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We're No Angels (1955)

Humphrey Bogart , Peter Ustinov , Michael Curtiz  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (425 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Humphrey Bogart, Peter Ustinov, Aldo Ray, Joan Bennett, Basil Rathbone
  • Directors: Michael Curtiz
  • Writers: Albert Husson, Ranald MacDougall
  • Producers: Pat Duggan
  • Format: Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: September 27, 2005
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (425 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000A6T1IG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,806 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "We're No Angels" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Audiences have always loved the spectacle of tough guys going soft and gooey, and We're No Angels adds the extra sweetener of Yuletide to its mix. The action takes place on Devil's Island, the tropical backwater where the notorious French prison was located. Three convicts, played by Humphrey Bogart, Aldo Ray, and Peter Ustinov, have escaped, and wait only for a ship to leave the next day. In the meantime, they become involved in the financial woes of an island shopkeeper (Leo G. Carroll) and his wife (Joan Bennett) and daughter, whose business is in danger from a rich, nasty relative (Basil Rathbone). Despite the threat of black comedy, especially in the form of a poisonous viper (which Ray carries around in a demure bamboo case), broad cuteness tends to rule the day. While it's not on the list of essential Bogart performances, Bogie does seem to be enjoying himself, and the puckish Ustinov savors his lines like a cow chewing grass. The stage origins of the scenario are all too obvious, and probably contribute to the pokey pacing (Michael Curtiz, who guided Bogart in Casablanca, was perhaps not the ideal choice for this kind of winsome comedy). This 1955 film looks good in comparison to the loose, labored 1989 remake with Robert De Niro and Sean Penn. --Robert Horton

Product Description

In WE’RE NO ANGLES, three convicts escape from Devil's Island and arrive at a nearby French colonial town. Their plan to steal supplies and clothing from the local store is ruined after they take a liking to the store’s owner, especially his attractive daughter.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
85 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is MY Christmas Movie December 24, 2000
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
Every year around the holidays, I sit down with a cup of coffee, wrap an afghan around myself and fall under the spell of this film yet again. It's the story of three convicts trying to escape Devil's Island at Christmas. And in spite of their best (or worst)intentions to do in a struggling shopkeeper and his family and steal all their money, they end up celebrating the holidays as part of the family.
The casting is unexpected but quite wonderful, with tough guys Humphrey Bogart and Aldo Ray showing their comic sides. Peter Ustinov rounds out the trio of crooks and murderers nicely, with his dry, self-effacing delivery. Leo G. Carroll, Joan Bennett and Basil Rathbone all turn in wonderful performances on the law-abiding side of things.
We're No Angels is a film that never drifts into sappiness or sentimentality. There's always a little edge to the comedy, a little darkness underlying the light, and that makes for delicious viewing. It's a very human and humane comedy for people who don't want their holiday spoiled by too much sugar. One caveat: Do NOT mistake the remake for this film. They're not the same by any stretch.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE funniest Christmas Movie ever made ! September 9, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Anytime I visit my local Video store around the Christmas Season,I have to remind the Manager,that besides " Miracle on 34 th. Street " and the usual array of "feel good" movies for the holidays,this one is never on the shelf with the others..but it should be ! The combination of Bogart,Peter Ustinov and Aldo Ray is perfect.Every cliche,like " poisonous snakes always get the bad guy,the good guy can pick it up with his bare hands "...has been met head on,and they work well.All the characters are endearing and the end is wonderful,I see it every Christmas along with " The Bishophs Wife ".Who would not want to sit and have 90 minutes with Bogie & Co. ? Not me !!!!
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a breath of fresh air! February 25, 2002
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
No special effects. No blood, guts and gore. No embarrassing sex scenes. No inane dialog. Just a great script, unique storyline and a wonderful cast. Ustinov doesn't need to say a word but when he does, he's priceless!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who's butt do we have to kiss to get this gem on DVD? December 16, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
"We're No Angels", has been a personal Christams classic of mine since I was 6 years old.

Where I lived, the local TV station programmer had enough insight to make this a yearly supplement, along with the traditional classics such as 'It's a Wonderful Life' and 'Rudolf'the Red-Nosed Reindeer'.

There's no denying the appeal of this movie, Christmas or otherwise, and there's enough positive praise of the film on this site to merit a DVD release, so PLEASE grant us this Christmas wish!
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "No one has been kind to me since October 1892." December 11, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Movie critics are not impressed with this movie. We have to disagree with the so-called experts; this is a hilarious comedy. Looking beyond the sentimental trappings, the strength of the film is the droll exchanges of the three convicts: Joseph (Humphrey Bogart), Jules (Peter Ustinov), and Albert (Aldo Ray). With their pet viper, Adolph, the trio saves the Ducotel family from financial ruin by using their criminal skills to foil the real villains. Their interactions with the loving Ducotel family begin to soften their jaded view of humanity. As things get emotional on Christmas Eve, observe the comic arrival, mock trial, and execution of evil Cousin Andre Trochard. After Cousin Andre expires, the boys have trouble getting the body discovered by a "legitimate" person, another hilarious segment. Veteran director Michael Curtiz deftly displays a fine flair for timing and stinging humor. Bogie is good at deadpan delivery. As a slick con man, note his ability to sell the bald-headed customer hairbrushes. Peter Ustinov is funny as a polite sex-fiend and murderer. He drools longingly over a hefty lady customer of the Ducotel store and recalls occasions by date of when he was happy. Aldo Ray, another lady-killer, gives the innocent daughter, Isabelle (Gloria Talbott), amusing advice on seduction. Basil Rathbone plays, well, a Basil Rathbone type as coldhearted Cousin Andre in a ridiculous tasseled nightcap. Leo G. Carroll is lovable and befuddled as Felix. Joan Bennett rounds out the cast as his attractive younger wife, Amelie. The movie, based on a play, looks a little stiff and stagy in places. Beyond this minor quibble, it's great fun. ;-)
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No extras but who cares? September 30, 2005
Format:DVD
I just got this movie and it is wonderful. I have not seen this film in almost 5 years but I remember every moment as I watched. The DVD just has the widescreen version of the picture but this is one of those pictures that needs no assistance with showing its greatness. If you love dark humor mixed with clever lines delivered by classic actors then you cannot go wrong with this picture.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TH Robison October 1, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Apparently this is one of the few comedies that Bogart made, which is too bad as I think he did a great job in it. This is the only movie I've seen Aldo Ray in, I did see "Green Berets" but I do not remember him in it and am not expecting to watch that one again any time soon. My favorite character is Peter Ustinov's. The dialogue for the whole film is none but complete joy to watch. This movie is such an understated comedy yet so extremely funny, it is important that you pay attention or you'll miss it. It certainly deserves the rank of a classic as it's as good watching it the tenth time as it is the first.

I saw this movie some years ago, by chance, on AMC and was amazed and frustrated that I had never seen it before. I have rented it on VHS as often as I could and have been waiting for it to come out on DVD so that I could buy it.
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Topic From this Discussion
"Sentimental Moments" Music and Lyrics
You can find the lyrics here:

http://www.arbs.de/liedtexte-und-gedichte/aiesec-siegens-songbook/

YouTube has a clip from the movie featuring the song. The clip is from a German-dubbed version of the film, but the song is presented in the original English.
Apr 26, 2009 by Donna Weinstein |  See all 7 posts
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