CHRISTMAS MOVIES: We’re No Angels
What’s Christmas without Humphrey Bogart? No, no, no, not Casablanca. Think out of the box people. It’s Christmas time, screw those sad/bittersweet films. This here is a Humphrey Bogart COMEDY. Bet you didn’t expect that, did you?
We’re No Angels follows 3 convicts, Bogart, Ray, and Ustinov, after they break out of jail on Devil’s Island. As they plan their escape from the island proper, they take cover in a local general store. There, they are hired to fix the roof.
Upon their perch on high, they observe and overhear the family that owns the store. Initially they plan to steal the money from the store to pay their way off the island, but as they interact with the family, they grow attached to them and want to help them.
The father is terrible at running the store. He can’t sell a plunger to a plumber, let alone make a profit. The daughter is hopelessly in love with a creep, and the mother is just trying to keep things from falling apart. Then, disaster strikes when their distant relative, who actually owns the general store, shows up for a surprise inspection of the books.
There’s nothing like having convicts on your side when you need to pull off the biggest ruse of your life.
If you’re not hooked on the idea yet, did I mention there’s a snake named Adolph? You don’t want to annoy Adolph.
The real beauty of this film is the dialogue and delivery. I can’t actually pick a favourite quote because the whole thing just cracks me up. Watching Humphrey Bogart smooth talk a customer who is bald into buying hair care products is amazing. Peter Ustinov and Aldo Ray aren’t to be overlooked, though. All three together have fantastic chemistry and perfect timing.
Why is it a Christmas film? Because it all takes place on Christmas Eve. The convicts even get sucked into the Christmas spirit:
Joseph: I’m going to buy them their Christmas turkey.
Albert: “Buy”? Do you really mean “buy”?
Joseph: Yes, buy! In the Spirit of Christmas. The hard part’s going to be stealing the money to pay for it.
How can you say ‘no’ to these angelic faces?