Arsenic and Old Lace
Frank Capra adapted a hit stage play for this marvelous screwball meeting of the madcap and the macabre.
On Halloween, newly married drama critic Mortimer Brewster (Cary Grant, cutting loose in a hilariously harried performance) returns home to Brooklyn, where his adorably dotty aunts (Josephine Hull and Jean Adair, who both starred in the Broadway production) greet him with love, sweetness . . . and a grisly surprise: the corpses buried in their cellar. A bugle-playing brother (John Alexander) who thinks he’s Teddy Roosevelt, a crazed criminal who’s a dead ringer for Boris Karloff (Raymond Massey), and a seriously slippery plastic surgeon (Peter Lorre) are among the outré oddballs populating Arsenic and Old Lace, a diabolical delight that only gets funnier as the body count rises. - The Criterion Collection