A charming & heartwarming tale set at Christmastime in the 1800's on Devil's Island. Three convicts, Humphrey Bogart, Peter Ustinov & Aldo Ray have escaped from the prison & are among the townpeople while they are plotting their escape. Well, they end up at the shop of a bit of a bumbling shopkeeper, played to perfection by Leo G. Carroll (he of the "Topper" series!), his wife, played by Joan Bennett (some may be familiar with her as the family matriarch of Dark Shadows) and their daughter. It IS in color & not that colorization done to some original black & white movies. This 1955 original movie is NOT the same movie as the 1989 "We're No Angels" with Robert Deniro & Sean Penn (0 stars; a dud). My family & I have been watching this for Christmas as long as I can remember, beginning with VHS & just finally upgraded to the DVD in time for viewing this Christmas.
All kinds of merriment ensues, as the "three wise men" (the convicts) become embroiled in the family's life, since the daughter is in love with a young man who is as arrogant & snide as his Uncle, Cousin Andre, who owns the shop & treats his cousin with contempt that he is not ruthless enough with customers to be making a profit for him. The convicts set about to fix the roof, sell customers items they don't need, or fit properly & insist on payment for such goods! They also prepare a glorious Christmas for the family Ducotel, complete with a sumptious turkey dinner (said turkey being stolen from the mayor's, as well as the Christmas Tree)!! They set tables outdoors & serenade the family. While this is occurring, Cousin Andre arrives & wants to go over the "books"/accounting, which sets Leo G. Carroll & the family in a tizzy. No problem for the convicts who each have their own set of skills, and a beloved poisonous pet snake...who so happens to escape & land in the guest quarters of Cousin Andre & his equally mean nephew.
When an officer from the navy comes to the shop, the convicts push he & the daughter together, tying up all loose ends!!! And, the three wise men, these three friends decide as they are looking out at the harbor & the ship they'd need to catch to escape, they realize their lives on Devil's Island really aren't so bad after all, since they've got each others' friendship & can escape the prison & do it again next Christmas!!! And, with that the closing scene is as memorable & ingrained in my memory as one of the most touching (& cute) of any I've ever seen!! A precious and heartwarming movie that's sure to please every family member, from age 5 to 95!!