Arsenic and Old Lace at the IMA’s Winter Nights Film Series

The Indianapolis Museum of Art’s Winter Nights Film Series continues Friday, January 22, 2010 at 7:00 pm with Frank Capra’s classic Arsenic and Old Lace. The film runs 118 minutes long and is rated PG, a great opportunity to introduce your Indianapolis kids to some classic cinema. Tickets to this Indianapolis art event are $9.00 for Indianapolis people, $5.00 for members to this Indianapolis museum and $7.00 for students with a valid ID. Catch a classic on the big screen of the Tobias Theatre at the IMA.

Directed by Frank Capra, Arsenic and Old Lace was released in the United States in 1944. Cary Grant stars as Mortimer Brewster in this zany and dark comedy. After giving up his status as confirmed bachelor, Grant falls in love and marries Elaine Harper, played by Priscilla Lane. The pair visit his aunts Abby (Josephine Hall) and Martha (Jean Adair) and his cousin Teddy (John Alexander) to share the good news. Things are bizarre as ever as they fill his old family home with life (and quite a bit of death).

His aunts have developed a new hobby: ending the suffering of lonely old bachelors by serving them elderberry wine spike with poison. On top of that, his cousin Teddy suffers from the delusion that he is, in fact, Teddy Roosevelt. As his aunts use Teddy’s dementia to cover up their schemes, Brewster must untangle their deadly web. Peter Lorre plays the scene stealing alcoholic plastic surgeon, Dr. Herman, as this crazy and complicated comedy mounts to a climax. As Brewster says in the film, “Insanity runs in my family. It practically gallops.”

Video: Trailer for Arsenic and Old Lace at the IMA, Indianapolis, Indiana


The film was adapted from the Broadway play of the same name by Joseph Kesselring. Capra originally wanted Bob Hope for the role of Mortimer Brewster, and approached both Jack Benny and Ronald Reagen for the part before ultimately landing on Cary Grant. Grant is perfect for the film, which acts as a showcase for his elegant comedic style.

Shown in 35 mm, Arsenic and Old Lace at the IMA will be preceded by the Columbia Technicolor cartoon “Scary Crows” (1937). With an introduction by film historian Eric Grayson, this Indianapolis entertainment event is the total package. For additional information about this and other Indianapolis events at the IMA, visit their official website.

Whether you go with yourself, a friend or a lover, make Friday night date night. Grab dinner at any of the great Indianapolis restaurants in the nearby Indianapolis cultural district, Broad Ripple Village. After the show, discuss whether you feel Arsenic and Old Lace retains Frank Capra’s famous “Capra-corn” feel at any of these Indianapolis bars in Indianapolis downtown. Stay tuned to Fun City for more info about fun things to do in Indianapolis. We find fun in Indy for you!

Arsenic and Old Lace
Friday, January 22, 2010 at 7:00 pm

Indianapolis Museum of Art
4000 Michigan Rd
Indianapolis, IN 46208

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