8.0/10
59,284
265 user 77 critic

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:

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 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
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The Runeberg family is an ordinary middle class family, with a house in a suburb, a car and three children. By vacationing in a rented house by the sea, the hope is that the tension and ... See full summary »

Director: Susanne Bier
Stars: Loa Falkman, Stina Ekblad, Simon Norrthon
The Delta (1996)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Lincoln, who's not yet 18, leads a straight life most of the time: he has a girl friend, goes to dances, jokes with guys. But he also has a secret life, in which he's drawn to dark places ... See full summary »

Director: Ira Sachs
Stars: Shayne Gray, Thang Chan, Rachel Zan Huss
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A Russian woman living in Memphis with a much older rock-'n'-roll legend experiences a personal awakening when her husband's estranged son comes to visit.

Director: Ira Sachs
Stars: Dina Korzun, Rip Torn, Darren E. Burrows
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In 1960s Dublin a young girl becomes involved with an older man, a much-travelled and still married land-owner.

Director: Desmond Davis
Stars: Peter Finch, Rita Tushingham, Lynn Redgrave
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 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
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The tempestuous love story between Fernando, an older man who has recently returned to his crime-ridden drug capitol hometown of Medellin, Colombia and the gun-happy 16-year-old assassin ... See full summary »

Director: Barbet Schroeder
Stars: Germán Jaramillo, Anderson Ballesteros, Juan David Restrepo
Drama | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Famous swimmer Nikhil Kapoor (Suri) deals with the repercussions of announcing the fact that he has HIV/AIDS.

Director: Onir
Stars: Sanjay Suri, Juhi Chawla, Purab Kohli
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In Paris around 1900, Georges Randal is brought up by his wealthy uncle, who steals his inheritance. Georges hopes to marry his cousin Charlotte, but his uncle arranges for her to marry a ... See full summary »

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Geneviève Bujold, Marie Dubois
Les ogres (2015)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

They go from town to town, a big top on their backs, their show over their shoulder. They bring dreams and disorder to our lives. They are ogres, giants. They've devoured the theater and ... See full summary »

Director: Léa Fehner
Stars: François Fehner, Marion Bouvarel, Marc Barbé
Certificate: Passed Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Woodrow is discharged from the military for hay fever, but fabricates receiving a heroic honorable discharge before returning home.

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Eddie Bracken, Ella Raines, Raymond Walburn
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After an accident Raymond has gone blind .His family treats him like a child .But fortunately ,a nun comes to his rescue.She works in a center where blind people learn to read with the Braille alphabet.

Director: Georges Lacombe
Stars: Jean Gabin, Simone Valère, Gérard Oury
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Mortimer Brewster
... Elaine Harper
... Jonathan Brewster
... O'Hara
... Mr. Witherspoon
... Dr. Einstein
... Lt. Rooney
... Abby Brewster
... Martha Brewster
... 'Teddy Roosevelt' Brewster
... Reverend Harper
Edward McNamara ... Brophy
Garry Owen ... Taxi Cab Driver
... 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 ! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Thriller

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'  »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Boris Karloff did not abandon his commitment to the Broadway version of Arsenic and Old Lace in order to appear in this film. He did, however, graciously allow Warner Bros. to use his name and likeness, an issue that the studio had considered a potentially-devastating legal obstacle had he not done so. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Return to Treasure Island (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

There Is a Happy Land
(uncredited)
Music by Leonard P. Breedlove
Arranged by Max Steiner
in score]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
And who said comedy is not an art form?
4 January 2002 | by See all my reviews

With many silly comedies of recent years, comedy has become the most underrated art form. People take comedy for granted. As if there's nothing to it. True, there are some people will just laugh at anything. In some cases, it doesn't take much to raise a chuckle out of a certain someone. But this is the kind of film that will make you fall on the floor laughing. Why? Because it makes use of every comic device you can think of. The timing, the delivery, the choreography. Absolutely perfect!

That's right, no cheap shots here. There are some absolutely brilliant scenes in this film that made me laugh out loud, while at the same time scream out "Capra's a genius!" If you wanna see what comedy is truly all about, watch the scene where Cary Grant (noted drama critic) is describing the story of a bad play he had just seen to Peter Lorre. As he's doing so, everything that happened in the story is going on right behind his back. Doesn't sound like much on paper, but you have to see it to believe it. There are also many great lines, including "Pull up a tombstone."

The acting is topnotch. I can't believe Grant felt this was the worst movie he's ever done (check the Trivia section). I actually liked the fact that this was a different role for him, as opposed to the suave, quiet, laid-back romantic he-man he usually plays. In this movie, we really get to see his knack for slapstick--and he's great at it! Every facial expression, every bulge of the eyes--he did it with such perfect timing. There's also a great scene where they all start fighting, and Grant sits on the stairs and smokes a cigarette while all this bedlam ensues. His deadpan expression during that scene is classic. I also have to give it up for everyone else in the cast--though Grant deserves the most acclaim.

There are lulls here and there, and the film runs a little long (though that wouldn't surprise me being that it was adapted from a stage play), but there are so many beautifully crafted, hilarious moments that I can't rate this movie as anything less than a must-see! I would go on and on about which scenes I found memorable, but I don't wanna spoil it for anyone. Just see it for yourself! Trust me, you'll die laughing!

My score: 9 (out of 10)


38 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 265 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Sci-Fi Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular sci-fi movies and TV shows available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial