Arsenic and Old Lace

Looking for a Halloween film that’s not too macabre or likely to scare the candy corn out of you? Check out “Arsenic and Old Lace,” a classic of dark humor, satirical references to horror films of the day, and slapstick Cary Grant.

Classic for a Reason

Arsenic and Old Lace, 1944, Warner Bros. Pictures. Starring Cary Grant, Priscilla Lane, Josephine Hull, Jean Adair. Directed by Frank Capra. B&W, 118 minutes.

A dark comedy with a pair of innocent-minded serial killer aunts and their bewildered yet loving nephew is funny, fast-paced and full of surprises, with a chain of events that maintains suspense and unfolds into a Halloween tale like no other.

Mortimer Brewster (Cary Grant) has just married the girl next door, Elaine Harper (Priscilla Lane), and before the two leave on their honeymoon, they stop to give the news to their respective families. For their part, the Brewster sisters, Abby & Martha (Josephine Hull, Jean Adair, reprising their Broadway roles), who raised Mortimer, are thrilled he’s finally settling down with the lovely Elaine.

Priscilla Lane, Cary Grant, Arsenic and Old Lace Priscilla Lane, Cary Grant

But during his visit, Mortimer discovers his kindly aunts have taken on a new cause, that of releasing…

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