, pub-4743019249776487, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 Happyotter: ARSENIC AND OLD LACE (1944)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


"...insanity runs in my family. It practically gallops.”

Cary Grant lives with his two elderly aunts in a historic district of Brooklyn. He's a dramatic critic and self-proclaimed lifelong bachelor, that is until he secretly marries his beautiful neighbor Priscilla Lane in the opening scene. Cary and Priscilla make a brief stop by home to pack their bags for their honeymoon, when Cary accidentally discovers a dead body! Cary instantly believes this is the doing of his mentally unwell brother Teddy (who believes that he's Theodore Roosevelt), but when he breaks the news to his two dear old aunts they just laugh and tell him no they killed the man he found!!!

At this point Cary is understandably freaking the fuck out and desperately trying to figure out how to fix this situation when out of nowhere his truly psychotic brother Jonathan (Raymond Massey) comes home after being on the run from the law for the last 20 years...for mass murder!!!  Add on Grant's problem is a nosy neighborhood policeman (Jack Carson), a drunk underworld surgeon (Peter Lorre), a horny new wife, a pissed off taxi cab driver, a confused sanitarium doctor and twelve more dead bodies!!!

ARSENIC AND OLD LACE is one of the funniest dark comedies of all time. I cannot say enough good things or recommend it enough. Eighty years later and the script is still just as fresh and funny as ever. Pretty much everything about this film is perfect and even after countless viewings I still grin every time I watch it.

Fun fact: even though the movie was filmed in late 1941 it wasn't released until September 1, 1944! This was due to Warner Brothers being contractually required to wait until the play finished it's run. It ran for 1,444 performances.
Leo White. According to IMDb he starred in 439 films (most uncredited, kinda like here) but according to his own personal journal he appeared in over 2,000 films!!!!!!!!!!!!

Is this an inside joke alluding to GEORGE WASHINGTON SLEPT HERE was filmed on the same interior set? They sure do look a lot alike.