Abby, Martha and Amy

:::I was going to feature a quote for my version of One Liner Wednesday, but I after I put it down I just kept on going:::

The thug in the play “Arsenic and Old Lace who was supposed to look like Boris Karloff was Karloff.

I love the macabre,  romantic comedy ” Arsenic and Old Lace for three reasons:

First, the homicidal serial killers are two sweet old ladies. I like that idea. After all, death and murder don’t always come roaring into someone’s life in a big truck that plays ” Dixie ” when you lay on the horn. Sometimes they come in a kiss.

Also, Mortimer’s sweet maiden aunts carve pumpkins with a group of happy children surrounding them and a dead body ( that they created and hid )in the window seat in the next room. Adorable.

Second, the two sweet old ladies who are  serial killers come off as ditzy and sweet, but lets face it. They killed 12 men in their sitting room and then duped their mentally ill brother into burying them in their basement. Even though that’s manipulative as heck, you know they’re proud of their own resourcefulness and I admire that can do spirit.

And third but not least- when Arsenic and Old Lace came out in the early 1940’s,  women had at that point the right to vote for 20 years. They were hardcore  trailblazers for the Women in nontraditional roles. They’re like Joan Jett minus the leather and  guitars.


Joseph Kesselring’s based his script on Amy Archer-Gilligan, an elderly woman who took in boarders and poisoned them for their pensions. That leaves us with the thought that this comedy that takes place on Halloween ( Amy Archer- Gilligan was BORN on Halloween ) could easily have been told  as a horror story.

Given the elements of Madness, Murder and looming above it all an Insane Asylum called ” Happy Dale ” and the fact it was based of a series of  murders committed by not two but ONE woman whose body count at one point was an ‘even dozen’- as in the play and knowing that  Archer- Gilligan’s victim count could have been as high as 50, writing a darker more horror driven story would not have been a stretch.

But I think a story about two lovable, eccentric spinsters was an easier story to sell then a movie or a play about one woman who was born on Halloween,  murdered two of her husbands and  sent her victims to purchase the arsenic she used to kill them with.

Born Amy E. Duggan
October 31, 1873
Milton, Connecticut, U.S.
Died April 23, 1962 (aged 88)
Middletown, Connecticut, U.S.

Movie Adaptation: Arsenci and Old Lace.

– Abby Brewster: The gentleman died because he drank some wine with poison in it.

– Mortimer Brewster: How did the poison get in the wine?

– Martha Brewster: We put in wine because it’s less noticeable. When it’s in tea it has a distinct odor.”

I’m an Aunt and I’ve recently become a Grandaunt. My nieces and my nephew think I’m am sweet and kind and funny and even a little adorable.

They know I worked in a funeral home and they know for a fact that I don’t have bodies buried in my basement.

Hopefully I won’t have to explain why I keep the attic door locked.

 Abby Brewster- “Mortimer, you know all about it and just forget about it. I do think that Aunt Martha and I have the right to our own little secrets.”

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