Blind Spot 24: We’re No Angels

It is very exciting we have reached my last Blind Spot pick for 2017. I hope you have enjoyed the 12 films I have reviewed this year and I look forward to picking 12 more for next year. If you have a blog I encourage you to participate in the series and finally check some of those films off your list you have been wanting to see.

Unfortunately it’s too bad I can’t end the year on a more positive note. My pick for this month is a supposed Christmas film called We’re No Angels. This is the original 1955 version not the 1989 remake. I know other people love this dark comedy but it was not for me. I honestly found it pretty hard to get through.

The story is about 3 convicts (Humphrey Bogart, Aldo Ray, Peter Ustinov) who escape from prison just before Christmas.  They go to a shop and after spying on their daughter (Joan Bennett) they decide to steal from the family and then escape off of the island. Things get complicated when a snobby relative (Basil Rathbone) comes in and wants to take over the store.

I said in my 3 Billboards review that dark comedies are not my thing and it is true here. I know these men are supposed to be bad guys, convicts, but I found them uncomfortable, awkward, perverted and not the least bit funny. They literally are staring at the family and daughter through a window for a good chunk of the movie. They bicker and are cruel in ways that didn’t amuse me at all.

The only person who worked for me a little was Peter Ustinov who always gives a funny/strange performance. But even he couldn’t save this film because the writing wasn’t good and the characters are so unlikable.

Basil Rathbone’s character is supposed to be a character of ridicule but I frankly thought the 3 anti-heroes were much worse. They are manipulative, cold and worst of all boring. This movie is dull and sorely lacking in charisma or fun. It certainly has no Christmas charm or cheer.

I can see how those that like dark comedies will enjoy it but it was not for me. I really didn’t enjoy it and will never watch it again. The costumes were nice so I guess there is that but I can’t think of anything else to praise.

If this is a Christmas film you love please tell me why you like it. I just didn’t get it.

7 thoughts on “Blind Spot 24: We’re No Angels

    1. its a funny adorable movie. Make up your own mind. Is it a bit dated? yup… sure is….its over 60 years old. Ideas, attitudes, politics, sexual mores, and humour has changed a lot since then….but thats part of the fun of watching a film like that, you get an interesting look into how people thought back then. Is it stagey and a bit stiff and slow paced? ? yup, it was originally a play. But the one liners are witty and entertaining….Bogarts’ a scream.{ if you like dark humour.} I do…of course, I love Sweeney Todd and thought Casino was a gallows humor riot.

      When I watch something I always keep in mind the times it was produced in. For instance, I abhor anything from Laurel and Hardy, cause it bores the heck out of me. But, that doesn’t make those movies bad. For their era, they were revolutionary, and a fascinating time capsule of days gone by.
      Not that I dont get where Ms Rachael is coming from. One fave movie of mine is Man Who Came to Dinner, which is a comedy classic. But the second half of the movie really goes downhill IMHO cause it gets ridiculously farcical and the very end, where the unwelcome guest blackmails his host by threatening to expose the murder of his parents by his mentally ill sister….who lives in the attic…always make my blood run cold.Has no place in a fun screwball comedy.

      1. You make a lot of fair points. I do think it’s also fine to not like a classic film I probably could have written the review with more nuance. I’ll grant you that. It just wasnt my taste but I acknowledge it is a classic for many. Have you seen the remake?

  1. I used to love this movie as a kid, because it was always shown around Christmas time in Germany. It’s a fond childhood memory. These days I see some of the plot elements far more critical. The movie sure ist too long for my taste and very politically incorrect😉 However, I still love the three lead performances – especially by Bogey and Ustinov. And I fell in love with the little snake Adolphe in it’s tiny basket, which had an unerring sense of justice and only bit people who deserved it – which is probably the most politically incorrect part for many viewers. Also, is there a slight dig at the German “Führer” Adolf Hitler? In Germany the name Adolf has mostly died out after WWII for understandable reasons. But naming a deadly snake Adolphe seems to be somewhat appropriate. But since in the end snake is a force for good, I’m either overinterpreting this – or the writers haven’t thought it through completely ☺️
    Anyway, for years I tried to find out if this snake species does really exist. It actually does, but I forgot it’s name.

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