July Book + Film Club: The Story of Arsenic and Old Lace

She Passed Out On Cary! No Wonder . . . She's just discovered his favorite aunts have poisoned their 13th gentleman friend!

Frank Capra


Sidewalk Film Center + Cinema

Jul 24

Sidewalk’s Book + Film Club unites movie and book lovers for a monthly film screening and discussion about famous films and the people who make them. At the end of the month, we host a screening of a film related to the book and host a round-table discussion. Each session is $35 and the includes book, film screening, and discussion. Buy 3 or more months at once and get 10% off your registration by using code ‘3ormore' at checkout!

Registration Deadline to have books mailed: Friday, July 5th. Books will be mailed within 72 hours of this date.

Registration Deadline to have books picked up: Monday, July 15th. Books can be picked up from our Box Office during our regular operating hours Thursday – Sunday from 2pm til Close. You will receive an email when your book is ready to be picked up.

Book: There’s a Body in the Window Seat! by Charles Dennis

There’s a Body in the Window Seat! is a detailed history of one of the most beloved American murder-mysteries and comedies, Arsenic and Old Lace. Actor, director, and playwright Charles Dennis investigates the mystery behind the play: how did a true-life crime in Connecticut turn into a comedy? And who are the real writers that deserve credit for its long-lasting success?

Dennis brings an insider’s view to Joseph Kesselring’s attempts to write Arsenic and Old Lace and how producers had to step in to save the play from his heavy hand. He also follows the actors, both on the stage and on the screen, as they handle the demands of the roles and behind-the-scenes relationships.

Film: Arsenic and Old Lace (1944) Dir. Frank Capra

Frank Capra adapted a hit stage play for this marvelous screwball meeting of the madcap and the macabre. On Halloween, newly married drama critic Mortimer Brewster (Cary Grant, cutting loose in a hilariously harried performance) returns home to Brooklyn, where his adorably dotty aunts (Josephine Hull and Jean Adair, who both starred in the Broadway production) greet him with love, sweetness . . . and a grisly surprise: the corpses buried in their cellar. A bugle-playing brother (John Alexander) who thinks he’s Teddy Roosevelt, a crazed criminal (Raymond Massey) who’s a dead ringer for Boris Karloff, and a seriously slippery plastic surgeon (Peter Lorre) are among the outré oddballs populating Arsenic and Old Lace, a diabolical delight that only gets funnier as the body count rises.



Frank Capra


Jack L. Warner


Cary Grant, Priscilla Lane, Josephine Hull, Jean Adair, Raymond Massey, John Alexander


C.A. Riggs


Leo F. Forbstein