Arsenic and Old Lace – 1944

There’s a lot of truth to the idea that screwball comedies were better in the forties, because really they were. Cary Grant is a great actor, but he isn’t his usual reserved self in this film. Here he’s an exasperated man trying to cover up a series of murders committed by his elderly aunts. His screwball antics play well in this film even he never seems overly comfortable in that role. The rest of the cast gives a great performance and a shout-out goes to Josephine Hull and Jean Adair as the wacky and naive aunts who see nothing wrong with the numerous murders they have committed. It takes a lot to make murder funny, but here it is effortless and works perfectly.

Screwball effects don’t play well nowadays, but back then they were all the rage.

Not the best effort by Frank Capra, but I still give it…

3 out of 5


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