Arsenic and Old Lace
Edition no. 1153
Frank Capra adapted a hit stage play for this marvelous screwball meeting of the madcap and the macabre. On Halloween, newly married drama critic Mortimer Brewster (Cary Grant, cutting loose in a hilariously harried performance) returns home to Brooklyn, where his adorably dotty aunts (Josephine Hull and Jean Adair, who both starred in the Broadway production) greet him with love, sweetness . . . and a grisly surprise: the corpses buried in their cellar. A bugle-playing brother (John Alexander) who thinks he’s Teddy Roosevelt, a crazed criminal (Raymond Massey) who’s a dead ringer for Boris Karloff, and a seriously slippery plastic surgeon (Peter Lorre) are among the outré oddballs populating Arsenic and Old Lace, a diabolical delight that only gets funnier as the body count rises.
- New audio commentary featuring Charles Dennis, author of There’s a Body in the Window Seat!: The History of “Arsenic and Old Lace”
- Radio adaptation from 1952 starring Boris Karloff
- An essay by critic David Cairns