Oct 6, 2012

"Arsenic and Old Lace" on the big screen

Hi guys, how have you been? I haven't written in a while, 69 days to be exact, and that's because I haven't seen many old movies lately. My passion for movies declined as the love for my boyfriend/best friend dramatically increased (see chart). Seems I can't split my heart and it chose him.

In other news, I'm cheesy and I don't care.

Well, Diego and I went to see Arsenic and Old Lace (1944). The university where I studied is running  an American Comedy film festival and yesterday was the turn of this Frank Capra movie. I had seen it some years ago, but I didn't remember the ending.

It was a great experience. There were like 20 people besides us (which is a good number since it started at four pm) and lots of laughs. Cary Grant marries and the same day he finds out his whole family is crazy: his aunts love helping old, lonely men in a very peculiar way.

The movie is atypical: it's a comedy with very creepy situations, filmed like a play (almost one setting with few exterior shots). Cary exaggerated his acting, choosing the hyperventilation to play his character and looking to the camera occasionally, but I don't mind. I found him hilarious.

All the secondary players are pretty awesome, especially Peter Lorre, with his soft voice and effective self-control. The weakest of the group, in my opinion, was Priscilla Lane, a bit bland and dull.
The script, written by the Epstein brothers and based on a play, contains a lot of great lines which you probably know by heart, like:

Mortimer Brewster: Look I probably should have told you this before but you see... well... insanity runs in my family... It practically gallops.
[Elaine is impatient to leave on the honeymoon]
Elaine Harper: But, darling - Niagara Falls.
Mortimer Brewster: It does? Well, let it.
So it was a great Friday :)
Well, that's all for now. Even when I'm not writing as much as I did before, I've been re-watching I love Lucy, this time with my parents. I'll tell you about it someday, but they used to think it was a boring series and now they can't wait to see a new episode. I created two new fans and that makes me happy.

And I still read your reviews, posts and projects, like Kendra Bean's awesome Vivien Leigh book that is waiting for your support to reach stores next year. I also followed the 2012 CMBAs (congrats to all the nominees/winners).
Keep rocking.


  1. Ain't love grand? Was your sweetie a movie fan before you came into his life or did you win him over to your other passion?

    "Arsenic and Old Lace" is the perfect play/movie for this time of year. Sounds like a real treat to see it with other folks ready for a good laugh.

  2. Hola Clara, ¡me encanta esa película! es posible que Grant sobreactúe pero se le puede perdonar como bien dices.
    Cuando mi marido y yo éramos novios lo llevé a un ciclo de Humphrey Bogart que ponían en un cine club, ¡gané otro fan para la causa!
    Saludos y felicidades.

  3. I'm another one who wants to know if you were the one that made your boyfriend a classic movie convert! :)
    How cool! I watched Monkey Business, also with Cary Grant, in a big screen and the audience only helped to add more fun to the experience.
    Oh, have you already signed up for the A Letter to the Stars blogathon? There is more information about it in this post: http://www.criticaretro.blogspot.com.br/2012/10/ha-coisas-que-merecem-ser-divulgadas.html

  4. Clara, we're so happy to hear about YOUR happiness! We hope you and your sweetie will be happily in love with each other and with classic movies forevermore! ARSENIC AND OLD LACE is one of Team Bartilucci's favorites, even if Boris Karloff was unable to reprise his Broadway role! :-)

  5. It's so good to see a new post from you, Clara!

    I have yet to see a classic film on the big screen, but I'd like to someday -- it sounds like so much fun!

    Best for you and Diego! : )

  6. Hi Clara, how are you? It's good that you write again.
    I've seen this movie, but in spanish, and even when It was good, I Think that I would prefer see it in english, with subtitles. But I really enjoyed it.
    I love watching classic movies in big screen, and the people that goes to watch it, it's older, about 60 I think.

  7. @Caftan Woman: He is a movie, series and literature fan, he loves the screenwriting process and how authors create characters, worlds and rules, etc. He didn't watch a lot of old movies before, but he doesn't have prejudices or anything. And yes, "Arsenic and Old Lace" is really fun to watch with other people :) Thank you very much for stopping by!

    @Lola: Sí, se le perdona. Aunque el mismo Cary, muy autocrítico, odiaba su actuación en esta peli. Que entretenido debe haber sido ese ciclo de Humphrey y muy bien que hayas ganado otro fan para la causa. Muchas gracias por visitar el sitio :)

    @Lê: Classic movie convert not yet :) But I recommended some old films like "The Thin Man" and "The Apartment" and he liked them. It's awesome to watch these films with other people, especially when they're older. I'll check the blogathon if it hasn't started yet, but I'm with no time for writing a lot right now. I'll let you know, thanks for the invite!

    @DorianTB: You're always so sweet my friend, thank you :) I didn't know that Boris actually played that part on Broadway, that's awesome. Thanks a bunch for your comment!

    @Jennifer: Thank you girl, you're very very kind! You should try to assist to one of those classic movie screenings, it's a great experience :) Thanks for stopping by, I really appreciate it.

    @Pilar: Hey there, yeah, I personally can't watch dubbed movies, they lose a lot in the translation (except if I saw them in Spanish as a child, like "The Sound of Music" or "Gone with the wind"). Hope you can watch "Arsenic and Old Lace" in English and I hope you see a classic on the big screen, it's a lot of fun :) Gracias por visitarme!



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