Classic Hollywood Reviews: Arsenic and Old Lace

Cara Classic Hollywood Reviews 6 Comments

I’m neck-high in editing and writing this week, so I’m going to resurrect this post about one of my favorite movies of all time. It’s the weekend, and if I weren’t writing like mad, this is a movie I’d pop in and watch. My daughter watched it for the first time over Christmas. I LOVED watching her laugh loudly over the antics. It’s a classic and Cary Grant is simply WONDERFUL. Insert happy sigh. So here we go:

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 the TCM Comedy Collection included 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!

Comments 6

  1. “Arsenic and Old Lace” – meant to be watched on comfortable sofa, with a soft blanket over your legs and a yummy mug of hot chocolate and buttery popcorn. They lighting should be low, so you have the theater setting. Now that the setting is perfect, let the film begin! There are just some movies that need to be “staged” to appreciate how great they really are.. One of Cary Grant’s treasures and everyone should be blessed by seeing it at least once in their lifetime.


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