Archive Cinema City 2010.

Arsenic and Old Lace

Arsenic and Old Lace

Genre: Comedy/Тhriller
Country: USA
Year: 1944
Duration: 118 min

Director: Frank Capra
Scenario: Joseph Kesselring, Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein

Cast: Cary Grant, Josephine Hull, Jean Adair, Raymond Massey, Peter Lorre

Programme selection: Peđa's Film Collection


Arsenic and Old Lace is director Frank Capra’s spin on the classic Joseph Kesselring stage comedy, which concerns the sweet old Brewster sisters, beloved in their genteel Brooklyn neighborhood for their many charitable acts. One charity which the ladies don’t advertise is their ongoing effort to permit lonely bachelors to die with smiles on their faces—by serving said bachelors elderberry wine spiked with arsenic.


The most honored and well-liked director of his generation, Sicilian-born Frank Capra graduated from the California Institute of Technology as a Chemical Engineering major. Down on his luck after service during World War I, he bluffed his way into the movie business and learned films from the bottom up, from the film lab to the prop department to the editing department. He settled in as a gagman during the 1920s, and soon became a director specializing in comedy. After a stint with Mack Sennett, Capra moved to Columbia Pictures, where he came into his own as a filmmaker.


(Click to enlarge)