Watch
Arsenic and Old Lace
Your probable score
?

Arsenic and Old Lace

1944
Comedy
Suspense/Thriller
1h 58m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 66.63% from 1967 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(1967)
Compact view
Compact view
Rated 19 Dec 2009
94
95th
An absolutely hilarious film. Cary Grant's expressions, mannerisms, and actions have such precise and perfect timing causing laughter throughout the entire movie. Although it is really funny, it also has an extremely creepy atmosphere. Raymond Massey and Lorre are fantastic characters. This entire movie is just one massive mess after another, and eventually it becomes too much to take in, but it is so charming that you try to anyways.
Rated 08 Sep 2008
87
85th
Everyone in this film completely hams it up - it's like Capra had the actors caged for days with only their scripts and released them when he had film in the gate. But contrary to what you might think, the one-upmanship in overacting only adds to this film's interest, charm and hilarity - and this is roll-on-the-ground funny. Grant does gymnastics (literally) over current comedic actors.
Rated 06 Sep 2014
90
86th
It's amazing how older movies like "Arsenic and Old Lace" can effectively poison and bury crass, modern "comedies" in the basement like yellow fever victims.
Rated 09 Mar 2012
85
77th
The most fun movie about mental illness, murder and non-consensual euthanasia ever made.
Rated 11 Jan 2009
60
26th
This was fun enough, but it was probably about a half an hour too long, as the gags get tiresome. The premise is a good one, and the residents of the house do an especially nice job with their varying levels of lunacy. Good, but not great.
Rated 26 Jan 2009
81
82nd
Hilarious, goofy fun. Cary Grant has great comic timing and is wonderfully expressive with his face and gestures. Unlike many screwball comedies of this era, this actually made me laugh instead of just smirking or deeming it cute.
Rated 24 Jan 2012
75
81st
It plays out very much like the a stage play. Cary Grant (and all the cast, really) was over-the-top but very entertaining. It's a pretty silly, but quite funny and enjoyable movie.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
88
64th
Great film starring the one and only Cary Grant. I think. My mom used to rent me movies from the library when I was home sick from school. She got me this one once. I loved it.
Rated 10 Aug 2012
82
79th
Takes a while to get going, but it soon hits a great pace and by the climax it's so crazy that it's hard to not be entertained. Some expert plot thread juggling going on here.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
94
95th
Classic Capra. Zany fun, with solid characters at the center.
Rated 02 Jun 2012
90
97th
one of the best screwball comedies i've ever seen, and arguably the wackiest, zaniest one to come out of the decade. i had a rocky start with grant, but now i am sold.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
90
82nd
Full of clever quips and hysterical situations. Fun.
Rated 14 Feb 2016
85
24th
Cary Grant demonstrates his wide range of comic facial expressions.
Rated 17 Jan 2021
80
55th
Cary Grant plays the straight man but gives the most demented performance.
Rated 15 Jun 2011
100
99th
My all-time favorite comedy aside from Dr. Strangelove. Despite Cary Grant's opinion of his performance, he is at his comedic best. Honestly, Cary Grant makes me laugh in every movie he's in, but I die watching him in this. Add in a great supporting cast, including Peter Lorre, and you have a perfect comedy that shows you don't need murder scenes to portray sociopaths.
Rated 29 Nov 2011
85
91st
This is the kind of feel-good comedy movie Frank Capra's great at. It's still fairly dark, with the whole story revolving around a couple of serial-killing old ladies, but at the same time it's somehow upbeat and fun. Great cast too, with Cary Grant, Peter Lorre, and Boris Karloff.
Rated 25 Aug 2007
78
69th
Who'da thunk that Cary Grant could do comedy? Yet he does a smashing job here, surrounded by Great Talent. About the only thing wrong with this movie version is that Boris Karloff was not allowed to reprise his role from the original Broadway stage production (a role he played with gusto for many years) -- which, among other things, takes all the comedy bite out of the line "He told me I looked like Boris Karloff!"
Rated 03 Mar 2007
77
60th
A touch too screwball for my tastes. Still, it's a fun movie.
Rated 16 Feb 2016
70
65th
There's a new Halloween movie on the block! And it's from the 1940's! Not exactly Mr. Current Events here.
