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Arsenic & Old Lace (2000)

Cary Grant , Raymond Massey , Frank Capra  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (595 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Cary Grant, Raymond Massey
  • Directors: Frank Capra
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Turner Home Ent
  • DVD Release Date: November 9, 2010
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (595 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0045HCJHG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,220 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Arsenic & Old Lace" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Cary Grant, Priscilla Lane, Raymond Massey, Peter Lorre. Two elderly Brooklyn spinsters poison the lonely old men who come to call in this sidesplitting black comedy. Directed by Frank Capra. 1944/b&w/118 min/NR/fullscreen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
180 of 185 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Non-stop dark comedy--for everyone September 6, 2000
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Arsenic and Old Lace has been a family Halloween tradition for years. In some ways it might be called the original horror spoof: Two sweet old ladies poison lonely old men as a "charity" and bury them in the cellar, and no sooner does their stable nephew find out about this (while preparing to leave for his honeymoon) than his long-lost homicidal brother returns with a face like Frankenstein's monster.
Cary Grant knew his way around a comedy, so it's easy to believe when his character Mortimer grows more and more frazzled throughout the night, jumping from one problem to the next so quickly that he can't even remember he's just been married that day. In his place, juggling four insane relatives (three of them killers), a handful of cops, and two dead bodies, we'd all feel the worse for wear. The pace is quick, almost frantic at times; complications and plot twists come faster than anyone in the movie can handle them. The only characters who aren't perturbed and thrown completely out of their elements by the affair are the rest of the Brewster family, who are all crazy anyway.
The dark comedy genre is full of films that are a little too graphic or disturbing for kids (and even some adults), but this one's not quite so dark, and wildly funny enough to entertain all ages. And no matter how young or old you are, no matter how normal a family you have, you won't be able to help but chuckle when the harried Mortimer takes a breather to explain to his new wife: "Insanity runs in my family.... It practically gallops."
The DVD transfer is flawless; the clarity is wonderful. Pop some popcorn and watch it with the whole family.
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96 of 101 people found the following review helpful
By forrie
Format:DVD
Frank Capra delivers a great film adaptation of Joseph Kesselring's Broadway hit, "Arsenic and Old Lace". Originally filmed in 1941 just prior to WWII, but not released until 1944 because of the contract agreement to allow the play to complete its Broadway run. (The play ran for 1,444 performances.)
Cary Grant in the leading role as nephew, Mortimer Brewster is at his comedic best in this black comedy of wine, family & insanity. His 2 fabulous Aunts played by Josephine Hull & Jean Adair were encored to the screen and are perfect in their roles. Boris Karloff's obligations prevented him from doing the movie and was replaced by Raymond Massey in the movie version as Grant madcap brother. The great ensemble cast also included Peter Lorre, Edward Everett Horton, Priscilla Lane & John Alexander as a delightful zany crazy, thinking he is President "Teddy Roosevelt".
Summary: It is Halloween, Mortimers wedding day & his life is about to change forever. Visiting his 2 Aunts (Hull & Adair) with his wife (Lane - Ministers daughter!) on their way to their honeymoon to Niagara Falls discovers a body in the window seat. Thinking his crazy cousin, (Alexander) has committed the crime approaches his Aunts. They not only know about the body, but they know who he was & how he died. Their elderberry wine laced with a mixture of arsenic. Oh by the way, he is the 12th to be buried in the cellar. What is Mortimer to do & is his entire family insane? We began a very entertaining & hilarious journey to answering these & many more questions.
This DVD is an excellent Black & White Full Screen (before WideScreen) transfer. Extras include Production notes.
"Arsenic and Old Lace" film adaptation is very close to the actual Broadway play & is a great classic to have in your DVD library. Enjoy.
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arsenic & Old Lace March 22, 2003
Format:DVD
Plot: Mortimer, a drama critic, has just got married and is about to go on his honeymoon when he discovers insanity runs in his family. His sweet maiden aunts poison lonely old men and have a number of corpses buried in the cellar.....
