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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
Was "remade" in 1989 with Robert De Niro and Sean Penn. The two movies only share some common themes. See more »
The movie supposedly plays ON Devil's Island (it's superimposed in the establishing shot at the very beginning) and Ducotel's general store is located in Cayenne (it's mentioned several times), the capital of French Guiana. However, Devil's Island exclusively was a penal colony with no civilian settlement, and Cayenne lies on the mainland coast, approximately 50 miles east of Kourou, the closest mainland town to Devil's Island. See more »
This is one of the best comedies ever and one of my all-time favorites. I must have seen it a dozen or more times. The cast is perfect and Bogart shows he has a great talent for comedy. Rathbone plays the deliciously evil antagonist Cousin Andre, perfect in his role as the villain you love to hate which he pulls off with his usual deadpan style (has he ever played the good guy in any role?) Ustinov and Ray are perfect sidekicks for Bogart, their comedic style completely complements his. Carroll is perfect as the bumbling husband of the shop the convicts descend upon, initially planning on robbing him. I found the movie had all the necessary elements for a great side-splitting comedy along with some tender moments to show a contrast in the characters involved. I rate this one a nine of ten.
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