I guess some of the old classics really do transcend generations. When the newlyweds return to their respective family homes to deliver the news, Brewster finds a corpse hidden in a window seat. With his eccentric aunts Josephine Hull, Jean Adair , disturbed uncle John Alexander , and homicidal brother Raymond Massey , he starts to realize that his family is even crazier than he thought. We are pleased to present an ongoing series of classic, family and popular films, shown in the beautifully restored John E. Hillert Auditorium.
Capra, Frank. Taxi Cab Driver John Ridgely The lead role of Mortimer Brewster was originally intended for Bob Hopebut he could not be released from his contract with Paramount Pictures. Frank Capra. He assumes in horror that Teddy's delusions have led him to murder. They post a "Room for Rent" sign to attract a victim, then serve a cup of elderberry wine spiked with arsenicstrychnine and "just a pinch of cyanide " while getting acquainted. Lindsay, directody turn, passed the property on to his writing partner, Russel Crouse, with whom he was adapting Life With Father for the stage. Undetermined Arsenic and old lace directory Role uncredited Raymond Walburn Epstein Films with screenplays by Philip G. Undetermined Supporting Role uncredited Rolan Jones
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Epstein screen playPhilip G. The script adaptation was by Julius J. If you would like to find work on Arsenic and Old Lace, join Lacs Mandy Network today to get alerted to new roles and jobs. Mortimer's brother, Teddy John Alexanderwho believes he is Theodore Rooseveltresides with them. Stephen R. No Wonder. London, UK. Einstein James Gleason Brophy Garry Owen Each time Alyson hannigan facial video goes upstairs, he yells "Charge! Parents Guide. You need a Pro account to access this feature. Einstein stumbles and falls into the window seat in the dark. Abby Brewster Jean Adair
Originally titled Bodies in the Cellar , Kesselring sent his then serious melodrama to actress Dorothy Stickney, with the hope that she might play one of the Brewster sisters.
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The script adaptation was by Julius J. Epstein and Philip G. The lead role of Mortimer Brewster was originally intended for Bob Hope , but he could not be released from his contract with Paramount Pictures. Capra had also approached Jack Benny and Ronald Reagan before learning that Grant would accept the role.
Boris Karloff played Jonathan Brewster, who "looks like Karloff", on the Broadway stage, but he was unable to do the film too because he was still appearing in the play during filming, and Raymond Massey took his place. Hull and Adair, as well as John Alexander who played Teddy Brewster , were reprising their roles from the stage production.
The entire film was shot within those eight weeks. Several illustrious forebears' portraits line the walls of the ancestral home. Mortimer Brewster Cary Grant , a writer who has repeatedly denounced marriage as "an old fashioned superstition", falls in love with Elaine Harper Priscilla Lane , the minister's daughter who grew up next door to him.
On Halloween day, Mortimer and Elaine get engaged. Elaine goes to her father's house to tell her father and pack for the honeymoon and Mortimer returns to Abby Josephine Hull and Martha Jean Adair , the aunts who raised him in the old family home. Mortimer's brother, Teddy John Alexander , who believes he is Theodore Roosevelt , resides with them. Each time Teddy goes upstairs, he yells "Charge! Searching for the notes for his next book, Mortimer finds a corpse hidden in the window seat.
He assumes in horror that Teddy's delusions have led him to murder. Abby and Martha cheerfully explain that they are responsible, that they minister to lonely old bachelors by ending their "suffering".
They post a "Room for Rent" sign to attract a victim, then serve a cup of elderberry wine spiked with arsenic , strychnine and "just a pinch of cyanide " while getting acquainted.
The bodies are buried in the basement by Teddy, who believes they are yellow fever victims who perished in the building of the Panama Canal. While Mortimer digests this information, his brother Jonathan Raymond Massey arrives with his alcoholic accomplice, plastic surgeon Dr. Hermann Einstein Peter Lorre.
Jonathan is a serial murderer trying to escape from the police and dispose of his latest victim. Jonathan's face, altered by Einstein while drunk, resembles Boris Karloff 's Frankenstein monster makeup. Abby and Martha object vehemently because their victims were "nice" gentlemen while Jonathan's victim is a stranger and a "foreigner".
Jonathan also declares his intention to kill Mortimer. Elaine is impatient to leave on their honeymoon but is concerned about Mortimer's increasingly odd behavior as he frantically attempts to control the situation.
He tries unsuccessfully to alert the bumbling police to Jonathan's presence. To draw attention away from his aunts and deprive them of their willing but uncomprehending accomplice, Mortimer tries to file paperwork to have Teddy legally committed to a mental asylum. Worrying that the genetic predisposition for mental illness resides within him "Insanity runs in my family; it practically gallops. Eventually Jonathan is arrested, Einstein flees after having signed Teddy's commitment papers, and Teddy is safely consigned to an institution.
