I’m so happy I chose We’re No Angels (1955 version) for the next movie for Christmas week. I rented this one on Amazon Prime Video and I liked it so much that I purchased it afterward. This movie stars Humphrey Bogart and is laugh out loud funny! All of the actors do a fantastic job, so I’m surprised the film wasn’t nominated for any awards (that I could find).

The story takes place over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, in the year 1895. Christmas is a backdrop to the story and is not part of the plot, but we do get to see some nice decorations. It is on Devil’s Island, so it’s implied that the Christmas weather is quite hot and tropical, and the decorations match.

Devil’s Island was a French prison island that was known for a rather terrible maximum security prison. In our story, 3 convicts have escaped from the prison and are looking to smuggle themselves off of the island via a passenger ship that is currently quarantined at sea. (That was a funny coincidence about the cruise ship being quarantined in the film…I had no idea when I chose this movie.) They decide that they need to get some new clothes and head off to find a store to rob before they find their way onto the ship. There is so much laugh-out-loud dialogue in this movie, and a lot of it is based on the idea that the civilian residents of Devil’s Island are used to having convicts among them, and have a blase, indifferent attitude about it. In reality, Devil’s Island was only for the prison and there was no civilian town on the island. Having the fictional civilian town brings some lightness to the otherwise dark background of the real-life prison.

Because make no mistake about it, our 3 convicts are no angels. They were sent to prison for a variety of felonies, including multiple murders. But this is presented only as dark humor, so do not worry that this will spoil your Christmas movie fun.

When the convicts find a general store that they can easily rob, they end up staying for the day under the guise of fixing the leaking roof. They get to know the storekeeper and his wife and teenage daughter. The store isn’t doing well financially, and the teenage daughter is about to find out her love is engaged to another woman. Something about the civilians appeals to the convicts, and they find themselves helping the family again and again until they are invited to stay for Christmas Eve dinner. The family continues to reveal more problems and the convicts continue to find ways to help them, in their own funny and unorthodox ways.

This film was similar to A Christmas Wish in the way that nothing really bad happens. There are a couple of villains in the film, but they are easily taken care of and never produce any real anxiety in the viewer. 

You can watch We’re No Angels on Amazon, starting at $2.99 for SD (affiliate link). I rented the SD version and watched it on my laptop before I purchased the HD version. The SD version quality was great.

 

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