Cary Grant, Josephine Hull, Jean Adair, Priscilla Lane, Raymond Massey
Mortimer: Look, I probably should’ve told you this before, but…you see…insanity runs in my family. It practically gallops!
Mortimer Brewster (Grant) has just gotten married and is about to embark on his honeymoon when he discovers that his two quiet, lovable aunts are actually responsible for 12 murders. They consider them charitable murders, but Mortimer doesn’t see it that way. As he’s trying to figure out what to do, the situation is complicated by the arrival of Mortimer’s brother, Jonathan (Massey), who himself is responsible for some murders of his own.
This is a busy, complicated movie with a lot of characters going here and there, mostly on one set. What’s that ya say? Why yes, it IS based on a hit Broadway play.
Cary Grant is entertaining as always, and the story is fairly funny and interesting, mainly due to the performances of Josephine Hull and Jean Adair as aunts Abby and Martha respectively. They play it all completely straight, never wavering from the conviction that their actions are entirely understandable, and even kind in a way.
The only problems I had with the movie was that it was a tad bit overlong, some of the situations seem to repeat themselves, and the tone isn’t always successfully in the dark humor category. It just felt a little uneven going from dark comedy to silly comedy and then to straight up drama.
Regardless, it’s still witty and entertaining for the most part. It just could have benefited (as far as my enjoyment of it goes) from losing a few repetitive scenes here and there.
Old women are crafty and not to be trusted.
10 – 1 for being a bit overlong and repetitive – .8 for some tonal oddities – 1.3 because it wasn’t consistently funny enough for a comedy = 6.9