Arsenic and Old Lace (movie)

Arsenic and Old Lace is a film directed by Frank Capra based on a play (see Arsenic and Old Lace (play)) by Joseph Kesselring. The script was adapted by Julius J. Epstein. Capra actually filmed the movie in 1941 but it was not released until 1944 while the studio waited for the stage version to finish its run on Broadway.

In addition to Cary Grant as Mortimer Brewster, the film also starred Josephine Hull and Jean Adair as the Brewster Sisters, Abby and Martha, respectively. Both Hull and Adair reprised their roles from the original 1941 stage production as well as John Alexander as Teddy.

Spoiler warning: Plot or ending details follow.

The film concerns a theatre-hating drama critic and confirmed bachelor Mortimer Brewster (Cary Grant) who on his wedding day must cope with his bizarre family, especially his two elderly aunts who live in the old family home in Brooklyn.

Mortimer's aunts are "kindly" serving lonely old bachelors elderberry wine poisoned with arsenic and then burying the bodies in the basement. His younger brother Teddy thinks he is Teddy Roosevelt and yells "Charge!" when running up the stairs (after Teddy Roosevelt's 'charge up San Juan Hill'). Mortimer's other brother Jonathan (Raymond Massey), a wanted murderer whose face resembles that of Frankenstein's creature (as portrayed by Boris Karloff, a comparison frequently made in the film's dialogue), arrives with a surgeon, Dr. Einstein (Peter Lorre) in tow. Eventually, Mortimer is overjoyed to discover that he is not biologically related to these insane people, and is actually the son of a sea cook.


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Eventually, Mortimer is overjoyed to discover that he is not biologically related to these insane people, and is actually the son of a sea cook. Could the birds be getting back at mankind for all the abuse, exploiting and hunting they have been through?. Einstein (Peter Lorre) in tow. The caged lovebirds brought along throughout the movie serve as a subtle justification to the bird attacks. Mortimer's other brother Jonathan (Raymond Massey), a wanted murderer whose face resembles that of Frankenstein's creature (as portrayed by Boris Karloff, a comparison frequently made in the film's dialogue), arrives with a surgeon, Dr. One reason could be revenge/uprising. His younger brother Teddy thinks he is Teddy Roosevelt and yells "Charge!" when running up the stairs (after Teddy Roosevelt's 'charge up San Juan Hill'). The ending to this movie is purposefully abrupt in order to allow the audience to make their own guesses as to why these birds attacked.

Mortimer's aunts are "kindly" serving lonely old bachelors elderberry wine poisoned with arsenic and then burying the bodies in the basement. He brings the car around front and helps Cathy, Melanie, and Lydia inside, then drives away, parting waves of birds that seem to lie in anticipation of something... The film concerns a theatre-hating drama critic and confirmed bachelor Mortimer Brewster (Cary Grant) who on his wedding day must cope with his bizarre family, especially his two elderly aunts who live in the old family home in Brooklyn. Mitch quietly enters the garage and turns on the car radio, which reports that bird attacks have occurred further inland, mentioning the town of Santa Rosa, about thirty miles away. Both Hull and Adair reprised their roles from the original 1941 stage production as well as John Alexander as Teddy. Here, Hitchcock offers one of the most surreal and apocalyptic scenes to appear on film, as a sea of birds move under a cloudy twilight. In addition to Cary Grant as Mortimer Brewster, the film also starred Josephine Hull and Jean Adair as the Brewster Sisters, Abby and Martha, respectively. Realizing that she needs to get to a hospital, he tells the others that they have to leave, and daringly ventures outside to get the car.

Capra actually filmed the movie in 1941 but it was not released until 1944 while the studio waited for the stage version to finish its run on Broadway. Unable to fight, she collapses onto the floor, nearly dying before Mitch comes and rescues her. Epstein. Birds attack her from all sides as she gazes at a gigantic hole in the ceiling. The script was adapted by Julius J. She grabs Mitch's flashlight and carefully examines the rooms, then cautiously treads the stairs, opens a door, and goes inside. Arsenic and Old Lace is a film directed by Frank Capra based on a play (see Arsenic and Old Lace (play)) by Joseph Kesselring. Later on, Melanie wakes up with the intuition that something is terribly wrong.

