We're No Angels

We're No Angels

5.0 9
Director: Michael Curtiz

Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Aldo Ray, Peter Ustinov


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Samuel and Bella Spewack's English adaptation of French playwright Albert Husson's morbidly humorous stage piece My Three Angels was brought to the screen as the heavily laundered but still wickedly funny We're No Angels. The scene is French Guiana, a few days before Christmas. Humphrey Bogart, Peter Ustinov and Aldo Ray play three Devil's Island "lifers


Samuel and Bella Spewack's English adaptation of French playwright Albert Husson's morbidly humorous stage piece My Three Angels was brought to the screen as the heavily laundered but still wickedly funny We're No Angels. The scene is French Guiana, a few days before Christmas. Humphrey Bogart, Peter Ustinov and Aldo Ray play three Devil's Island "lifers" who escape from the infamous prison and hide out amongst the free colonists. In need of clothing and money, the trio makes plans to rob milliner Leo G. Carroll and his family. "We'll cut their throats for a Christmas present," Bogie, a convicted forger, remarks laconically. "That might spoil one's belief in Santa Claus" replies philosophical wife-murderer Ustinov. The three escapees are deflected from their larcenous intent when they grow fond of Carroll, his wife Joan Bennett and their daughter Gloria Talbott. Discovering that Carroll is on the verge of bankruptcy, the convicts offer their services as household help (the sight of Bogie in an apron is worth the admission price in itself). Complications ensue when Carroll's nasty, wealthy cousin Basil Rathbone comes calling to audit the store's books. Not wishing to see the family evicted, the convicts calmly discuss the possibilities of murdering the troublesome Rathbone. They are saved the trouble when Adolphe, the pet poisonous snake owned by Ray, slithers out of its box and accomplishes what the convicts had only contemplated. Adolphe also helps smooth the path of happiness for Carroll's daughter Gloria, who thinks she's in love with Rathbone's duplicitous nephew John Baer. From all reports, the set of We're No Angels was a happy one, a fact reflected in the warm, engaging performances of its stars. The film represented the final screen collaboration between star Humphrey Bogart and director Michael Curtiz.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Humphrey Bogart wasn’t known as a comedic actor, but he invariably rose to the occasion when presented with offbeat material, as in this enjoyable romp based on a play by Albert Husson. Bogie portrays a forger who escapes from Devil’s Island in the company of two decidedly less savory individuals (Aldo Ray and Peter Ustinov). Seeking refuge from their pursuers, the convicts assume fake identities and descend on a storekeeper and his wife (Leo G. Carroll and Joan Bennett), planning to rob them of enough money to finance their passage to France. It’s Christmastime, though, and inevitably the holiday spirit rubs off on the hardened criminals when it develops that their host’s family is beset with seemingly intractable problems. Betraying its stage origin, the film seems a tad too talky, but the dialogue is generally sharp, and Casablanca director Michael Curtiz -- here in the last of his Bogart collaborations -- keeps things moving at a rapid pace. Ray and Ustinov reveal themselves to be scene-stealers of the first order, and Bogie contributes a nuanced performance that is bound to surprise viewers familiar only with his tough-guy roles.
All Movie Guide
The assured, entertaining black comedy We're No Angels would be the last time Humphrey Bogart would work with director Michael Curtiz. Though he is certainly not best-known for his comedic work, Bogart was following up his similarly delightful turn in Beat the Devil the previous year, and he again proves he's able to pull off lighter fare. Based on a French play by way of Broadway, Angels is both warm and sophisticated, combining witty, carefree humor with more unabashedly evil undertones. The charmingly hammy performances capture this feeling well: In addition to Bogart, Aldo Ray and Peter Ustinov are especially winning as his partners in crime.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Paramount Catalog
Region Code:
[Wide Screen, Color]
[monaural, Dolby Digital Stereo]
Sales rank:

Special Features


Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Humphrey Bogart Joseph
Aldo Ray Albert
Peter Ustinov Jules
Joan Bennett Amelie Ducotel
Basil Rathbone Andre Trochard
Leo G. Carroll Felix Ducotel
John Baer Paul Trochard
Gloria Talbott Isabelle Ducotel
Lea Penman Mme. Parole
John Smith Arnaud
George Dee Coachman
Jack Del Rio Gendarme
Louis Mercier Celeste
Torben Meyer Butterfly Man
Paul Newlan Port Captain
Joe Ploski Customs Inspector
Victor Romito Actor

