We're No Angels (1955 film)

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We're No Angels
We're No Angels - 1955 - poster.png
Original film poster
Directed byMichael Curtiz
Screenplay byRanald MacDougall
Based onLa Cuisine Des Anges
by Albert Husson
My Three Angels
by Samuel and Bella Spewack
Produced byPat Duggan
StarringHumphrey Bogart
Aldo Ray
Peter Ustinov
CinematographyLoyal Griggs
Edited byArthur P. Schmidt
Music byFrederick Hollander
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • July 7, 1955 (1955-07-07)
Running time
106 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguagesEnglish
French
Box office$3 million (US/Canada rentals)[1]

We're No Angels is a 1955 Christmas comedy film directed by Michael Curtiz, starring Humphrey Bogart, Peter Ustinov, Aldo Ray, Joan Bennett, Basil Rathbone, Leo G. Carroll, and Gloria Talbott. Shot in both VistaVision and Technicolor, the film was a Paramount Pictures release.

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

Gloria Talbott with cinematographer Loyal Griggs.

The film is set on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, 1895.

Plot[edit]

Three convicts – Joseph, Albert and Jules – escape from prison on Devil's Island in French Guiana just before Christmas and arrive at the nearby French colonial town of Cayenne on Christmas Eve. Joseph is a thief, the other two are murderers.

They go to a store managed by Felix Ducotel. The store is in a very poor financial position as it is the only one to give supplies on credit. While there, they notice its roof is leaking, and offer to fix it for nothing. They get involved in selling things in the shop and have a knack for it, selling a brush set to a bald man, and getting the first cash income in a long time. They offer to make Christmas dinner for the family and the meal is very successful.

They do not actually intend to, but decide to remain there until nightfall, when they will steal clothes and supplies and escape on a ship waiting in the harbor. As they wait, they find that the small family of Felix, Amelie, and daughter Isabelle, is in financial distress and offer their services to hide the trio's 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 Ducotels made mostly of stolen items.

Tensions heighten after store owner Andre Trochard arrives from Paris with his nephew Paul, with a set of crocodile skin luggage. The Trochards plan on taking over the store, which they perceive is unprofitable due to its use of credit. Isabelle had planned to wed Paul but it turns out that Paul is betrothed to another woman, to Isabelle's dismay. Before any action can be taken, both men are bitten by Albert's pet viper, Adolphe, and die. Adolphe disappears and the three have to search for him.

Isabelle finds another love, and the family is happy as the convicts finally ready for their postponed escape. However, while waiting on the docks for their boat to arrive, the threesome reconsiders. Judging that the outside world is likely to be worse than that of the prison, they decide to turn themselves back in. As they walk toward it at film's end halos appear over their heads...followed by one above the cage of Adolphe.

Cast[edit]

Legacy[edit]

Joan Bennett's Christmas Eve song "Sentimental Moments" by Friedrich Hollander and Ralph Freed was recorded for the first time by Eric Clapton for his 2018 Christmas album, "Happy Xmas".


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1955's Top Film Grossers". Variety. January 25, 1956. p. 15 – via Internet Archive.

External links[edit]