Sunday, October 24, 2010

Halloween Movie Countdown: "Arsenic and Old Lace"

I realize I am ridiculously behind on my Halloween Movie Countdown, but I figure that it just leaves me with more films to post about within the year and during the next Halloween season. I watched this classic film last night, (it's become a tradition to watch it every October) and I knew I just had to do a post about it. A perfect Halloween tale, Arsenic and Old Lace was originally a play that ran for three years on Broadway before being made into a film by the great Frank Capra.

What makes this movie a perfect classic for Halloween, (besides the fact that it takes placed on Halloween), is that it's full of several spooky surprises.

Mortimer Brewster comes home to his aunts to tell them that he's been married. When he arrives, he soon discovers a grim little secret that the aunts have kept under wraps.

To make things even more terrifying, Mortimer's brother decides to pay his aunts a visit the very same day, only his brother Jonathan has plans of his own. Because he's running from the law, his companion, a plastic surgeon (played by Peter Loore) has reconstructed Johnny's face, if that doesn't tell you how creepy Johnny is.

The film is full of spooky and eerie moments as well as silly slapstick humor that balances the creepiness and fun of Halloween.

Besides the great writing and directing, the acting really sucks you into the story. Cary Grant, Peter Lorre, and Raymond Massey (who plays Jonathan) all deliver brilliant performances.

Arsenic and Old Lace is full of charm and atmosphere, classic mix-ups, great comedic timing, and spooky moments along the way.

Here's a clip from the movie from YouTube:

A picture of the cast posing in the graveyard.