks his reputation when he decides to get married. Things get even more complicated when he learns on his wedding day that his beloved maiden aunts are habitual murderers.
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 <email@example.com>
The rights to the play cost $175,000, and that theatrical producers Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse negotiated for 15% of the film's profits. Although the original projected release date of the film was September 30, 1942, the play had 1,444 performances and ran for over three and a half years, thus delaying considerably the film's release. See more »
Just before Jonathan and Dr. Einstein show up, Aunt Abby arranges the two candelabras so that they are both facing forward. After Jonathan and Dr. Einstein enter, one of the candelabras is facing sideways. See more »
I'll knock your block off, you big stiff! You're a bum!
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This is a Hallowe'en tale of Brooklyn, where anything can happen -- and it usually does. At 3 P.M. on this particular day, this was happening. [Scene of Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees baseball game, irate fans and brouhaha between teams on the field, then...] While at the same time across the river in the UNITED STATES PROPER there was romance in the air. [Scene of cruise ship on the river with NY City skyline in the background, then...] And now, back to one of Brooklyn's most charming residential districts -- [Scene of old gabled Brewster house next to a cemetery, then...] -- From here on you're on your own. See more »
Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »
Funeral March (Marche funèbre)
from "Sonata in Bb-, Op.35 No.2"
Music by Frédéric Chopin
In the score when Teddy gets Mr. Hoskins See more »
Completely Hilarious Dark Comedy
For those who enjoy dark comedy, it's hard to see how anything could be funnier than "Arsenic and Old Lace". With Cary Grant's talent for madcap comedy, with hilariously sinister performances by Raymond Massey and Peter Lorre, with two adorable old ladies who have a very dark secret, plus half-a-dozen other eccentric characters, all involved in a complicated and unpredictable plot, this is a comic masterpiece. Director Frank Capra keeps everything moving and adds his own touch, keeping some dark material entirely light-hearted.
This is the kind of movie for which mere analysis cannot do justice to how well everything fits together. The characters, cast, and writing are all perfect, and the crazy story gives every character some great moments. There is plenty of witty dialogue, lots of funny slapstick and physical humor, and quite a few wild plot developments. None of it is meant to be plausible, but it is all hugely entertaining, and done with such skill that it is easy to suspend disbelief. If you happen not to have seen this before, stick with it for the first few minutes, until you arrive at the home of Cary Grant's two aunts, and then things will take off quickly.
If you enjoy morbid humor, "Arsenic and Old Lace" is an absolute must-see.
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