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Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

Directed by:
Frank Capra
COUNTRY
USA

GENRE
Screwball comedy

NORWEGIAN TITLE
Arsenikk og gamle kniplinger

RUNNING TIME
118 minutes

Produced by:
Frank Capra
Jack L. Warner

Written by (based on the play by Joseph Kesselring):
Julius J. Epstein
Philip G. Epstein


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Mortimer Brewster Cary Grant
Elaine Brewster Priscilla Lane -
Aunt Abby Brewster Josephine Hull
Aunt Martha Brewster Jean Adair
Jonathan Brewster Raymond Massey
Dr. Herman Einstein Peter Lorre
"Teddy Roosevelt" Brewster John Alexander
Officer Patrick O'Hara Jack Carson -
Officer Sanders John Ridgely -
Police Sgt. Brophy Edward McNamara -
Police Lt. Rooney James Gleason -
Mr. Witherspoon Edward Everett Horton -
Reverend Harper Grant Mitchell -

 

Review

In this silly and somewhat inexplicably hailed farce, a stunning-looking and perpetually baffled Cary Grant is pitted against his two gullible, murderous aunts (Josephine Hull and Jean Adair) and his long-lost brother (Raymond Massey), a career criminal who returns with a mangled face courtesy of his very own alcoholic plastic surgeon (Peter Lorre). The story is so fervent and the goofiness so prevalent that the duality between comedy and gravity is all but lost, but the film does still have that lightweight, screwy charm and the occasional amusing set-up. Grant overdoes his performance, for better or worse. He was nevertheless much funnier and more nuanced both before and after this picture, which is only recommended for those who prefer their farces to be really farcical.

Copyright 25.02.2024 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

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