Arsenic and Old Lace

Arsenic and Old Lace

Release Date



  • Frank Capra


  • Cary Grant
  • Priscilla Lane
  • Raymond Massey

A drama critic learns on his wedding day that his beloved maiden aunts are homicidal maniacs, and that insanity runs in his family.

Writer and notorious marriage detractor Mortimer Brewster (Cary Grant) falls for girl-next-door Elaine Harper (Priscilla Lane), and they tie the knot on Halloween. When the newlyweds return to their respective family homes to deliver the news, Brewster finds a dead body hidden in a window seat. It seems his maiden aunts (Josephine Hull, Jean Adair) have developed a habit of killing lonely old men and burying them in the cellar. Between his eccentric aunts, disturbed uncle (John Alexander), and homicidal brother (Raymond Massey), he comes to realize that his family is even crazier than he thought. Based on the play by Joseph Kesselring, Frank Capra directed this dark comedy.

Past Programs


King of Poisons: The Social History of Arsenic

Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA