Showing posts with label Priscilla Lane. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Priscilla Lane. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

On This Day...Arsenic and Old Lace(1944).

 So hot on the heels of his 46th film yesterday is Arsenic and Old Lace, Cary Grant's 47th full length feature film. The reason? It was completed two years earlier, but had to wait until the stage show had completed its run.

Cary Grant plays Mortimer Brewster, whose Aunt Abby(Josephine Hull) and Aunt Martha(Jean Adair) are the Old Lace who provide the Arsenic!

"Cary Grant's role as written for the screen is strongly slapstick, but despite the handicap he scores remarkably well." - Citizen News

With Josephine Hull and Jean Adair.

"More is made of the Grant character than on the stage. Indeed, he carries this picture with pantomime, facial expressions and a wild sort of farcical delivery of lines. He is an expert at that."
 - Edwin Schallert, Los Angeles Times.

With Peter Lorre, Raymond Massey, Josephine Hull, Priscilla Lane and Jean Adair.

"I was embarrassed doing it. I overplayed the character. It was a dreadful job for me...Jimmy Stewart would have been much better in the film." - Cary Grant

With Priscilla Lane.


Mortimer Brewster           Cary Grant
Jonathan Brewster            Raymond Massey
Elaine Harper                   Priscilla Lane
Abby Brewster                 Josephine Hull
Martha Brewster               Jean Adair
O'Hara                              Jack Carson
Mr. Witherspoon               Edward Everett Horton
Dr. Einstein                       Peter Lorre
Lieutenant Rooney           James Gleason
Teddy "Roosevelt"
Brewster                           John Alexander
Reverend Harper              Grant Mitchell
Brophy                             Edward McNamara
Taxi Driver                       Garry Owen
Saunders                           John Ridgely
Judge Cullman                 Vaughan Glaser
Doctor Gilchrist                Chester Clute
Reporter                           Charles Lane
Gibbs                               Edward McWade
Man in Phone Booth        Leo White
Marriage License Clerk    Spencer Charters
Photographer                    Hank Mann
Umpire                             Lee Phelps

Italian "Arsenic and Old Lace".

Press Article and Publicity Shots.

Lobby Cards:

Directed by Frank Capra.
Produced and distributed by Warner Bros.
Running time: 118 minutes.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

My (No.1) Favorite Film of the 1940's...Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

Arsenic and Old Lace, an adaptation of a play by the same name, became one of the most popular comedies of the Hollywood Golden Era

Cary Grant maintained for a long time that it was one of his worst performances...many disagree...including me!

Its hilarious with all the double takes and gags...

The plot is based around two sweet but crazy old ladies, Abby and Martha Brewster (Josephine Hull and Jean Adair). Out of kindness, they poison a number of lonely old men.

Mortimer (Cary Grant), their nephew, newly married to Elaine Harper (Priscilla Lane) discovers what his aunts are doing and gets caught up in the chaos!

When his brother, Jonathan (Raymond Massey), turns up with his friend, Dr. Einstein (Peter Lorre), the chaos shifts up a gear.

Somethings you might not know...
  • The film was shot in Hollywood in late 1941 but didn’t premiere until Sept. 1, 1944, at New York’s old Strand Theatre. The delay resulted because Warner Bros. agreed to a demand by the play’s producers, Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, that the film not open until their highly popular play completed its Broadway run.
  • “Arsenic and Old Lace’’ was a reunion between Grant and character actress Jean Adair, who had nursed him back to health when he contracted rheumatic fever during a theatrical tour 20 years earlier.
  • Grant wasn’t the first choice for the film, but Bob Hope wasn’t available because of a schedule conflict (Capra needed to shoot the film just before reporting for World War II military duty).
  • Grant, who donated his entire $100,000 salary to wartime charities, insisted, “Jimmy Stewart would have been much better [than me] in the film.’’ Stewart later starred opposite Josephine Hull in “Harvey’’ — for which she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

Cary Grant and Priscilla Lane on set.

Publicity shots.

"Insanity runs in my family. It practically gallops!"