19/05/2010 11:51

Pedja’s Film Collection: Arsenic and Old Lace

Arsenic and Old Lace is director Frank Capra’s spin on Joseph Kesselring’s classic stage comedy. Role of Mortimer Brewster was initially given to Bob Hope but it eventually went to famous Cary Grant.

Mortimer Brewster is a bachelor who works as a journalist, drama critic and a book author known for his diatribes against marriage which he considers to be “old fashioned superstition”. In spite of his convictions he falls in love and marries Elaine Harper. Just after the wedding he visits his bizarre relatives who still live in his old family home.

Wanting to surprise his two aunts with his new relationship status, he discovers a secret of their own. Namely, he discovers a dead body in the ottoman for which his two aunts take full responsibility. After all, they’re the ones who developed a “bad habit” of ending the suffering of lonely bachelors, by serving them elderberry wine spiked with arsenic, strychnine and just a pinch of cyanide. That is where this comedy truly begins…