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Arsenic and Old Lace

1944 American black comedy film directed by Frank Capra and starring Cary Grant Website

Approval Rate: 100%

100%Approval ratio

Reviews 22

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    Sat May 14 2011

    Loved the film and I had a bit part, as one of the police officers, in a local community theatre production years ago.

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    Fri Aug 07 2009

    One of my all time favorites. I don't know who I like more in the movie, Cary Grant, at his manic best, or Jack Carson, playing the cop without a clue.

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    Mon Jul 27 2009

    This is the very first Cary Grant movie I ever saw. It instantly became my favorite classic movie and to this day still holds that title. In my opinion, there never has been and never will be another movie to match this one.

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    Thu Aug 23 2007

    A bit too frantic overall. Good cast and mostly well acted. The old ladies were great. Silly, but fun.

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    Thu Aug 23 2007

    A stage play adapted very well to the screen. A fine cast, led by Grant in a bravura, over the top performance, make this one of the funniest movies ever made, even, perhaps especially, on repeat viewings. Hell, its a Halloween, tradition to watch it at my place.

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    Tue Jun 20 2006

    This is my all time favorite movie. It is absolutely hilarious. Cary Grant's comedic timing, and the wonderful performances by the entire case make this a very enjoyable comedy - in my opinion, this is one of Grant's best roles.

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    Mon Oct 31 2005

    When you really sit down and think about the subject, this one will eventually show up in anyone's Top Twenty. Dated? Here and there, but not where it counts most. Don't let the lack of color throw you, either; it's shot with that almost-FRANKENSTEIN air of dread and chilling backlighting that lends revulsive suspense to what should be a loony romp (adding to its unique nature). A wonderful cast, with Cary Grant at his manic best as a turncoat bachelor who spends a wearisome day dealing with his hesitant fiancee, two mentally-cracked aunts with a penchant for serving tainted elderberry wine, a brother with Presidential identity problems, and the return of the psychotic Prodigal (played with gruesome gusto by Ray Massey). Along with a supporting cast that includes Peter Lorre as reluctant henchman Dr. Einstein and Western saddletramp bit player Jack Carson as a dimwitted would-be playwright cop, you'll find that murder and madness have never been funnier (how Grant gets his brother to... Read more

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    Fri Nov 19 2004

    One of my favorite comedies. Cary Grant as Mortimer Brewster is great as he tries to deal with his aunt's doings. Also very funny is Teddy and his cry Charge! as he heads up what he thinks is San Juan Hill.

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    Sun Nov 07 2004

    A classic from 1944, this farcical comedy is one of the best theatrical comedy features of all time. Although the plot involving the discovery of dead people might seem grizly to some, it is done so tastefully and some twists are so wonderfully unexpected that it is hardly noticable. Performances all across the board are great here, but Cary Grant's over-the-top, double-take-filled performance is certaintly the highlight. There is also alot of slapstick and dumb characters, which add to the fun. The ending is as crazy as the rest of the movie, making the viewing experience that much more satisfying.

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    Thu Jul 29 2004

    Funniest movie of all

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    Thu Jul 22 2004

    a pretty funny movie. Cary Grant finds his eccentric elderly aunties are killing off their guests by poisoning them. what is amusing is it is hard to believe these sweet old ladies are doing this yet they are so nonchalant about it you would think nothing is wrong with what they doing. It has some very funny scenes. It does drag in some parts otherwise a good movie.

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    Tue Feb 17 2004

    What a great movie. Cary Grant is so funny that I turn purple every single time I watch the movie. I love his quick faces when he is stumbling on what to say those poor old ladies. It was just down right funny and pure great entertainment! Teddy was the best charecter ever in that whole movie and I believe he is one of the greatest movie charecters ever been made.

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    Fri May 31 2002

    Plainly put, this movie is a lot of fun! It is silly 1940's style farce at it's best. A still very funny remnant of a much kinder, much more innocent time. In 1947, the idea of seemingly harmless people committing murder was funny in it's own way because it was so far removed from reality. In 2002 it is just as likely as not to be the day's headlines. How sad. "Arsenic And Old Lace", however, is anything but sad! Based on a very successful Broadway show by Joseph Kesselring, it tells the story of Abby and Martha Brewster (Jean Adair and Josephine Hull), two sweet old ladies who are angels of mercy to the sick and needy in their Brooklyn neighborhood and who advertise rooms for rent, yet never have any lodgers. It seems as though whenever a lonely old fellow with no family answers their ad, they sit him down and offer him a glass of their own special elderberry wine--a prime ingredient of which is arsenic (with just a pinch of strychnine). The poor old gentleman is then given a ... Read more

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    Fri Feb 22 2002

    Just to hear a description of it makes it sound too morbid to be a good comedy. Old women poisoning men and hiding the bodies in their basement? But it's actually quite good! The comedy of Cary Grant alongside the eerie character of Peter Lorre is great.

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    Sat Dec 22 2001

    Cary Grant at his funniest. Who were those two little old ladies ? - what great performances !

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    Tue Dec 11 2001

    A very dark comedy from the early days of films. Cary Grant provides all the laughs you can supply him with, and the rest of the cast is superb in their supporting roles. The way they make fun of the whole idea of killing people is almost scary. Definitely see this masterpiece.

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    Mon Jul 09 2001

    Cary Grant proves what a comic genius he is. This is one of the funniest movies ever made.

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    Thu Apr 05 2001

    Some may or may not find Arsenic and Old Lace funny. Most of the humor is extremly outdated, and the cinematography is pretty dull, but you can enjoy the movie. It's kind of slow at spots, but pretty funny.

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    Sat Jan 13 2001

    This movie is hilarious.I love the old ladies serving elderberry wine to their lonely gentlemen.

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    Wed Oct 11 2000

    Fast paced, humorous and a farcical delight. It pulls you in quickly and rarely lets you go. Grant is at his best trying to keep all the loose ends tied together and the touch with his brother being Teddy Roosevelt!! A wonderful story.

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    Tue Oct 10 2000

    Cary Grant is so funny in his acting expressions. Those old ladies had tears falling.

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    Sat Apr 08 2000

    The movie is staged and filmed like a play and does not use the movie medium as well as it should.

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