Movie House Memories

Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

Episode #108

Warner Bros released Arsenic and Old Lace to theaters on September 23, 1944. Frank Capra directed the film which starred Cary Grant, Priscilla Lane, and Raymond Massey.

Arsenic and Old Lace Movie Summary

Arsenic and Old Lace begins with Mortimer Brewster who is part of the Brewster family in Brooklyn, New York; descendants of Mayflower settlers. Mortimer is an eligible bachelor and writer who thinks marriage is an old-fashioned superstition. However, superstition isn’t enough to keep him from falling in love with his next door neighbor, Elaine Harper; a minister’s daughter.

He marries Elaine on Halloween day. As Elaine goes to her father’s house to pack for her honeymoon, Mortimer returns the family home of his aunts, Abby and Martha, who raised him. It’s a crazy household. Mortimer’s brother, Teddy lives there. He believes he is Theodore Roosevelt, and yells, ”Charge,” each time he goes the stairs; mimicking Teddy Roosevelt’s famous charge up San Juan Hill.

While searching for some notes for his next book, Mortimer finds a corpse hidden in the window seat. He thinks his crazy brother has committed a murder, but Abby and Martha happily explain that they are responsible for the body. They perform a service to lonely old bachelors; ending their alleged suffering.

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Warner Bros released Arsenic and Old Lace to theaters on September 23, 1944. Frank Capra directed the film which starred Cary Grant, Priscilla Lane, and Raymond Massey.

User Rating: 2.55 ( 1 votes)
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  1. Great podcast. Surprised It happened one night wasn’t mentioned, it’s arguably Capra’s 2nd most famous film and given credit for inventing the genre of screwball comedy. It’s definitely a top 100 film for me(though not as funny as this film). I read on Wikipedia that Karloff reprised his role in a tv version in the 50s.
    I wonder how often Lori has picked a film that the rest of you haven’t seen before, seems to happen more often than with anyone else, except maybe Chris.
    Looking forward to inglorious basterds, a bit surprised that Matt picked it because he didn’t like pulp fiction.

    1. I think Lori watches more musicals and old movies than the rest of us, where as Patrick and I tend to watch more films from the 70s and 80s, and then Matt more 90s and 2000s. The older films I watch tend to be more noir which overlaps a lot with Lori’s older movies. I think it makes a good mix.

      It Happened One Night is a film I haven’t watched in a long time. I will have to watch it again.

      1. It happened one night would certainly be a good choice for golden age. I haven’t seen You can’t take it with you in a long time, will have to rewatch since Lori is such a big fan. So what’s the schedule for the rest of the year after basterds? Only 4 films left!

        1. Just got the newsletter email. I’m guessing you picked over the edge, Chris. You definitely make the most unusual picks of the 4:)

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