History Theatre / ArsenicAndOldLace

19th Jul '16 4:45:19 AM Murataku
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* MinionWithAnFInEvil: Dr. Einstein's effort to get Mortimer the hell out of the house and spare him a grisly fate seems genuine. He's very sweet to Teddy and won't abide killing him when Jonathan threatens it, and when Jonathan tries to kill Officer O'Hara, the Doctor knocks him out before he can. He's also very courteous to Abby and Martha.

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* MinionWithAnFInEvil: Dr. Einstein's effort to get Mortimer the hell out of the house and spare him a grisly fate seems genuine. He's very sweet to Teddy and won't abide killing him when Jonathan threatens it, and when Jonathan tries to kill Officer O'Hara, the Doctor knocks him out before he can. He's also very courteous to Abby and Martha. He's most probably only hanging around Jonathan because of what Jonathan would do if he tried to leave.
4th Jun '16 5:53:28 PM Ciara25
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Then his older brother Jonathan returns after a long exile and some plastic surgery... and things get truly dangerous.

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Then his ''other'' older brother Jonathan brother, Jonathan, returns after a long exile and some plastic surgery... and things get truly dangerous.



'''Jonathan''': Well, we'll see about that. All I need is ''one more''. And I've got a pretty good idea [[CainAndAbel who that's going to be]]!

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'''Jonathan''': Well, we'll see about that. All I need is ''one more''. And I've got a pretty good idea [[CainAndAbel who that's going to be]]!it is]]!!!



* ChekhovsGun: When Mortimer and Aunt Abby take a moment to look at a picture of Jonathan, you know he's going to figure in the story eventually.

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* ChekhovsGun: When Mortimer and Aunt Abby take a moment to look at a picture of Jonathan, Jonathan as a kid, you know he's going to figure in the story eventually.
30th May '16 10:43:01 PM Seanette
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* HappilyAdopted: Comes as a great relief to Mortimer to find out he isn't a blood relative.

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* HappilyAdopted: Comes As much as he loves (most of) the Brewsters, it still comes as a great relief to Mortimer to find out he isn't a blood relative.
30th May '16 8:04:04 AM Seanette
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* HappilyAdopted: Comes as a great relief to [[spoiler:Mortimer]] to find out [[spoiler:that he]] isn't a blood relative.

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* HappilyAdopted: Comes as a great relief to [[spoiler:Mortimer]] Mortimer to find out [[spoiler:that he]] he isn't a blood relative.
30th May '16 8:03:07 AM Seanette
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Added DiffLines:

* HappilyAdopted: Comes as a great relief to [[spoiler:Mortimer]] to find out [[spoiler:that he]] isn't a blood relative.
19th May '16 8:58:20 AM Fighteer
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* AllHallowsEve: An opening title introduces the film as "a Halloween tale of Brooklyn". There's even a scene where the sisters hand out pies and pumpkins to a gaggle of trick-or-treaters.
* ArtisticLicenseSports: The movie opens with a fight breaking out during a Dodgers-Yankees baseball game... played ''on Halloween''.[[note]]Something that could actually happen nowadays, but would have been comically ludicrous in the early 1940s when the World Series was played in the first week of October.[[/note]]

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* AllHallowsEve: An opening title introduces the film as "a Halloween tale of Brooklyn". There's even a scene where Brooklyn", and the Brewster sisters hand are seen handing out pies and pumpkins to a gaggle of trick-or-treaters.
* ArtisticLicenseSports: The movie opens with a fight breaking out during a Dodgers-Yankees baseball game... played ''on Halloween''.[[note]]Something that could actually happen nowadays, but Halloween'', which would have been comically ludicrous in the early 1940s when the World Series was played in the first week of October.[[/note]]



* AxCrazy: Jonathan is not only homicidal but actively psychopathic.

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* AxCrazy: Jonathan is not a psychopathic murderer who travels the world only homicidal a few steps ahead of the police. He'll kill you for any reason, or no reason, but actively psychopathic.especially if you tell him he [[BerserkButton looks like Boris Karloff]].



* BeneathSuspicion: Who would suspect two sweet old maiden aunts of being serial killers?
* BetterThanABareBulb: Thanks to Mortimer who, being a dramatic critic, is familiar with all the conventions of exactly the sort of situation he finds himself in. It's too bad that he doesn't realize he's in a play himself.
* BerserkButton: Saying Jonathan looks like Creator/BorisKarloff.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Abbey and Martha are genuinely sweet, charitable old ladies who advertise a room for lonely old men... and then [[BreadEggsMilkSquick murder them.]]
* BlackComedy: Indeed, the only way this film could have gotten past UsefulNotes/TheHaysCode was by being a comedy.

