Monday, November 17, 2008

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

I love movies. I watch more movies than anyone I know of. I average about six a week. I also have movie Friday. I go to what ever is opening that Friday while my kids are in school. We have an AMC Cinema. The nice thing about them is that you get 5$ movies on the weekends before noon. They also have a free V.I.P. card. I get anything from free popcorn and candy to a night out at the movies for two! I haven't been able to enjoy movie Friday as much since we've been trying to save money. Never fear! I have Netflix! I have developed a system that allows me to turn my 3 at a time movies into 6 a week. It takes coordination and determination and sometimes doesn't happen. :)

Now, I watch ALL sorts of movies. Any genre, black & white, and rating is usually only up to PG-13. I do watch some that are R. Not many. I think some are very noteworthy. I am completely aware of the naughtiness that it is too. Since this can be a hotbed of a topic among people I will just let it be.

One of my movies I watched last week included a gem called "Arsenic and Old Lace". This is a really funny black comedy made in 1944 and directed by Frank Capra and staring Cary Grant...(swoon) It was originally a stage production.

arsenic and old lace Pictures, Images and Photos

The basic plot is Mortimer Bruster (Cary Grant) , a seemingly confirmed bachelor, is secretly getting married at city hall to his sweetheart. After getting hitched he heads over to his dear old aunties house to tell them the good news. We soon learn that old Martha and Abby have a very serious secret. They do a "kind" service to lonely old men that come to stay at their boarding house. They poison them and bury them in the cellar! Now, it's a public service mind you. They are doing it out of the utmost respect for the poor and unloved gentlemen. Oh, not to forget Teddy. He is, I believe, Mortimer's brother. He believes he is Teddy Roosevelt. This is a little snippet of line from the movie about that:

Reverend Harper: Have you ever tried to persuade him that he wasn't Teddy Roosevelt?
Abby Brewster: Oh, no.
Martha Brewster: Oh, he's so happy being Teddy Roosevelt.
Abby Brewster: Oh... Do you remember, Martha, once, a long time ago, we thought if he'd be George Washington, it might be a change for him, and we suggested it.
Martha Brewster: And do you know what happened? He just stayed under his bed for days and wouldn't be anybody.

Well, good old Teddy is in charge of digging the graves for the poor fellows. He of course believes them to be yellow fever victims. All of this is going on and no one suspects a thing. That is until Mortimer comes by and accidentally discovers a body! Trying to get down to why they would have a body in the house, they have this funny interchange:

Mortimer Brewster: Look, Aunt Martha, men don't just get into window seats and die!
Abby Brewster: We know, dear. He died first.
Mortimer Brewster: Wait a minute! Stop all this. Now, look, darling, how did he die?
Abby Brewster: Oh, Mortimer, don't be so inquisitive. The gentleman died because he drank some wine with poison in it.
Mortimer Brewster: How did the poison get in the wine?
Martha Brewster: Well, we put it in wine, because it's less noticeable. When it's in tea, it has a distinct odor.
Mortimer Brewster: You mean, you... You put it in the wine!
Abby Brewster: Yes. And I put Mr. Hoskins in the window seat, because Reverend Harper was coming.
Mortimer Brewster: Now, look at me, darling. You mean, you mean you knew what you'd done and you didn't want the Reverend Harper to see the body?
Abby Brewster: Well, not at tea. That wouldn't have been very nice.
Mortimer Brewster: Oh, it's first-degree.
Abby Brewster: Now, Mortimer, you know all about it and just forget about it. I do think that Aunt Martha and I have the right to our own little secrets.

So now he is saddled with what to do about this predicament and what to do with his new wife. Of course hilarity ensues and we even get a surprise guest. Mortimer's mad man brother Johnathan has come back, and he has something of his own he needs to hide.

It's a twisted and crazy movie with some of the best lines I've ever heard. I think finding a dark comedy from the 40's is a rare and great find. The actors are really wonderful and great to watch. Cary Grant delivers a stellar performance. I don't think he got enough credit for his comedic abilities. I suggest you pick it up and watch it if any part of this has appealed to you. I think I will leave you with one last quote from the movie. It happens when Mortimer is at his wits end with his aunts, he just can't seem to communicate to them that what they have done was wrong. Grant drops this line with great comedic timing and prowess.

Look, you can't do things like that. Now I don't know how I can explain this to you, but it's not only against the law. It's wrong! It's not a nice thing to do. People wouldn't understand. He wouldn't understand. What I mean is, well, this is developing into a very bad habit."

I hope you enjoyed my first movie review. I will list the other movies and give them a grade rating. I think I will only review the ones that are really noteworthy.


Em and Ms said...

I've never seen the movie, but I did see the play performed when we were living in Provo. It was great! So funny.

SuzanSayz said...

This used to be one of Grandma Elva's most favorite movies. I've seen it a few times but only when I was pretty young.

Jan said...

Should see this. Insanity runs in my family too :) Yay for nuts.

Whitaker Family said...

I love this movie too! You are a great movie critic :). I enjoyied your commentary as much as the movie lines!

Lisa said...

How did I miss this post!? Great review. I think I might have seen this once upon a time at BYU...but it's been so long I can't really remember. So a viewing is in order.

And yes...Cary Grant is oh so charming!!

The Garden Maiden said...

Hi Heidi, it is "Aunt" Tami. I have one word to say concerning R rated movies.


It is a DVD player that edits according to your specifications. You can modify for each movie. You have a membership and get new editing downloads online. Slick!

Happy viewing. I love me the old classics myself. Anything with Cary Grant! I love Audrey too.