Arsenic and Old Lace

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Arsenic and Old Lace

Postby Yhtapmys » Sun Jul 12, 2009 2:46 am

I spotted this today in this DVD piece on 'Arsenic and Old Lace':

Frank Capra’s hilarious and fun adaptation is from the play of the same name. Originally filmed in 1941 Capra had to wait to release the movie until 1944 when the Broadway play had run its course. Alexander, Hull and Adair had been performing on Broadway for the roles of the Brewster siblings and were allowed eight weeks leave to act in the film. Boris Karloff played Jonathan in the play, but could not be spared being the star attraction, so the part was played by Massey who ‘looked like Karloff’. The part of Mortimer was originally offered to Bob Hope and Jack Benny before Capra settled on Cary Grant.

Does anyone know about the offer to Jack?

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Postby Gerry O. » Sun Jul 12, 2009 5:55 am

I had never heard that the part of Mortimer had been offered to Bob and Jack, and I'm sure that each guy would have done a fine job in the film, putting his own special touch into the role, but somehow I think that having a non-comedian actor like Cary Grant playing the part makes the film all that much funnier. Sure, Grant did light comedy, but you don't think of him as a "comedian" like you do Hope or Benny....and the contrast of a "straight" actor surrounded by that bunch of loonies adds to the comedy and wild craziness of "Arsenic and Old Lace".
Gerry O.
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