Arsenic and Old Lace: A Creepy Old Comedy That Still is Hillarious


Here is a good bet for spooky fun – Arsenic and Old Lace (1944, not rated). Directed by Frank Capra (It’s a Wonderful Life), the entire movie takes place on Halloween night when reluctant groom Mortimer Brewster (Cary Grant) stops by home to say goodby to his sweet old spinster aunts before going on his honeymoon with girl-next-door Elaine Harper (Priscilla Lane).

The sweet old aunts.

The sweet old aunts.

The problem is Mortimer’s black-sheep brother Jonathan (Raymond Massey) comes home the same evening to hide out from the police while he heals from plastic surgery. Boris Karloff, who played many monsters in 1930’s films, played the role on stage, and was wanted for the film version. As a tribute, every person who meets Jonathan comments that he looks like someone in the horror movies, which further enrages him towards his surgeon (Peter Lorre), who has been in his fair share of horror films himself.

The criminally insane brother and his sidekick.

The criminally insane brother and his sidekick.

There is also the crazy brother (John Alexander), who thinks he is Theodore Roosevelt and possibly has resorted to murder.

The crazy brother, who thinks he is Teddy Roosevelt.

The crazy brother, who thinks he is Teddy Roosevelt.

This is a comedy, but spooky in the right ways. The use of shadows increases the feeling of impending dread without unnecessary gore.

Spooky, but not too scary.

Spooky, but not too scary.

Will Mortimer find a solution to Teddy’s insane behavior? Will he survive a night with Jonathon and his doctor? Will his aunts hold another funeral? Will he remember that Elaine is waiting for him?

She has the taxi waiting to take her new husband on their honeymoon…

She has the taxi waiting to take her new husband on their honeymoon…

Give this old movie a try, with it’s older style of acting and stylized lighting, and you will have a fun evening!

D-Day Remembered

Seventy-five years ago American, British and Canadian forces landed on the beach at Normandy, France. They faced incredible obstacles in an attack against Nazi forces that could have been a disaster. Yet heroically the Allies ended up turning back Hitler’s army, leading to the eventual surrender of Germany and ending World War 2 in Europe.

Such intense action has been portrayed in many movies.  This clip from Saving Private Ryan (1998) shows the soldiers just before landing.

Other favorite movies that portray D Day include The Longest Day (1962) and Band of Brothers (TV 2001). More are listed in this article, Pain and Patriotic Duty on D-Day Reflected in Flim and Books.

Thanks go to those amazing people who swallowed their fear to help end the war!

Avengers: Endgame - Are You A Fan?

Yes. Yes, I am.


I’ve seen all the movies. But I’m not an expert. Some characters I don’t remember (in the last Avengers movie, who is that red guy, and why is everyone sad when he dies?)

If you are a casual fan, as I am, here is my advice if you are one of the few people in America who haven’t seen the movie yet.

  1. Watch this Avengers story recap video.

    Some people will watch all the movies again before this one. But that is 21 movies! Instead, just watch this well done recap video.

2. See Avengers: Endgame in a crowded theater.

There is nothing better than seeing a movie in a room full of fans. They will ooh and ah. They will laugh. They will cry. They will cheer. You will, too.

3. After watching Avengers: Endgame, watch this video to understand all the things you missed.

It’s a long movie, and a gift to fans. This excellent video helps you get all the references and connections you may have not caught.

Fun movie!

What other movies are better when you watch with fans?

Hurricane Heist: Just Enjoy the Ride

You either loved this movie when it came out in the theater, or you will love this movie after watching it on Netflix.

The Hurricane Heist (2018: PG-13) tagline: $600 million stolen at 600 miles per hour. See what I mean? This is a fun action movie set in the middle of a natural disaster.


Don’t complain about the unknown actors. You may not recognize anyone in the film, but all are good actors who are having fun playing their good guy or bad guy roll. Or are they the good guy???

Ryan Kwanten  and  Toby Kebbell  play brothers who band together to stop the bad guys, even if they don’t look related at all.

Ryan Kwanten and Toby Kebbell play brothers who band together to stop the bad guys, even if they don’t look related at all.

When you need your computer fixed, the tech people can wear whatever they want, so don’t complain about that, either.

Who says computer geeks need to dress like nerds?  Ed Birch  and  Melissa Bolona  dress for the storm.

Who says computer geeks need to dress like nerds? Ed Birch and Melissa Bolona dress for the storm.

Heros need to hydrate. And eat. And go to the bathroom. It always annoys me when action stars spend the entire movie fighting and running and never drink anything except alcohol. See our heroes taking care of their basic needs, in addition to taking care of the bad guys.


The storm is the star of the movie.

The fancy storm chaser car  The Dominator  is also one of the stars of the movie.

The fancy storm chaser car The Dominator is also one of the stars of the movie.

I could include links to complaints by meteorologists about the accuracy of the movie. But I wont. IT’S A MOVIE! Just relax and enjoy itl

Watch this movie trailer. If you find yourself grinning, you will like this movie.

Fun movie!

What are some movies you like that people just need to stop complaining and just enjoy the ride?

Isn't it Romantic?


Skip this movie.

Re-watch your favorite rom-com instead.

isnt it romantic poster.jpg

What’s a rom-com?

A romantic comedy. A love story with laughs. A chick-flik.

Boy meets Girl.

They fight. Or they work together against an obstacle. Or they don’t realize they are right for each other.

Characters grow. Boy and Girl finally are together in love.

Three rom-coms to watch instead.


Don’t give up on me! Yes, this is a silly movie. Ridiculous, even. But also touching. And funny.

Eugenio Derbez lives off the wealth of older women. When he gets dumped, he must move in with his estranged sister Salma Hayek and her son Raphael Alejandro.

If you’ve seen Instructions Not Included, you know that Eugenio Derbez is capable of both slapstick and tender heartbreak. You get both in this movie, plus Salma Hayek gets to be more than just the comedic foil.

All the small parts are played by well-known actors hamming it up: Rob Lowe, Kristen Bell, Mckenna Grace, Raquel Welch, Linda Lavin, Renee Taylor, Rob Corddry, Rob Riggle, Rob Huebel, Michael Cera, and Mather Zickel.

Not pure rom-com, but enough romance and enough comedy to count.


Before romantic comedies were called rom-coms, they were called screwball comedies.

This 1940 movie may be in black and white, but the story is still strong. Formerly married co-workers Cary Grant tries to keep Rosalind Russell from leaving town to marry Ralph Bellamy. Watch how Cary manipulates his introduction to Rosalind’s fiancee.

Clever writing! Great acting, with subtle facial expressions conveying the internal dialogue.

Less screwball comedy than others in the era, less rom-com than modern films, this movie has the fastest dialogue around a smart story-line among actors that crackle and snap!

return to me.jpg

Finally, a traditional rom-com. Grieving widow David Duchovny meets medically damaged Minnie Driver. It’s the year 2000, and everyone is sweet and well-meaning and believes in the value of family. Funny, with great supporting characters. But watch out - we bet you’ll tear up a little before the end!

What are your favorite rom-coms?