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Arsenic and Old Lace

  NR Closed Captioning

Francis Capra

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Plot Summary

Oscar-winner Cary Grant ("The Awful Truth," "Suspicion," "North by Northwest") stars as a drama critic whose life is turned upside down when he discovers that his two spinster aunts have taken to poisoning their gentlemen house guests and burying the bodies in their old Victorian home. A classic and hilarious black comedy based on the popular Broadway play. Directed and produced by Oscar-winner Frank Capra ("It's A Wonderful Life," "It Happened One Night," "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"). Co-starring Oscar-winner Josephine Hull ("Harvey"). With Peter Lorre ("Casablanca," "M") and Oscar-nominee Raymond Massey ("East of Eden," TV's "Dr. Kildare") as two scheming murderers.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews

TOMATOMETER

92%
  • Reviews Counted: 24
  • Fresh: 22
  • Rotten: 2
  • Average Rating: 7.6/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Good macabre fun. – New York Times, Oct 22, 2013

Fresh: Despite the fact that picture runs 118 minutes, Frank Capra has expanded on the original play [by Joseph Kesselring] to a sufficient extent to maintain a steady, consistent pace. – Variety Staff, Variety, Jul 7, 2010

Fresh: Cary Grant et al are on sparkling form in this classic darkly twisted comedy. – David Parkinson, Empire Magazine, Oct 22, 2013

Fresh: The film was adapted from a successful stage play and it comes across as very theatrical on screen, but once you get past that, there's an enjoyable lunacy to the whole thing. – Film4, Oct 22, 2013

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Great movie!

I first saw this in 8th grade around Halloween, and I thought it was sort of scary, with the aunts poisoning innocent dead men in their basement. But now whenever I see it on TCM, it's actually pretty hilarious. I've read in some articles that Cary Grant actually hated this movie, which is disappointing because I think it's one of his best earlier films. Raymond Massey is terrifying, as Cary Grant's long lost brother. A must-see for anyone!!

You won't find a better movie for dark comedy !!

This is one of my all time favorite comedies. Everyone is on their game, from Cary Grant to Peter Lorre. Josephine Hull as one of the sisters is hysterical! She didn't have a huge film career, but with this movie and HARVEY (w/Jimmy Stewart) she goes down as one of the best movie comediennes ever!! Cary Grant shows off his real talent for physical comedy and sheer panicked expressions as well. If you want a movie for just sheer comedy, this is it!!!

Hilarious Movie!!!

I love this movie. It is one of the best Cary Grant movies!! He is a phenomenal actor!!! Sooo funny. A must see.

Arsenic and Old Lace
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  • $9.99
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Released: 1944

Customer Ratings