Rated 20 Feb 2012
80
87th
Wonderful old classic, fun performance from Cary Grant.
Rated 26 Mar 2008
86
94th
Top notch screwball! Lorre and Massey completely steal it -- but I wish Boris Karloff had got his role in the movie.
Rated 01 Mar 2007
55
49th
Classic.
Rated 09 Mar 2010
90
91st
Such a wonderful film. Cary Grant is marvellous, as always.
Rated 08 Sep 2009
80
60th
Godamn hilarious.
Rated 23 May 2011
94
93rd
The entire movie is just a tide of madness that is getting higher and higher by every minute you watch it. The characters are so different and that makes the conflict so distinct and the whole movie so hilarious. Cary Grant is great at showing the character who is bouncing on the brink of getting mad. At the end you feel that it's probably too much of mess for you but Capra just cuts the complex tight by the abrupt end. Great Halloween comedy.
Rated 10 Nov 2009
80
89th
Peter Lorre is wonderful but still i have not managed to like Cary Grant.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
87
80th
A classic comedy in my opinion. So manic, it will make your head spin. It really helps if you are into some of the old 30's, 40's and 50's movies to understand some of the references. Cary Grant is great! John Alexander is hysterical! Peter Lorred is a hoot! (Steve Buscemi is today's Peter Lorre). Must... see... agian... CHARGE!
Rated 10 Jul 2022
40
7th
Has the makings of a great situational comedy, but the "screwball" elements ruin any chance of humour landing due to its overly farcical nature. It feels very forced, when all it needs to do is let events play out and take their natural course. Lorre and Massey play their roles well but I could not stand Cary's performance, and most of where he was absent just felt tiresome. I've never thought of him as a particularly good actor, but he gets by as the charming lead in a lot of classic thrillers.
Rated 17 Nov 2009
90
92nd
Hilarious!
Rated 22 Oct 2009
90
96th
One of my childhood favorites. Remember seeing it many, many times on TCM late at night (way past my bedtime).
Rated 02 Aug 2011
81
57th
Madcap fun. The tone successfully manages to be both creepy and silly, and Grant is a hoot.
Rated 21 Sep 2007
82
89th
Over the top but very funny.
Rated 02 Jul 2009
80
65th
An extremely influential comedy of manners.
Rated 12 Dec 2006
89
92nd
Cary Grant is great in this and the entire film has a weird balance of creepy and comedy that makes it simultaneously disturbing and hilarious. It's really quite amazing some of the things it gets away with.
Rated 15 May 2008
85
72nd
Fantastic. MMmmmmmm Cary Grant.
Rated 02 Jan 2015
50
0th
Frank Capra #6
Rated 17 Dec 2013
90
80th
Viewed December 16, 2013. This thing is hilarious! Cary Grant's performance is incredible - he plays exasperated so well - and the rest of the ensemble is pitch perfect. It's too long and the ending is extremely lame, but it's pretty excellent overall.
Rated 31 Dec 2010
80
88th
"Arsenic And Old Lace" is partly hilarious, partly adorable, partly mesmerising, partly horrifying and completely enjoyable. Grant, Hull and Adair give excellent performances while the atmosphere and the direction are purely theatrical as Capra and the Epsteins protect and respect the characteristics of Kesselring's original theatrical play. A classic.
Rated 24 Oct 2015
88
91st
Oh Grant, you devil! What a brilliant performance. Probably the funniest movie I've watched from the 40s.
Rated 26 Aug 2012
98
99th
Concurrently holds the top spots among my favorite screwball and black comedies. A light-hearted farce about serial killers featuring a great cast hamming it up for the camera. Most comedies wear thin after repeated viewings - this is one of the very few that I can watch over and over again and laugh every time.
Rated 17 Sep 2008
70
95th
super
Rated 27 Jan 2011
80
77th
Wonderfully frenetic and darkly humorous.
Rated 25 Feb 2022
30
6th
Where was the comedy?
Rated 31 Dec 2009
68
83rd
The dark humor is hilarious and unrelentless. I found this film to be absolutely hysterical, with the entire Brewster family descending into madness, and threatening to bring Mortimer with them. The only issue I really noticed is that a lot of the self-referential jokes were written for a play starring Boris Karloff, and weren't updated for the movie.
Rated 01 Dec 2019
63
59th
Its a really kooky crazy film filled with manic performances, odd humor, and a miscast Cary Grant. The film runs out of steam by its final act.
Rated 06 Oct 2008
80
60th
It's just... crazy.
Rated 17 Dec 2010
59
6th
Way too over the top. Which is strange for Cary Grant. Not so strange for Frank Capra.