A film adaptation of the popular stage play, Arsenic and Old Lace is a hilarious movie perfect for people of all ages. The story of Mortimer Brewster (Cary Grant), the youngest of three brothers who were raised by two dear, but eccentric, spinster aunts, who have a nasty little habit of "putting poor souls" out of their misery with a little arsenic-laced elderberry wine.
It is delightful to watch Mortimer go from a nice, normal, newlywed to a nervous, neurotic mess as he tries to figure a way out of the predicament his well-meaning aunts have placed them all in. Throw in one brother who thinks he's Teddy Roosevelt, another who is a psychopathic killer fashioned after Boris Karloff, and Peter Lorre as Dr. Einstein, a slightly intoxicated make-shift plastic surgeon, and you'll be laughing the entire way through.
All of the performances were wonderful, but Cary Grant's facial expressions, double takes, and hilarious body language are a joy to watch. A truly classic, funny movie.
"No, I'm not drunk, madame.......but you've given me an idea!" - Mortimer, seething in frustration as he tries to get past the operator, so that he can get his family committed into the HappyDale Sanitarium.
"Insanity runs in my family. It practically gallops!" - Mortimer, trying to explain to his new bride why it would be best for her to leave him and never look back.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arsenic and Old Lace March 20, 2008
Format:DVD
This dark comedy starring Cary Grant showcases his incredible gift for the genre. When he and his new wife visit his two eccentric aunts (brilliantly played by Josephine Hull and Jean Adair), they stumble upon a startling discovery - a body. It seems the aunts have not just committed murder this once, but many times. As he weaves his way through his insane relatives to determine the truth, we get a rare treat of just how good Grant's comedic delivery and timing are.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars ... nor of the story line made it hard to enjoy this antique play
Not being a fan of the premise nor of the story line made it hard to enjoy this antique play. Although Cary Grant doesn't disappoint, the overall experience did.
Published 3 hours ago by Film Fan
5.0 out of 5 stars They don't make 'em like this anymore
They don't make 'em like this anymore! Unique storyline, acted to perfection. Endearing old "aunts" of Cary Grant's character, with good acting by the supporting actors,... Read more
Published 19 hours ago by David E. Overturf
5.0 out of 5 stars A hilarious classic, superbly done
Brilliant! Hilarious! A perfect telling of this classic story. Cary Grant at his hilarious best.
Published 1 day ago by Nobilangelo
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great Cary Grant film...a classic.
Published 2 days ago by Linda Gorski
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Classic.. I don't buy much for my library.. this was an...
A classic... One of those got to have items for your library. Every time I watch it I love it. Mention it to my friend and, without exception, they say OH Yea, I love that... Read more
Published 2 days ago by Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun comedy to watch every Halloween
Great fun comedy to watch every Halloween. This has become a family tradition. Recommended. Of course, you do not have to watch it on Halloween ... Read more
Published 4 days ago by Dr. Geek
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great funny old classic!!
Published 6 days ago by stephen pollina
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny and Witty
Even though it has an older style of humour, you can't run away from the simple fun of the film. The two aunts are fantastic, witty and sarcastic! Read more
Published 8 days ago by Ari Winograd
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
This was a gift but she really like it!
Published 9 days ago by Sarah A Skvarla
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reminds me of my family.
Published 11 days ago by purplet13
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Black and White or Color Version?
It had a colorized version many years ago. I liked the colorized version when I saw it. Good luck finding it.
Feb 24, 2013 by cyberghostx13 |  See all 2 posts
Arsenic and Old Lace (other versions)
According to a reviewer I read, Boris Karloff, could not be released from the play to film the movie. Unless there's a filming of the play, at least on this avenue, you are out of luck. I know nothing regarding a Bob Crane version.

Ooh, and I didn't intend for a pun of Hogan's Heroes. Sorry... Read More
Nov 21, 2010 by K. DeV |  See all 5 posts
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