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Joseph L. Mankiewicz
At Christmas, three prisoners - Joseph, Albert and Jules - escape from Devil Island to a French small coastal town. They decide to rob a store, to get some money and clothes and travel by ship to another place. They pretend to be there to fix the roof, but pretty soon they realize that the financial condition of the family Ducotel is not good. Andre Tochard, the selfish and mean owner of the establishment, exploits the family Ducotel. The three convicts spend Christmas night with the Ducotels and are so well treated by the family that they decide to help them. Their pet will help them to fix the situation. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This is a wonderful, if unconventional, Christmas movie, although it is great fun to watch at any time of the year. As the three convicts, Bogart, Ustinov, and Aldo Ray have wonderful chemistry and camaraderi. Their portrayals are delightful, and are made stronger by the dialogue, which is first rate. Leo G. Carrol and Joan Bennet are touching as married couple, and Basil Rathbone has a delicious turn as the thoroughly unscrupulous and black-hearted cousin Andre. It is on my "Christmas Movies" shelf and we watch it every December without fail.
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