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Robert Harris

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The questions most often asked about Frank Capra's 1944 Arsenic and Old Lace are as follows:

Was Boris Karloff one of the players?

No.

It's a 1944 film, but Cary Grant appears more akin to how he appeared in Suspicion. Why is that?

The film was shot in 1941, and held for release until September of 1944.

Was it a very early 3D production, using the Natural Vision setup?

Yes. However the right eye was lost in a nitrate fire, and no original print is known to exist.

I've always loved this film, with Mr. Grant's antics playing against his slightly looney straight women - Josephine Hull (she was Henry Hull's sister-in-law), and Jean Adair. Both ladies were transplanted from the original Broadway production, along with John Alexander.

Derived in most part from the OCN, Criterion's new Blu-ray is a lovely example of the film, albeit to my eye a slightly dark one. I'd prefer to see the blacks opened just a bit. Photographed by Sol Polito.

As to extras, a Criterion standard, there's very little here, but there may not have been a great deal to access. The most prominent is a commentary track.

A beautiful Blu-ray that should be essential viewing for Grant and Capra collectors.

Image - 4.5

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Plays nicely with projectors - Yes

Highly Recommended

RAH
 

Capt D McMars

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The questions most often asked about Frank Capra's 1944 Arsenic and Old Lace are as follows:

Was Boris Karloff one of the players?

No.

It's a 1944 film, but Cary Grant appears more akin to how he appeared in Suspicion. Why is that?

The film was shot in 1941, and held for release until September of 1944.

Was it a very early 3D production, using the Natural Vision setup?

Yes. However the right eye was lost in a nitrate fire, and no original print is known to exist.

I've always loved this film, with Mr. Grant's antics playing against his slightly looney straight women - Josephine Hull (she was Henry Hull's sister-in-law), and Jean Adair. Both ladies were transplanted from the original Broadway production, along with John Alexander.

Derived in most part from the OCN, Criterion's new Blu-ray is a lovely example of the film, albeit to my eye a slightly dark one. I'd prefer to see the blacks opened just a bit. Photographed by Sol Polito.

As to extras, a Criterion standard, there's very little here, but there may not have been a great deal to access. The most prominent is a commentary track.

A beautiful Blu-ray that should be essential viewing for Grant and Capra collectors.

Image - 4.5

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Plays nicely with projectors - Yes

Highly Recommended

RAH
Knowing Criterion, they did the best they could with the elements provided. And from your review, a palpable upgrade from the dvd...thanks RAH and Kudos to Criterion once again!!
 

Garysb

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Some trivia:

The story goes that the producers of the stage play wouldn't allow Boris Karloff to take the time off from the production to make the movie version. The movie wasn't released until 1944 because it couldn't be released until after the stage play closed. Priscilla Lane was no longer under contract to Warner Bros. by the time the film was released. Jack Carson was a bigger star by 1944 than indicated by the small role he plays here.
 

uncledougie

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Grant claimed he disliked his performance in the film and that he was urged/directed to be as over the top as Mortimer. Looking at it now, it’s hard to imagine anyone but Grant playing the role, or that anyone could’ve come close to getting away with the mugging and not becoming annoying or stepping out of character. He was indeed a peerless farceur.
 

JoeDoakes

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Upon his death ... they found a picture in the attic ;) ...
Seriously, there's young Paramount player Grant and there's old retired Grant with grey hair and glasses. In between, he largely seems the same. Near the end of his career, in Charade, Audrey Hepburn asks him, "You know what's wrong with you?" He naturally replies, "What?" "Nothing," she says.
 

Malcolm R

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1665063601897.png
1665063721952.png


Yep. I can see that. ;)
 

Jack P

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I went through my copy yesterday. I enjoyed it immensely. The commentary was mostly okay but I would advise the guy next time he reads from historical letters to just do it straightforwardly and not show off his bad impressionist skills of Cary Grant, Boris Karloff etc (or that unfunny condescending English accent when reading the Geoffrey Shurlock letter)
 

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