The Best of Broadway (1954–1955)
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Arsenic and Old Lace 

A drama critic learns on his wedding day that his beloved maiden aunts are homicidal maniacs, and that insanity runs in his family.


Herbert B. Swope Jr. (as Herbert Bayard Swope)


Joseph Kesselring (play), Russel Crouse (adaptation) | 1 more credit »


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Episode credited cast:
John Alexander ... 'Teddy Roosevelt' Brewster
Orson Bean ... Mortimer Brewster
Richard Bishop Richard Bishop ... Lt. Rooney
Patricia Breslin ... Elaine Harper
Billie Burke ... Martha Brewster
King Calder ... Officer Brophy
Bruce Gordon ... Officer Klein
Helen Hayes ... Abby Brewster
Edward Everett Horton ... Mr. Witherspoon
Boris Karloff ... Jonathan Brewster
Peter Lorre ... Dr. Herman Einstein
Allen Tower Allen Tower ... Rev. Dr. Harper (as Allan Tower)


A drama critic learns on his wedding day that his beloved maiden aunts are homicidal maniacs, and that insanity runs in his family.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Musical







Release Date:

5 January 1955 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The original Broadway production ran for 1444 performances, from January 5 1941 to June 17 1944. Both John Alexander and Boris Karloff repeat the roles they created on stage. See more »


Version of Arsenic and Old Lace (1969) See more »

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User Reviews

He said I looked like Boris Karloff!
22 December 1999 | by DaddyMikeSee all my reviews

You can not really understand how funny that line is, until you've heard it delivered by Boris himself. He was unable to appear in the movie for two reasons: Frank Capra needed to make the film before he entered the US Army Signal Corps (the movie was filmed in 1941 but not released until after the play closed on Broadway), and Boris was tied to the play by a run of the play contract. He was heartbroken, but went on with the show. This is the only non-Broadway production featuring Karloff in the role, written just for him. This is the first version of AAOL I ever saw. I was quite young, but I have fond memories of it. Seeing the movie version later was a let-down. Raymond Massey is a fine actor, and when the camera angle is JUST RIGHT, he does look like Karloff. But he's not the master, and the difference is telling. I wish someone would find the film, or kinescope of this production so others can see for themselves, what we've been missing all these years.

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