Arsenic and Old Lace

Released 1944


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Movie Summary

Arsenic and Old Lace is a 1944 film adaptation of the Joseph Kesserling play of the same name. Mortimer Brewster (Cary Grant) is an author known for his works damning the institution of marriage. Despite his works, however, Mortimer has just been married to Elaine Harper (Priscilla Lane) and is about to meet her family. Elaine's aunts Abby (Josephine Hull) and Martha (Jean Adair), along with her delusional brother Teddy (John Alexander) who thinks he is Teddy Roosevelt, have all lived together for their entire lives. One day a the family house, Mortimer stumbles upon a corpse and is shocked. He approaches Abby and Martha and they confess to killing bachelors by poisoning their wines. They then have Teddy bury the bodies in the basement thinking he is hard at work on the Panama Canal. A visit from Mortimer's brother Jonathan (Raymond Massey) only complicates things, as he is on the run from the police and wanted for murder. Mortimer then must spend his entire visit trying to deal with multiple murderers and incompetent cops.moreless
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Dark Comedy, Slapstick, Classics