Rated 01 Feb 2010
90
83rd
Great comedy. Cary Grant is at his slapstick best, Lorre is very funny and Josephine Hull and Jean Adair are sweet as the two murderous sisters. (Hull's walk is completely adorable.) If only Karloff would have played the Karloff role, this might have been a masterpiece.
Rated 03 Mar 2008
93
70th
It took me a bit to get into this one, but I liked it a lot. The comedy is somewhat black, but the actors are great, the characters intriguing, and the humor good-natured and fast-paced.
Rated 19 Dec 2008
57
14th
868
Rated 13 Sep 2010
94
89th
Brilliantly funny and quick paced Capra-Grant collaboration. A must see! date viewed: 9/7/10
Rated 14 Aug 2007
90
86th
classic!
Rated 23 Apr 2012
93
91st
CHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGE!!!!
Rated 14 Aug 2007
95
96th
It's a classic, it's Frank Capra, it's Cary Grant. What more do you want? Funny? Okay, it's FUNNY.
Rated 26 Mar 2007
0
8th
Astonishing how not charming some of these old comedies are
Rated 24 Jan 2008
5
90th
one of the funniest movies i've ever seen
Rated 06 Feb 2021
93
48th
https://esperwatchesfilms.tumblr.com/post/642326872174247936/arsenic-and-old-lace-1944
Rated 30 Nov 2023
95
86th
"Going to Panama" and "Charge!" will never be forgotten by me. Utterly hilarious bleak comedy that has a wonderful ending.
Rated 30 Dec 2008
92
95th
Really funny and bizarre play brought to screen.
Rated 06 Jan 2022
55
42nd
It's been awhile, but I recall all the undissolved lumps and uneven consistency in its quality. Now and you'd slurp up a strangely tasteful well-dissolved scene or a sweet pinch of sugary riposte, other times, bitter loose leaf tea grains that came out of the bag and dug in gratingly between your film-chompers. I remember the day and place I watched it, and the feelings, and the shrill old woman, dull gender stereotypes, but little else. I am to believe, then, that it must have been "alright".
Rated 26 Jun 2017
75
67th
Pretty good movie. It comes with the inherent contrivances that nearly all movies based on plays have but the acting and pacing help guide it through. It's screwballness can border on being a bit too over the top but never often enough to turn me against the film.
Rated 12 Feb 2011
80
77th
Funny and deliciously subversive. I especially like the olde-worlde charm of the characters.
Rated 19 Sep 2018
76
80th
Very funny and wonderfully shot. Whoever wrote it must have had a field day with the Teddy character. Though it's all good fun, this film tires you out nearing the end, because of all the hysterical drama that's going on. I liked all the acting performances but Peter Lorre's does it for me. Even when in the back of the scene his acting is bringing the film to life
Rated 13 Jul 2010
90
86th
A bit too much overacting from Grant (purposeful probably, but annoying nonetheless)...rest of the perfs more than make up for it. Great comedy.
Rated 02 Sep 2008
85
84th
A frantic and hilarious black comedy with the most cartoonish Cary Grant performance I've seen yet. It's perhaps a bit long, which is par for the course with Capra, but he fills it with such energy and a crew of oddball characters played with a lot of gusto. It's actually kind of surprising just how macabre the comedy is, and how casually it's played.
Rated 09 Aug 2009
75
50th
I enjoy this story's sense of dark humor.
Rated 22 May 2009
58
39th
Oh dear...this film is something of a mess, with just too much going on while several metaphorical shotguns are introduced but never fired, and it all gets rather tiring. With some tightening and focusing this would have been a great movie, now it is great in parts (Grant is of course great, and Lorre is always a pleasure to watch). This just should have been so much better.
Rated 09 Apr 2016
40
24th
A comical story of misunderstandings, it was all too silly for my taste and not funny, I like movies that are more subtle and that leave something to the spectator, also the characters in general where annoying. Capra's characters feel like cartoon's characters.
Rated 21 Nov 2016
80
63rd
good not great
Rated 02 May 2019
91
79th
One of my favorite films! Gracefully and funnily answers the question 'What makes a monster, really?'
Rated 29 Oct 2016
87
79th
Absolutely hilarious. Has a bit of a lull when it becomes a bit of a horror film, but it returns to its former glory once that's over with. There is so much going on in this movie, I'm surprised it all comes to a nice clean resolution.
Rated 17 Jan 2008
90
97th
CHAAAAARRGGEE!
Rated 29 Apr 2012
67
33rd