The power goes out, and Mitch gets a flashlight from the basement. Finally, a clamor erupts, and Mitch quickly checks and repairs openings while the rest look on, terrified out of their wits. In this claustrophobic environment, the four spend hours wondering when the next attack will come. Cathy, Melanie, Mitch, and Lydia hole up in their house, boarding up all the windows, doors, and openings, with the exception of a single fireplace that has a fire going around the clock.

Melanie comforts Cathy and Mitch brings Annie inside, as the afternoon descends into dusk. Annie lies dead on her porch, while a terrified Cathy uncontrollably sobs. Melanie sets out in search of Annie and Cathy. At last, the screeching of the birds comes to an end.

Finally, Mitch ventures into the storm and brings her back into the pub, where a woman accuses her of being cursed. A dying man leans against the booth, slowly collapsing and leaving a streak of blood on the glass, which begins to crack as birds endlessly peck and fly at it. The local fire department soon arrives to fight the fire and end up fighting the birds instead. From that vantage point, she bears witness to the horrific spectacle as birds rush at her from all angles.

The cries of bystanders are in vain, and a shattering explosion alerts scores of birds, who attack those who rushed out to help the clerk. Melanie runs to assist, but quickly retreats to a phone booth as she is attacked. A trail of gasoline makes its way down the road, to where a man is lighting a cigarette. At a pub where a majority of the children have evacuated, Melanie bears witness to the death of a gas clerk across the street after a seagull attacks him. A flock of crows gather in the playground, and when Melanie evacuates the school, they viciously tear at the children, nearly killing one of them.

After fleeing the scene in a hysteria, Lydia begs Melanie to keep watch over Cathy during school the next day. Lydia drives over to the farmer who sold her the defective chicken feed and discovers a gory corpse with his eyes gouged out. From then on, things go from bad to worse as bird attacks increase, both in scope and in violence. Terrified guests rush into the house as birds scratch, peck, and bite at them ravenously and without motive.

All of a sudden, a bird swoops down and switches Cathy on the ear, and an attack on the party commences. As time goes on, however, the sound of bird calls grows louder, and a shadowy cloud appears over the festivities. A peaceful flock of birds make their way across the clear blue sky as Melanie and Mitch walk along the beach. The next day, Cathy hosts a birthday party.

Opening the door, Melanie discovers a dead crow sprawled on the ground. After dinner, Melanie returns to Annie's house and the two chat about their past, when a thud is heard against the front door. There, his mother, Lydia (Jessica Tandy), argues with someone over the phone that the chicken feed she bought was defective—her chickens wouldn't eat a bite—only to learn that the vendor's own fowl, who had been given a different brand, had the same problem. She then returns to Annie's house, rents out a room for the weekend, and heads over to Mitch's house for dinner.

Cleaning up her wounds, Melanie gives Mitch the alibi that Annie was an old friend of hers and she wanted to pay a visit. On the way back, however, a seagull inexplicably swoops down and claws her. Then, she travels out by boat and stealthily enters Mitch's house, placing the present in the living room. When she arrives at the town of Bodega Bay, she seeks out Annie Hayworth (Suzanne Pleshette), the local teacher, in order to learn the name of Mitch's sister, Cathy (Veronica Cartwright).

Outside, a flock of pigeons menacingly circle the sky. When Mitch reveals after the incident that he knows her as Melanie Daniels, the daughter of a newspaper magnate, and tells her off for being a spoiled prankster, she decides to pay a visit to his house to get back at him and give his sister the lovebirds that he couldn't obtain. She pretends to be the shopkeeper, showing him various species of birds, until she accidentally lets out a canary. There, she meets Mitch (Taylor), a lawyer that is looking for two lovebirds for his little sister.

A young lady (Hedren) visits a bird shop on a Friday afternoon.
. It may be noted that in Du Maurier's story, the birds attack Britain instead of California. In the film, various kinds of birds attack Bodega Bay, California, a seaside village.

This film is notable in that it has no music score per se (other than brief source music); instead a montage of assorted bird calls and sound effects put together by perennial Hitchcock composer Bernard Herrmann provides the "incidental music". The screenplay for The Birds was written by Evan Hunter, better known as crime fiction novelist Ed McBain. (Hitchcock also adapted Du Maurier's novel Rebecca into an acclaimed film) about birds mobbing humans. The Birds (1963) is a horror film by Alfred Hitchcock, based on a short story by Daphne Du Maurier.

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