I was looking at some of the old VHS tapes as I’m not even sure I still know how to use the player since we’ve been using DVDs for so long. “We’re No Angels” is not considered a Christmas movie although it does involve a Christmas setting. The fact it’s set in the sweltering Caribbean may have something to do with that. It was made in 1954 with a marvelous cast. Humphrey Bogart, Peter Ustinov, and Aldo Ray have escaped from a place similar to Devils Island. They take refuge in a store where Leo G. Carroll, his wife, and daughter live. A loving husband and father and terrible business man whose wealthy cousin, played by Basil Rathbone, is determined to turn him out, family or no family.
The convicts declare they shall kill the family, and steal whatever they need to make their getaway. Well, as they pretend to be out on work-release and offer to repair the roof, maybe they can help out with a few other things first. The story is wonderfully tongue-in-cheek as the daughter, who is infatuated with her second cousin, doesn’t realize how selfish and shallow he is. And since the convicts are staying for only a few days, perhaps they can help her with her love life. Humphrey Bogart’s character is an expert forger, so why not fix the store’s books while they are there? And it really wouldn’t be seemly to kill the family on Christmas Day, would it? There is also the matter of the pet poisonous snake that causes complications.
I don’t know if the movie can be found on streaming services (and no, it’s not the one of the same name starring Robert DeNiro and Sean Penn), but if so, it is a pleasant way to pass a couple of hours.