I wish there was less suspense and more laughs. Great story, thought, and Grant still amazes me.
Rated 03 Jan 2007
93
92nd
Há 75 anos estreava Este mundo é um hospício. Na verdade não o assistia desde os anos 90, quando ainda passava esse tipo de filme na TV aberta, mas sempre foi um dos meus favoritos do Capra. Estive lendo algumas coisas sobre o filme e descobri que Cary Grant considerava a pior atuação dele ever, oque é uma bobagem sem tamanho, são as caras que ele faz que tornam esse filme tão hilariante e um clássico da screwball. DVDrip Multisubs
Rated 23 Oct 2011
4
35th
Too much going on and it really isn't too engaging to be memorable or anything worth watching. Possibly Cary Grant's worst performance, he's just hamming it up non stop throughout. Makes sense that he thought that this was his worst performance and his worst film. Always enjoy Peter Lorre but even he wasn't anything spectacular. Pretty mediocre.
Rated 15 Dec 2009
91
89th
Very believable performances by the aunts.
Rated 07 May 2015
98
95th
One of the funniest films ever and even on a serious subject. Sans 2 points for the lack of actual Boris Karloff despite mentions and possibilities, and softening the ending a bit after going for so deliciously dark comedy previously in storyline.
Rated 11 Jan 2021
78
71st
Peter Lorre > Cary Grant
Rated 26 Dec 2010
89
89th
88.500
Rated 28 Feb 2008
40
27th
It's a major production, a Cary Grant vehicle directed by Frank Capra, but the script is rather silly. It's some sort of a farce about lunatics, weddings, Karloff lookalikes and homicidal old ladies, but it's just not funny and it becomes very boring and annoying after a while.
Rated 02 Mar 2011
85
73rd
How is it that Mr. Grant got placed in some of the very best comedies? Very funny, very silly.
Rated 17 Dec 2009
85
88th
Hilarious
Rated 30 Nov 2007
90
96th
9- excellent, awesome :: possibly the first "meta" film I've ever seen.
Rated 26 May 2022
81
77th
Extremely fun screwball comedy. It seems like the actors are having an absolute ball in this one. Like most screwball comedies, a LOT is thrown at the wall, and while some misses, most hits. It's a lot of fun watching Capra weave in and out the different elements. Grant's performance is probably the most over the top of his career, almost resembling Lou Costello or one of the Three Stooges at times, but it works.
Rated 22 Oct 2019
90
99th
The over-the-top-ness, the tongue-in-cheek, the insanity, the nice old ladies, THE Cary Grant. Reasons this is one of my favorite films. Must be 15 years since I saw it last, but it's still the non-stop bundle of madness I first fell in love with long before I became a classic movie buff.
Rated 10 Jan 2021
48
11th
If the words "cornball" or "screwball" excite you, this is your movie. Me, not so much.
Rated 10 Dec 2009
86
74th
A funny hit play and the number one comedy director in Hollywood add up to a madcap classic. Lorre's giggling, guzzling Dr. Einstein, and the two delightful maiden aunts steal every scene.
Rated 02 Dec 2011
52
4th
#952
Rated 04 Jul 2013
65
87th
Just goofy fun.
Rated 23 Aug 2012
85
71st
Any movie with Peter Lorre in it is automatically worth a damn, but my god, Arsenic and the Old Lace is as exhausting as comedies come. Delirious stuff.
Rated 05 Jun 2009
90
83rd
Anything with Peter Lorre or Raymond Massey is amazing.
Rated 21 Jul 2023
50
24th
It wasn't funny at all. It's far from today's comedy standards and it's out of date.
Rated 11 Feb 2010
60
46th
A black comedy of the great Frank Capra that has some flashes of genius, but also with various problems, such as the fast pace for a long movie. Besides that this innocent humor of the 40s, is a little outdated. But not much compared with the comedies of today, is a classic.
Rated 15 Feb 2010
68
46th
Based on a hit stage comedy by Joseph Kesselring, the film betrays its origins every step of the way, despite the clockwork professionalism of Capra's directing. For one thing, everything is pitched just a notch or two more broadly than it needs to be, playing towards the backseats of the theater with little apparent adjustment for the intimacy of movies. It still has it's charms, first and foremost the deft, loopy anxiety of Cary Grant.
Rated 27 Dec 2008
70
34th
Popular film that I found a bit muddled. Feels like a few films stuck together. Grant seems out of place at times.
Rated 11 Feb 2009
98
79th
Very humorous!
Rated 11 Aug 2014
80
50th
Beginning so schmaltzy and mawkish makes such ink-black humor so much more unexpected.

Collections

Loading ...

Similar Titles

Loading ...

Statistics

Loading ...

Trailer

Loading ...