Saturday, December 01, 2012

We're No Angels (1955)

We're No Angels (1955) is one of my favorite Christmas movies, although I never see it listed when folks are posting recommendations of must-see holiday films. There's no accounting for taste.... This movie is priceless, starring Humphrey Bogart, Peter Ustinov, Aldo Ray and Adolph (the deadly snake) as the titular angels who take care of everything. Basil Rathbone plays the bad guy against Leo G. Carroll who plays his bumbling, well-meaning cousin. Joan Bennett is Leo G. Carroll's wife, and Gloria Talbott plays their daughter. The Wikipedia article says Talbot was later described as
a 'scream queen' after appearing in a number of horror films including The Daughter of Dr. Jekyll (1957), The Cyclops (1957), and I Married a Monster from Outer Space (1958).
The movie is perfectly cast. The film is directed by Michael Curtiz.


The New York Times doesn't like it, describing it as "generally a slow, talky affair of elephantine roguishness and a few genuine chuckles." Variety, on the other hand, gives it a good review and says, "Michael Curtiz' directorial pacing and topflight performances from Humphrey Bogart, Aldo Ray and Peter Ustinov help minimize the few flaws." DVD Journal calls it "a smooth, low-key Hollywood classic that's held up over the years, so bulletproof that even ...[the remake] ... pales in comparison" and says it's "bound to join a lot of folks' collections as a Christmas favorite". There are overviews at TCM and MSN.


  1. Anonymous5:35 AM

    One of my favorites, too!
    -- A Pal

  2. The original is better than the remake. But it's hard to cheer for characters who have done such terrible things in the past. The trio's treatment of Basil Rathbone is cruel.

    1. it's hard for us to this of the newer film as a "remake" as it has almost nothing in common with the inspiration film.

      it's a comedy, after all, and we have no trouble at all rooting for our flawed "heroes" and enjoying watching basil rathbone's character get what's coming to him. it was rathbone's character's own fault he ended up as he did. bad to the bone he was and yet every evil he did was absolutely legal.

      thx for commenting :)