Film & Theater studies

Material: The movie “Arsenic and Old Lace (Capra, 1944)” also I will be uploading you some readings. Here’s what I need is for you to answer these questions in three paragraphs NUMBERED with each paragraph containing at least 90 words in each. (Questions for #1 Paragraph) As Haslam points out, Arsenic and Old Lace combines a number of genres and is a parody of the horror genre, combining elements of comedy, horror, and the larger gothic tradition. How do you see different elements of these genres coming into play in this film? Why is this combination significant?     (Questions for #2 paragraph) As Haslam explains, the play from which Arsenic and Old Lace is adapted has a different ending, “with the aunts giving Mr Witherspoon … the psychiatrist in charge of Happy Dale – some of their poisoned elderberry wine” (138-9). How would this ending change the meaning and message of the film? How would it change the representation of gender roles and the family? Why do you think this ending worked on the stage but not with film test audiences? (Questions for #3 paragraph) In Arsenic and Old Lace, we have more of a “fast-talking fella” in Cary Grant’s Mortimer than the fast-talking dames we’ve come to expect. In fact, Elaine and the aunts are fairly laid back and slow speaking. Does this create a different set of gender roles within the film? Why or why not?

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