Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

Arsenic and Old Lace poster

Warner Bros.
Starring:
 Cary Grant, Priscilla Lane, Raymond Massey, Peter Lorre
Directed by: Frank Capra

Cat Out of the Bag Alert!  This review contains some spoilers for this film!

Synopsis: Based on the Broadway play.  Mortimer Brewster (Cary Grant) is a drama critic and formerly confirmed bachelor who has taken a bride (Priscilla Lane).  But on the night of the couple’s honeymoon Mortimer learns that his elderly aunts, two seemingly sweet little ladies, have been killing men and burying them in their basement.

Kitty Cameo: This deliciously dark comedy includes a variety of over-the-top characters, one of whom is Mortimer’s brother who believes himself to be Teddy Roosevelt (John Alexander).  The aunts send Teddy to “Panama”, which is conveniently located in their basement, to dig a canal which they then use to bury their victims.  At one point when Mortimer opens the door to the basement a tabby cat walks into the living room.  “Even the cat is in on it!” Mortimer sighs.

Arsenic and Old Lace cat

The cat can be seen in the living room at different times throughout the next scene, culminating in a blackout sequence in which “Teddy” retrieves the latest body from the window seat and carries it across the room.  We hear the cat screech as “Teddy” apparently steps on him in the dark.

Arsenic and Old Lace cat in scene

Final Mewsings: Cats forget that everyone can’t see in the dark as they can.


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