"Arsenic and Old Lace" is one of my favorite films and I see it often. It is the most wonderfully funny story and a fast pace romp into the ridiculous. The film was based on the broadway hit of the same name. Interestingly enough, the movie was produced and held on the shelf for three years before it was released. Why, one might ask? Well apparently when the film deal was struck, it was agreed that the film would not be released until the broadway show had closed. The show was a bigger success than anyone had expected and did not close for three years!
"Arsenic and Old Lace" is the story of two simply lovely elderly aunts, who believed it their calling to ease the pain and loneliness of every elderly man they came across. Unfortunately their idea of easing their pain and loneliness involved killing these poor men. Without the leaset bit of malicious intent, these two elderly aunts, Abbey and Martha, would poison their worthy victims with arsenic in their homemade elderberry wine. Luckily they had an even more deranged uncle who thought he was Teddy Roosevelt, building the Panama Canal in the basement. Good ole Teddy would take these poor men, whom he believed had died of yellow fever, to the basement and bury them in the locks of the Panama Canal.
When the old Aunts' nephew Mortemer (Carey Grant) comes over to visit and announce his marriage, the chaos begins. Mortemer discovers the little old ladies, shall we say indiscretions, and begins a full out attack to right the situation. Things go from bad to worst when Mortemers evil brother, Johnny, comes home to hide out from the police. It seems Johnny has killed an equal amount of men as his aunts, but without the same good intentions.
The film is a none stop adventure of fun and laughter. It is filled with hilarious characters and events. Never has murder been so funny. This film is also blessed with some great performers. Josephine Hull portrays one of the aunts. Carey Grant is wonderful as Mortemer, the distressed nephew. I think it is one of Grants best films. Peter Lorre, portrays a so-called doctor and companion to the evil brother, Johnny. Jack Carson, Raymond Massey, Jean Adair, and Priscilla Lane add to this incredible cast.
This is a film that everyone can enjoy. It's full of fun and laughter. Pop the corn and sit back and enjoy the show. Mainly be prepared to laugh
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