Monday, September 19, 2011

Arsenic and Old Lace

The 1940's were definitely when the best comedies were made. Most of them were screwball, but no matter. They're still funny.

In the case of Arsenic and Old Lace, it's one of those comedies. It's directed by Frank Capra, who's better known for Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and It's a Wonderful Life. Both of which are more serious than Arsenic and Old Lace, but Arsenic and Old Lace stands out as much as those two.

One thing noted about star Cary Grant is that he's not one to take himself seriously. That's definitely the case with his work in Arsenic and Old Lace. I just love his many facial expressions and gestures throuoghout. Grant said this was his least favorite performance; I think it's one of my favorites. (My absolute favorite is either His Girl Friday or Charade.)

This is definitely something to watch when you need a good laugh. However, it got a little too silly near the end. Those moments aside, Arsenic and Old Lace is worth watching.

My Rating: ****1/2


  1. No question about it: they don't make them like they used to. This is definitely one of my favourite Capra films, although you're right in that it does get very silly.

  2. I watch Arsenic at least once a year and I never miss it when it re-airs. Cary is hilarious in the film doing the genre he's best at. It's always a real kick to see his character so matter a fact about his crazy aunts killing people.
    I enjoyed your review of a film that's on my favorites list.

    Of course my favorite of his films is Bringing Up Baby with The Philadelphia Story a close second.

  3. I actually agree with Grant on this one. Him bugging his eyes out and doing broad takes were funny the first couple of times, but then got old really quickly.


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