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* BeneathSuspicion: Who would suspect two sweet old maiden aunts of being serial killers?
killers? Certainly not the Brooklyn police, who pay them social visits on a regular basis, nor their neighbors, nor even their psychopathic nephew. Mortimer only figures it out through stumbling on their latest victim.
* BetterThanABareBulb: Thanks to Mortimer who, being a dramatic theater critic, Mortimer's dialogue is familiar sprinkled with all references to how characters in plays act or ought to act in various situations, which are of course precisely applicable to the conventions of exactly the sort of situation situations he finds himself in. It's too bad that in. Unfortunately, [[GenreBlindness he doesn't realize he's that he, himself, is a character in a play himself.
play.]]
* BerserkButton: Saying Jonathan looks like Creator/BorisKarloff.
Creator/BorisKarloff will get you strangled at best, and slowly tortured to death for hours at worst.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Abbey and Martha are genuinely sweet, charitable old ladies who advertise a room for lonely old men... and then [[BreadEggsMilkSquick murder poison them.]]
* BlackComedy: Indeed, the only way this film could have gotten To get serial killers and ax crazy murderers past UsefulNotes/TheHaysCode the UsefulNotes/TheHaysCode, it was by being necessary to frame the story as a comedy.whimsical comedy about a theater critic discovering his family's hereditary madness.



* BodyCountCompetition, SerialKiller style.

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* BodyCountCompetition, SerialKiller style.BodyCountCompetition: Jonathan is shocked to discover that his aunts are murderers, but even more shocked to discover that they've been every bit as successful as he is. An argument ensues over how many kills he gets to count.



* BodyInABreadbox: The window seat.
* BoundAndGagged: Mortimer; IdiotBall. He even gives Jonathan the idea by describing it (as seen in a play) to Dr. Einstein, who later {{Handwave}}s it to Officer O'Hara when he shows up with Mortimer still tied up. Mortimer still doesn't get loose until he gets knocked over in a brawl between Jonathan and the police, which [[BenchBreaker breaks the chair he's tied to]].
* {{Bowdlerize}}d: At the end of the movie, Cary Grant runs off shouting, "I'm not a Brewster! I'm the son of a sea cook!" However, this was changed from the final lines of the original play, where he joyously announces, "I'm a bastard!"
** The film also eliminates the play's ending gag, which has the aunts offering a glass of their wine to Mr. Witherspoon.

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* BodyInABreadbox: The window seat.
seat is apparently Abbey and Martha's temporary corpse storage; Jonathan finds it a convenient place to stash his latest victim as well.
* BoundAndGagged: Mortimer; IdiotBall. He even gives Mortimer is tied to a chair and gagged by Jonathan the idea in preparation for torture -- Mortimer sets this up himself by describing it (as seen how a victim in a play) to Dr. Einstein, who later {{Handwave}}s it to play was captured. Later, when Officer O'Hara when he shows up with up, Dr. Einstein explains it away as Mortimer still tied up. discussing a play, prompting O'Hara to [[RunningGag start talking about his own play]]. Mortimer still doesn't get loose until he gets knocked over in a brawl between Jonathan and the police, which [[BenchBreaker breaks the chair he's tied to]].
chair]].
* {{Bowdlerize}}d: {{Bowdlerize}}:
**
At the end of the movie, Cary Grant runs off shouting, "I'm not a Brewster! I'm the son of a sea cook!" However, this was changed from the final lines of the original play, where he joyously announces, "I'm a bastard!"
** The film also eliminates the play's ending gag, which has the aunts offering a glass of their wine to Mr. Witherspoon.



* CainAndAbel: With Jonathan as the evil brother and Mortimer as the good one. Jonathan even plans to "sacrifice" Mortimer.
* ChekhovsGun: When Mortimer and Aunt Abby take a moment to look at a picture of Johnathan, you know he's going to figure in the story eventually.

to:

* CainAndAbel: With Jonathan as the evil brother and apparently liked to torment Mortimer when they were growing up together as children, describing the good one. Jonathan even plans horrifying things he wanted to "sacrifice" Mortimer.
do to him. He seizes his current opportunity to consummate that desire.
* ChekhovsGun: When Mortimer and Aunt Abby take a moment to look at a picture of Johnathan, Jonathan, you know he's going to figure in the story eventually.
19th May '16 8:34:16 AM Fighteer
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* AccidentalMisnaming: "Mr. Witherfork!"[[note]]"Spoon!"[[/note]]
* AffablyEvil: Dr. Einstein, who seems uncomfortable with the things he's seen Johnny do. Martha, Abby, and Teddy might also count, although [[BlueAndOrangeMorality they're all so insane they don't realize what they've done is wrong]].

