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Friday, February 3, 2012

Classic Hollywood Reviews: Arsenic and Old Lace

Last week I unintentionally offended a friend (just kidding, Steph) by not inviting her over to watch this classic Cary Grant comedy. When I saw that theTCM Comedy Collectionincluded Arsenic and Old Lace, I was a wee bit puzzled. Guess it had been too long since I watched the movie. It didn't take too many minutes and I was thoroughly delighted by Cary Grant's comedic acting.

This 1944 film tells the story of a confirmed bachelor who's slipped off to get married. On his way to his honeymoon he stops at his aunts' home and stumbles on a body. The thing is, everybody believes his aunts are the salt of the earth and nobody would ever expect them to be serial killers. The balance of the movie highlights his character's attempts to keep one brother safe and keep his aunts from killing anyone else. Of course there are all kinds of twists -- some hilarious and a couple sinister -- making this a thoroughly delightful Frank Capra directed flick. And add in Josephine Hull playing another slightly zany older woman (ala Harvey) and it is a perfect film to spend an evening with.

I didn't know Director Frank Capra enlisted in the U. S. Army Signal Corps in 1941 during filming. He received an extension of his order to report for active duty until late January 1942 so he could finish editing the picture.

If you haven't watched this movie, you really should. It's wonderful!


  1. i agree, Cara. If you like comedy, mystery, and classics, this one is a must. One of my favorites. And an additional delight is Raymond Massey as a Boris Karloff look alike bad guy and his side kick doctor, played by the great Peter Lorre. (Not sure I spelled their names right. It's early morning.)