Cary Grant and a stellar cast romp through this classic farce based on Joseph Kesselrings 1941 Broadway hit and breezily directed by Frank Capra. Frazzled drama critic Mortimer Brewster (Grant) has two aunts (Josephine Hull and Jean Adair) who ply lonely geezers with poisoned libations, one sociopathic brother (Raymond Massey) who looks like Boris Karloff, one bonkers brother (John Alexander) who thinks he's Teddy Roosevelt, one impatient new bride (Priscilla Lane)and only one night to make it turn out all right. In this circus center ring is Grant, twisting his face into a clown's gallery of flabbergasted reactions and transforming his natural athletic grace into a rubber-legged comic ballet. Youll die laughing.
They don't make them like this anymore...
- Arsenic and Old Lace review by Victoria Sutton
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You rated this film: 5
It's virtually impossible to give a brief description of this film, but to put the film in a nutshell, after the previously cynical Mortimer (Cary Grant) gets married, he goes to break the news to his seemingly normal Aunts (Josphine Hull and Jean Adair) From this point on his life quickly spirals out of control when he finds out about his Aunts’ charity; they mercifully kill lonely old men and bury them in the cellar. He frantically tries to resolve the situation but is hindered by thirteen dead bodies, a crazy uncle who thinks he's President Roosevelt, a nervous plastic surgeon, a Boris Karloff look-alike, a very patient taxi driver and a psychiatrist.
This screwball/black comedy may be a bit dated to today’s audiences however in my opinion there are few comedies that can beat this one. Everything is perfect; Cary Grant’s frantic performance is simply brilliant his comic timing is absolutely perfect and the whole cast is brilliantly directed by the marvellous Frank Capra
Overall, this film is hysterically funny, perfect family entertainment!