His aunts insist upon joining him. Abby and Martha inform Mortimer that he is not a Brewster after all: his mother was the family cook and his father had been a chef on a steamship. Relieved, he lustily kisses Elaine and whisks her off to their honeymoon while yelling, "Charge! The play was written by Joseph Kesselring , son of German immigrants and a former professor at Bethel College , a pacifist Mennonite college. It was written in the antiwar atmosphere of the late s.
Gunter argues that the deep theme of the play and film is the conflict in American history between the liberty to do anything which the Brewsters demand , and America's bloody hidden past. The contemporary critical reviews were uniformly positive. Epstein has turned in a very workable, tightly-compressed script. Capra's own intelligent direction rounds out. Twenty-four years after the film was released, Charles Higham and Joel Greenberg wrote Hollywood in the Forties where they state that "Frank Capra provided a rather overstated and strained version of Arsenic and Old Lace ".
The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Arsenic and Old Lace disambiguation. Theatrical release poster. Brophy James Gleason as Police Lt. Rooney Edward Everett Horton as Mr.
Gilchrist Edward McWade as Mr. The New York Times. September 2, Retrieved February 26, Retrieved: June 25, Retrieved: October 24, New York. September 6, Harrison's Reports. The New Yorker. American Film Institute. Retrieved Harrisburg Telegraph. November 23, Retrieved September 13, — via Newspapers.
Capra, Frank. New York: The Macmillan Company, Gunter, Matthew C. Higham, Charles and Joel Greenberg. Hollywood in the Forties. London: A. Zwemmer Limited, McGilligan, Pat, ed. Berkeley, California: University of California Press, Stout, Kathryn and Richard.
Movies as Literature. Wilmington, Delaware: Design-A-Study, Frank Capra. Sun Hemo the Magnificent Rendezvous in Space. Authority control GND : Categories : films English-language films s screwball comedy films American black comedy films American films American comedy thriller films American crime comedy films American screwball comedy films American black-and-white films Comedy mystery films Film noir Films scored by Max Steiner American films based on plays Films directed by Frank Capra Films set in Brooklyn American serial killer films Warner Bros.
Julius J. Epstein Philip G. Arsenic and Old Lace play by Joseph Kesselring. Wikiquote has quotations related to: Arsenic and Old Lace. GND :
Advertise Here. Lead Characters. Join StageAgent today and unlock amazing theatre resources and opportunities. It is customary, after the cast takes several curtain calls, for the final one to finish with the "murder victims" often well-known local personalities entering from the basement and joining the cast for the final bow. View More Ticket Discounts. Low 49F.
Arsenic and old lace directory. Clue: "Arsenic and Old Lace" director
Arsenic and Old Lace - Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Tourism
The information below is intended to give you a brief guide to the show and highlight some of the other The Mandy Network members who have also been involved in this show. If you would like to find work on Arsenic and Old Lace, join The Mandy Network today to get alerted to new roles and jobs. Advertise Here. The play is a farcical black comedy revolving around Mortimer Brewster, a theatre-hating drama critic who must deal with his crazy, homicidal family and local police in Brooklyn, New York, as he debates whether to go through with his recent promise to marry the woman he loves.
His family includes two spinster aunts who have taken to murdering lonely old men by poisoning them with a glass of home-made elderberry wine laced with arsenic, strychnine, and "just a pinch" of cyanide; a brother who believes he is Teddy Roosevelt and digs locks for the Panama Canal in the cellar of the Brewster home which then serve as graves for the aunts' victims ; and a murderous brother who has received plastic surgery performed by an alcoholic accomplice, Dr.
Einstein a character based on real-life gangland surgeon Joseph Moran to conceal his identity and now looks like horror-film actor Boris Karloff a self-referential joke, as the part was originally played by Karloff. The film adaptation follows the same basic plot, with a few minor changes.
It is customary, after the cast takes several curtain calls, for the final one to finish with the "murder victims" often well-known local personalities entering from the basement and joining the cast for the final bow. Abby Brewster. Jonathan Brewster. Martha Brewster. Mortimer Brewster. Teddy Brewster. Assistant Stage Manager. Sound Designer. Stage Manager. Janis Snyder Costume Designer.
Mark Huckett Actor. Arch Darrow Actor. Paul Battiato Actor. Teagan Hughes Actor. Daniel Anderson Actor. Christopher Clark Voice Over: Canadian. Colin Rice Actor. James' Church Hall, Woolton, Liverpool.
Michael Sherwin Actor. Chris Povey Actor. Megan Cudd Costume Maker. Taylor Costume Assistant. Kianna Batista Actor. Nicola Jayne Chirnside Actor.
Stephen R. Jones Actor. Andrew Fettes Actor. Herman Einstein Theatre Royal Nottingham. Richard Ede Actor. Dan Palmer Actor. Jerome Burelbach Actor. Robert Durbin Actor.
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