January 17, 2010

246. Arsenic and Old Lace

  • Year of release: 1944
  • Director: Frank Capra
  • Genre: Comedy
  • IMDB Page

Our first comedy is one from 1944. And it apparently stars Cary Grant.

The story starts with the marriage of Mortimer Brewster, a drama critic, and Eileen. When informing his aunts and packing his suitcase he stumbles upon a dead man's body in the window seat. He asks his aunts about the man and they playfully admit they poisoned him. But before Mortimer can recover from the shock, they tell him the dead man is their twelfth murder. Mortimer doesn't want to report his aunts out of love and tries to make the stop their killing spree. Later that evening, Mortimer's brother, Jonathan, breaks in and seeks refuge from the police while carrying a dead body along.

First off, this movie is a tad too long. It misses the two hour mark by a few minutes and in my opinion should have been a bit shorter. Of course, where to shave off some time? You could say the scenes with Eileen, but then we'd miss out on seeing the beauty that is Priscilla Lane. We wouldn't want that, would we?

Does Cary Grant have to slap a bitch?

The comedy in this movie is entertaining. There are some scenes which will make you laugh or put a smile on your face. One of the best scenes is the fight at the end in the Brewster house. Mortimer's speech and behavior throughout the fight and the way he smokes his cigarette through it all are classic. One letdown was the relative living in the house who thinks he is Theodore Roosevelt. It was cute and funny at first, but seeing him run up that staircase shouting "charge" the entire movie got old. Fast.

One final remark before the conclusion is perhaps that the movie takes place in mainly one setting, the Brewster house. It fits this movie perfectly. The house is alive and the atmosphere is right.

Buy It

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