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* AccidentalMisnaming: "Mr. Witherfork!"[[note]]"Spoon!"[[/note]]
* AffablyEvil: Dr. Einstein, who seems uncomfortable with
Teddy, being a bit nutty, doesn't remember the things he's seen Johnny do. Martha, Abby, and Teddy might also count, although [[BlueAndOrangeMorality they're all so insane they don't realize what they've done is wrong]].name of Happydale's director correctly.
-->'''Teddy:''' Mr. Witherfork!\\
'''Witherspoon:''' Spoon.
29th Mar '16 9:56:05 PM ObsidianFire
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* BetterThanABareBulb: Thanks to Mortimer who, being a dramatic critic, is familiar with all the conventions of exactly the sort of situation he finds himself in. It's too bad that he [[WrongGenreSavvy doesn't realize he's in a play himself]].

to:

* BetterThanABareBulb: Thanks to Mortimer who, being a dramatic critic, is familiar with all the conventions of exactly the sort of situation he finds himself in. It's too bad that he [[WrongGenreSavvy doesn't realize he's in a play himself]].himself.



* BoundAndGagged: Mortimer; see GenreBlindness and IdiotBall. He even gives Jonathan the idea by describing it (as seen in a play) to Dr. Einstein, who later {{Handwave}}s it to Officer O'Hara when he shows up with Mortimer still tied up. Mortimer still doesn't get loose until he gets knocked over in a brawl between Jonathan and the police, which [[BenchBreaker breaks the chair he's tied to]].

to:

* BoundAndGagged: Mortimer; see GenreBlindness and IdiotBall. He even gives Jonathan the idea by describing it (as seen in a play) to Dr. Einstein, who later {{Handwave}}s it to Officer O'Hara when he shows up with Mortimer still tied up. Mortimer still doesn't get loose until he gets knocked over in a brawl between Jonathan and the police, which [[BenchBreaker breaks the chair he's tied to]].



* DeathByGenreSavviness: Mortimer plays with this trope; see GenreBlindness, below.



* GenreBlindness: DiscussedTrope. When Dr. Einstein suggests Mortimer should be GenreSavvy enough to comprehend the danger he's in, he makes the mistake of remarking that characters in plays at least ''act'' intelligently. Mortimer then proceeds to explain the frequent use and abuse of the IdiotBall in plays, [[DramaticIrony fittingly unaware]] that he's holding it.

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* GenreBlindness: DiscussedTrope. When Dr. Einstein suggests Mortimer should be GenreSavvy enough to comprehend the danger he's in, in (Mortimer is a theater critc), he makes the mistake of remarking that characters in plays at least ''act'' intelligently. Mortimer then proceeds to explain the frequent use and abuse of the IdiotBall in plays, [[DramaticIrony fittingly unaware]] that he's holding it.



* WrongGenreSavvy: Played for laughs -- Mortimer is an expert in theater tropes and [[DiscussedTrope continually comments]] on how things would turn out if he were actually in a play and trapped in a house with murderers... happily ignoring the fact that that's exactly what's going on.
----

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* WrongGenreSavvy: Played for laughs -- Mortimer is an expert in theater tropes and [[DiscussedTrope continually comments]] on how things would turn out if he were actually in a play and trapped in a house with murderers... happily ignoring the fact that that's exactly what's going on.
----
on.
11th Mar '16 4:24:08 PM TheOneWhoTropes
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'''''Arsenic and Old Lace''''' is a 1939 play by Joseph Kesselring, a BlackComedy parody of murder mysteries. It was adapted for the big screen as a 1944 film directed by Creator/FrankCapra and starring Creator/CaryGrant.

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'''''Arsenic ''Arsenic and Old Lace''''' Lace'' is a 1939 play by Joseph Kesselring, a BlackComedy parody of murder mysteries. It was adapted for the big screen as a 1944 film directed by Creator/FrankCapra and starring Creator/CaryGrant.
27th Jan '16 12:43:00 PM Mikeyfan93
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* NoodleIncident: Whatever the "UsefulNotes/{{Melbourne}} Method" involves. One production of the play had a bit of improv that was kept in during the following performances: the Aztec method, which involved [[NoodleImplements a goat, an ostrich, and a chicken]]. "Where am I gonna find a chicken at this time of night, Johnny?"

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* NoodleIncident: Whatever the "UsefulNotes/{{Melbourne}} Method" involves. One production of the play had a bit of improv that was kept in during the following performances: the Aztec method, Local productions vary on its description, which involved [[NoodleImplements a goat, an ostrich, is usually improvised by the cast members portraying Jonathan and a chicken]]. "Where am I gonna find a chicken at this time of night, Johnny?"Dr. Einstein.
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