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Ronald Epstein

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Frank Capra adapted a hit stage play for this marvelous screwball meeting of the madcap and the macabre. On Halloween, newly married drama critic Mortimer Brewster (Cary Grant, cutting loose in a hilariously harried performance) returns home to Brooklyn, where his adorably dotty aunts (Josephine Hull and Jean Adair, who both starred in the Broadway production) greet him with love, sweetness . . . and a grisly surprise: the corpses buried in their cellar. A bugle-playing brother (John Alexander) who thinks he’s Teddy Roosevelt, a crazed criminal (Raymond Massey) who’s a dead ringer for Boris Karloff, and a seriously slippery plastic surgeon (Peter Lorre) are among the outré oddballs populating Arsenic and Old Lace, a diabolical delight that only gets funnier as the body count rises.

FILM INFO​

  • United States
  • 1944
  • 118 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.37:1
  • English
  • Spine #1153

    SPECIAL FEATURES​

    • New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
    • New audio commentary featuring Charles Dennis, author of There’s a Body in the Window Seat!: The History of “Arsenic and Old Lace”
    • Radio adaptation from 1952 starring Boris Karloff
    • Trailer
    • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
    • PLUS: An essay by critic David Cairns

      New cover by F. Ron Miller

      October 11, 2022
 

Ronald Epstein

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Thank you for supporting HTF when you preorder using the link below. If you are using an adblocker you will not see link. As an Amazon Associate HTF earns from qualifying purchases


 
Last edited:

Garysb

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Movie was filmed in 1942 but couldn't be released until 1944 because the agreement Warner Bros signed stated the film couldn't be released until the stage play closed. While the aunts were allowed to leave the stage play to film the movie, Boris Karloff was considered too big a draw for the producers of the stage play to allow him to leave the play to film the movie.

1658160232098.png
 

RobertMG

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Movie was filmed in 1942 but couldn't be released until 1944 because the agreement Warner Bros signed stated the film couldn't be released until the stage play closed. While the aunts were allowed to leave the stage play to film the movie, Boris Karloff was considered too big a draw for the producers of the stage play to allow him to leave the play to film the movie.

View attachment 145413
BRAVO Criterion! Next up before XMAS how about Gunga Din!
 

Jeffrey D

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Interesting cover art. Not sure if I like it or not. Very happy that a new audio commentary is included that will talk through the film’s history.
 

RobertMG

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Ok firstly


ren and stimpy 90s GIF


Secondly, however aside from the commentary that's sparse when it comes to features. Audio commentaries are nice, but a documentary would have been better though. as would some archive interviews with Cary as I'm sure they exist somewhere.
So far cannot find anything from Grant on the film --- a great read is at the AFI catalog interestingly it seems another Casablanca thing going on with the script being rewritten every day. Grant was always called cheap - money hungry etc yet he always gave to the war effort his kindness seems to have been erased from history. https://catalog.afi.com/Film/27697-...543-98ad-2aee097f8644&sr=14.843568&cp=1&pos=0
 

darkrock17

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So far cannot find anything from Grant on the film --- a great read is at the AFI catalog interestingly it seems another Casablanca thing going on with the script being rewritten every day. Grant was always called cheap - money hungry etc yet he always gave to the war effort his kindness seems to have been erased from history. https://catalog.afi.com/Film/27697-...543-98ad-2aee097f8644&sr=14.843568&cp=1&pos=0

Was Cary ever on Dick Cavett? I know Frank Capra was but don't know if he ever talked about Arsenic.
 

RobertMG

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Was Cary ever on Dick Cavett? I know Frank Capra was but don't know if he ever talked about Arsenic.
I wonder if that was the only guest Cavett never had - interestingly DECADES aired the famous interview with Ms Hepburn
 

darkrock17

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Grant did very few interviews in retrospect about his movies. He was a very private man.

I thought he must of done some audio interviews at least as he was the star of the film, the rest of the cast were mostly character actors and doubt they where ever interviewed unless TCM did some in the early 90's when the channel started.
 

RobertMG

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Grant did very few interviews in retrospect about his movies. He was a very private man.
One of the nicest of all was Astaire, Cavetts interview aired also last week, I knew Maureen O'Hara's brother Charles Fitzsimmons he confirmed Astaire was a WONDERFUL person but very shy. On Grant I recently came across a piece in Variety that after a year later Goldwyn gave Grant a bonus for his work on The Bishop's Wife - because of the added success Grant gave the film
 

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