Length: 1Hr 47 Rating: U About: After breaking out of prison on Devil’s Island, Joseph (Humphrey Bogart) and his two cohorts flee to a nearby town and hide in a shop run by kindhearted Felix (Leo G. Carroll) ; his wife, Amelie (Joan Bennett) ; and their daughter. The three men plan to rob the store and board a ship the next day, but they soon change their minds after sharing Christmas dinner with the family. When they learn of the family’s financial troubles, the convicts decide instead to carry out a few good deeds.
The Nice List
The trio of convicts are completely perfect. Bogart, Ustinov and Ray remind me in a weird way of Rocket Raccoon, Star Lord and Drax. If there was ever to be a remake (Which it doesn’t need, by the way) the actor counterparts would be brilliant. However, I can’t praise the original actors enough. I’ve heard so much about Bogart and Ustinov but I don’t think I’ve seen anything with them in. Now I know why their reputations proceed them.
It has a slight off beat plot of murder and thievery that you’ll never quite take seriously. Nor do I believe for a second that the three men are true criminals; their hearts are turned too quickly. I actually love that from the moment the audience meet them, you know they don’t really mean any harm. It certainly meant I kept a massive smile on my face for the entire 106 minutes of charm.
Being an adaptation of a play means that the dialogue is a work of art. Responding to questions with phrases that allude to things the audience know, but others on the screen don’t is such a charming touch that not all adaptations keep.
It’s funny. So many times I found myself chuckling; and it’s without effort that the film manages to do this. The highlight being how the trio handle the arrival of the nasty cousin and his nephew.
The Christmas dinner scene was just a delight. The decorations, the tree and the singing. It was all wonderful and left me feeling festive, even with the heated setting.
The Naughty List
It’s just a wee naughty with some of the conversations for a U classification. Ray’s Albert is rather letchy at the beginning and the less said about the trio fighting over the right to have Amelie for their own personal wank bank, the better. Of course, it’s put much more delicately than that and will most likely go over a little kid’s heads. But you know, when a film’s this good, I’ve got to pull it on something, you know?!
I’m starting to find that I’m prefering the older films to modern festive ‘classics’. There’s something about a film that is just trying to tell a story rather than please the majority of an audience. We’re no Angels is one to put on my repeat viewing list. Along with a reminder to check out more of Bogart and Ustinov’s work.