What are some differences between Arsenic and Old Lace the play and Arsenic and Old Lace the movie?

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Arsenic and Old Lace is a dark comedy that focuses around the Brewster family. The two elderly Brewster sisters believe that they are doing an act of kindness by serving poisoned elderberry wine to their lonely guests. Their nephew, Mortimer, returns home to discover his aunts’ “charity acts” and spends the rest of the story trying to get them and his brother, Teddy, admitted to Happy Dale, all while keeping both the police and his older brother, an escaped convict, at bay.

The film and play essentially follow the same plot. In fact, the differences are relatively minor and don’t largely affect the plot. Below are the major differences, which are listed in the order that they happen in the story.


Play – The entire story takes place in the Brewsters’ home (mainly the dining room) and the graveyard outside (the Brewsters live across from a church).

Film – While most of the story takes place in the Brewsters’ home, the filmmakers added a few additional scenes: the...

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