Wednesday, February 10, 2010

#247 - Arsenic and Old Lace

Breakdown: Arsenic and Old Lace (1944). Original play written by Joseph Kesselring. Screenplay written by Julius and Philip Epstein. Directed by Frank Capra. Starring Cary Grant, Priscilla Lane, Raymond Massey, Josephine Hull, Jean Adair.

A drama critic learns on his wedding day that his beloved maiden aunts are homicidal maniacs, and that insanity runs in his family.

Review: One of the earliest examples of black comedy in cinema, Arsenic and Old Lace makes light of your typical grandmotherly, cake-baking old ladies...who murder people. The story closely follows the plot of the original play, which often makes it feel more like watching a play than a movie (one main set, over-the-top acting common of the era, etc.). Naturally, most fans of the play will be fans of the movie and vise versa. Also, fans of the movie are mostly dead.

Favorite Quote:
Jonathan: You mean that you and Aunt Martha have murdered twelve...
Abby: Murdered? Certainly not. It's one of our charities.
Martha: Why, what we've been doing is a mercy.


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