So October doesn’t just mean horror and bloody death. Sometimes you just want to have some fun with some Golden Age humor, macabre storylines and a heaping helping of insanity. Sounds like Halloween right?
Mortimer Brewster (Cary Grant) just wants to start off on his honeymoon with his lovely new wife Elaine (Priscilla Lane). All he has to do is stop by his Aunt Abby (Josephine Hull) and Martha’s (Jean Adair) house to tell them the good news. He just happens to look in the window seat and sees a dead old man stuffed in there!
Has his uncle Teddy (John Alexander) finally gone off the deep end? Or is it the work of Mortimer’s wicked brother Jonathan (Raymond Massey) who just happens to look a lot like Boris Karloff? Or maybe Dr. Einstein (Peter Lorre) knows what happened. In any case Mortimer better figure out this mystery quickly, because there are cops snooping around and they may get the idea that the combo of Arsenic and Old Lace is not as innocent as it seems.
- Some very funny and quotable dialogue.
- Does a good job balancing the macabre with humor
- Moves along at a pretty good pace
- As good as Massey is, you really wish Karloff had been available
- Some of the humor may not hold up for modern viewers
- Grant spends quite a bit of time mugging for the camera
All around, this movie is a fun time. The character are all entertaining, even if Grant is pulling faces a lot of the time. But things really get exciting when Massey and Lorre enter and almost steal the show. Everyone is having a great time and there is a lot of energy to the whole film. It’s perfect viewing for a lazy Sunday in October, or for any fans of classic comedies with a dark twist.
Scores (out of 5)
Curious about a full review, sent me an email and I’ll make additional thoughts to this review.
Enjoying the content? Click and ad before you go and support this blog.