By Stacia Woycheck, OGT Blog Squad Volunteer
After a month off for Labor Day, Monday Matinees are back! This Monday, October 7th feature is the classic Arsenic and Old Lace starring the ever debonair Cary Grant and Priscilla Lane, directed by Frank Capra.
Oddly, Arsenic and Old Lace struck me as a film I thought I had seen multiple times before. The title is so familiar, but upon a closer look I had never actually seen the film. It’s a quirky mystery film that is perfect for the month of Halloween.
Cary Grant plays Mortimer Brewster, a writer and eternal bachelor who uses his single status as fodder for his fame and his prose that rallies against the institution of marriage. Ironically, the film begins with Mortimer in line for his marriage license with his fiance, Elaine Harper.
After his vows, Mortimer returns to Brooklyn where his eccentric spinster aunts reside. He quickly realizes his sweet aunts have been up to some scandalous behavior inviting single men for marvelous dinners and to sip on their “to die for” cocktail of elderberry wine. As they so lovingly put it, “their special cocktail” helps men find peace.
The comedic mystery takes a twist when Mortimer’s “bad seed” brother shows up at the house after escaping from the sanitorium. Jonathan, played by Raymond Kasey and the ever creepy, plastic surgeon, Dr. Einstein, played by Peter Lorre resurface to “tie up” some old business with Mortimer, the favorite nephew.
This is a playfully hilarious old time mystery with a charming cast delivering perfectly timed one liners. Don’t miss this one as the perfect way to kick off the Halloween season and find out which of the Brewsters has the “lucky 13.”
Stacia’s love of old movies began as a child, when her mother would take her to the matinee to see classics like Casablanca, Gone With the Wind, and The African Queen. She fast became a Humphrey Bogart and Old Hollywood fan. Her favorite class as an undergraduate student was Film Appreciation. She loves the charm of the Old Greenbelt Theater and volunteers to spread the word. She loves to spend time with her husband, play with her dog, and travel (when she isn’t traveling, she is planning her next trip).