Arsenic and Old Lace (1944) **** out of 5 asterisks
Director: Frank Capra (It's A Wonderful Life, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington)
Cast: Cary Grant, Raymond Massey, Peter Lorre
This Frank Capra classic is a marvelous semi-dark comedy with marvelous performances and it's marvelously entertaining. (It's also fitting that I publish this review on Halloween because it's a childhood favorite and watching this film with my family was an annual Halloween tradition.) Like other of Capra's films, this has a timeless quality and continues to entertain no matter how old I get or how many times I've watched it.
This film was based on a Broadway play and at times it really does feel like you're watching a live stage production. I really can't say enough how great the performances are in this, and the comedy and comic timing are impeccable -- heck, even the villain (played by Massey) manages to have some comedic moments.
Also noteworthy for voice actor fans is the performance by Edward Everett Horton -- narrator of Jay Ward's Fractured Fairy Tales (from Rocky & Bullwinkle) -- who appears in the film as Dr. Witherspoon.
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