Books and Movies Reviews

Arsenic and Old Lace

When people in town see Martha and Abby Brewster, they only see half of what is truly there. The people of Brooklyn, New York see two elderly sisters who give to charity and do good all around town. Little do these people know that these ladies are sinister sisters, they poison travelers and have their nephew, Teddy, bury them in the basement. The two women have two other nephews, Mortimer and Jonathon, one is engaged and the other is the black sheep of the family. Lots of laughs were thrown into this twisted play that some how keep the sisters lovable.
Early in the play the sisters are chatting with the minister of their church about the war. Abby says at one point, "It may not be very charitable of me, but I've almost come to the conclusion that this Mr. Hitler isn't a Christian. (462)" Now people may wonder how such sweet old ladies may turn to murder. The twist in the plot is that they do not see it as murder at all and do not hide the fact that they kill people and bury them in the basement. They see their act of murder as an act of charity. Their victims are always old Christian men who have no family and no friends. Weary travelers seek refuge at their house and never leave after one sip of the elderberry wine the twisted sisters mix up themselves.
So exactly how do these sisters manage to do these horrible murders? It is simple really, their father was a doctor and had various medicines and powders stored in his laboratory and they borrowed a few of them. At this point in their lives both women are in their late sixties and their father has passed on so they have free access to the lab and its materials. Martha explained the recipe for the poisoned wine as this, "Well, dear, for a gallon of elderberry wine I take one teaspoonful of arsenic, then add a half teaspoon of strychnine and then just a pinch of cyanide. (473)" After the men were dead their nephew, Teddy who thought he was President …

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