We're No Angels (1955 film)

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This article is about the 1955 film. For the 1989 film, see We're No Angels (1989 film).
We're No Angels
We're No Angels - 1955 - poster.png
1955 movie poster
Directed by Michael Curtiz
Produced by Pat Duggan
Written by My Three Angels
1953 play
Samuel and Bella Spewack
Screenplay by Ranald MacDougall
Based on La Cuisine Des Anges
1952 play 
by Albert Husson
Starring Humphrey Bogart
Peter Ustinov
Aldo Ray
Music by Frederick Hollander
Cinematography Loyal Griggs
Edited by Arthur P. Schmidt
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • July 7, 1955 (1955-07-07)
Running time 106 min.
Country United States
Language English / French
Box office $3 million (US)[1]

We're No Angels is a 1955 Christmas comedy Technicolor picture starring Humphrey Bogart, Peter Ustinov, Aldo Ray, Joan Bennett, Basil Rathbone, and Leo G. Carroll. It was directed by Michael Curtiz, who had directed Bogart in Casablanca, when both were under contract to Warner Brothers. This is one of the rare comedies that Bogart made. Paramount filmed the production at its Hollywood studios in VistaVision and Technicolor.

It was based upon My Three Angels, written by Samuel and Bella Spewack, which itself was based upon the French play La Cuisine Des Anges by Albert Husson. The screenplay was written by Ranald MacDougall. Mary Grant designed the film's costumes.

Plot summary[edit]

Three convicts - Joseph, Albert and Jules - escape from prison on Devil's Island just before Christmas and arrive at a nearby French colonial town. They go to the store of the Ducotels - Felix and Amelie, and their daughter Isabelle - the only store that gives supplies on credit. While there, they notice that his roof is leaking, and offer to fix it. They do not actually intend to fix it, but decide to remain there, until nightfall, when they will steal clothes and supplies, and escape on the ship waiting in the harbour. As they stay in the store, they find that the family is currently in financial distress and offer their services to hide their all-too-sinister ruse. Joseph even gets to work conning people and falsifying records to make the store prosperous. However, the three felons begin to have a change of heart after they fix a delicious Christmas dinner for the family: mostly made of stolen items.

Andre Trochard, who owns the store but lives in Paris, arrives on the island with his nephew Paul, with whom Isabelle is infatuated. The two plan on taking control of the store due to a lack of profit from the use of credit. Also, Paul is betrothed to another woman, which dismays Isabelle. Before any action against the Ducotels is taken, both of the men are bitten by Albert's pet viper, Adolphe, and they die nearly instantly. Isabelle finds another love, and the family is happy as the convicts successfully make their final escape. While waiting on the docks for their boat to arrive, the three escaped men finally decide to turn themselves back in at the prison, judging that the outside world was likely to be worse than that of the prison. As they walk away in the final shot, angelic halos appear over each of their heads...and finally another pops up over the cage of Adolphe.


Musical version[edit]

In 1985 at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts in downtown Toronto, a musical version was presented with book by the Spewacks and songs by Canadian composer David Warrick.


  1. ^ 'The Top Box-Office Hits of 1955', Variety Weekly, January 25, 1956

External links[edit]