Technical Credits
Michael Curtiz Director
Roland Anderson Art Director
Sam Comer Set Decoration/Design
John R. Coonan Asst. Director
John Cope Sound/Sound Designer
Pat Duggan Producer
Ralph Freed Songwriter
John P. Fulton Special Effects
Mary Grant Costumes/Costume Designer
Grace Gregory Set Decoration/Design
Hugo Grenzbach Sound/Sound Designer
Loyal Griggs Cinematographer
Frederick Hollander Score Composer
Ranald MacDougall Screenwriter
Hal Pereira Art Director
Arthur P. Schmidt Editor
Roger Wagner Songwriter
Wally Westmore Makeup

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- We're No Angels
1. Chapter 1 [:18]
2. Chapter 2 [3:03]
3. Chapter 3 [7:07]
4. Chapter 4 [:46]
5. Chapter 5 [6:00]
6. Chapter 6 [2:02]
7. Chapter 7 [6:25]
8. Chapter 8 [1:40]
9. Chapter 9 [7:24]
10. Chapter 10 [1:02]
11. Chapter 11 [6:02]
12. Chapter 12 [2:19]
13. Chapter 13 [5:43]
14. Chapter 14 [2:14]
15. Chapter 15 [5:58]
16. Chapter 16 [2:07]
17. Chapter 17 [3:07]
18. Chapter 18 [4:46]
19. Chapter 19 [2:34]
20. Chapter 20 [5:35]
21. Chapter 21 [1:57]
22. Chapter 22 [6:13]
23. Chapter 23 [3:48]
24. Chapter 24 [3:32]
25. Chapter 25 [2:05]
26. Chapter 26 [5:40]
27. Chapter 27 [:12]
28. Chapter 28 [5:57]


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We're No Angels 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Laurie_Gold More than 1 year ago
We're No Angels was the first "late show" I ever saw, and the start of my love affair with old comedies from the 30s, 40s, and 50s. Starring Humphrey Bogart in one of his few comedic roles, it also features Peter Ustinov and Aldo Ray, as the threesome play criminals escaping from Devil's Island. They get caught up in the lives of a kind but inept shopkeeper, his wife, and their daughter during Christmas. Basil Rathbone plays the shopkeeper's nasty-piece-of-work cousin with purposeful scene-chewing; should he get a look at the store's books, his cousin might be out of a job, which the threesome would not like to see, even though they'd initially planned to steal him blind. Add a poisonous viper that Ray's character keeps as a beloved pet in a small case, and the combination is part black humor, part heartwarming comedy. Watching We're No Angels is a family tradition in our house during winter break, and this my husband and I invited our daughter to join us...even a jaded 17-year-old enjoyed herself. You and your family will as well.
AlchemystAZ More than 1 year ago
Since I think Gloria Talbott is adorable, this movie gets my 5 stars. Though it doesn't have the intellectual depth of I MARRIED A MONSTER FROM OUTER SPACE, it has her.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's about time that this movie is available on dvd. This is my favorite Christmas movie! Bogart is perfect and so are Ustinov and Ray. If you haven't seen it your'e in for a treat.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A true comic masterpiece is We're No Angels. Bogart, Ustinov and Ray give sensational portrayals as three escaped convicts from Devil's Island. Their plan to rob and murder the lovable but inept shopkeeper Felix (Carroll)and his family go awry when the Christmas spirit hits them. Fantastic performances as well as some of the slickest script writing to ever hit the big screen promised to entertain. This movie has joined Miracle on 34th Street, It's a Wonderful Life and Scrooged as Christmas staples in our families' homes. Definitely a MUST SEE!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I too have been waiting somewhat impatiently for this film to be released on DVD. This is a geniune gem of a movie - it has humor, heart, great performances, and what every film needs - a helpful pet snake. Anyone expecting similarities to the "remake" will be pleasantly surprised to find out there are virtually none. Give the original a try - you won't be disappointed!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
A beautiful cast and a holiday story. The era from the thirties to the sixties marked a time when the movie industry collaberated with the church to produce entertainment for the widest audience. God was alive and respected then. The story of three escaped cons with a developing conscience is told with class, humor and hope for the entire family.
CCTynan More than 1 year ago
This is a great Christmas movie. Actually, you can watch it any time, but during the holidays, its a break from the saccharine shows. The cast is great. (Basil Rathbone is the bad guy.) The dialogue is snappy and it has a happy ending. Adolph the snake steals the show. Warning: don't confuse this with the other movie of the same name.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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