Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Deadly Paragraph -- Inkling Explorations for March, 2016


Time for me to quick post my Inkling Explorations selection before March is over!  This month's topic is "A scene involving a letter, package, or post office in film."  You can read more about the series on Heidi Peterson's writing blog, Sharing the Journey.

I'm going to share part of the wonderful Christmastime comedy We're No Angels (1955), which I have reviewed here.

Joseph (Humphrey Bogart), Jules (Peter Ustinov), and Albert (Aldo Ray) are convicts on Devil's Island who have escaped the prison and taken refuge in a mercantile, where they've persuaded the proprieters to let them do a few odd jobs.  While up on the roof, supposedly fixing it, they watch the family through various windows and learn all about their troubles.


While they're watching, the daughter, Isabelle (Gloria Talbott) accepts a letter for her father and opens it.


She reads part of it, then faints.


The three men scurry down from the roof to assist her and her mother, Amelie (Joan Bennett).


They then give the letter to the girl's parents, telling her, "It's there, on the second page, the deadly paragraph."  The letter contains the news that the owner of the store and his nephew were coming to see for themselves why the business is failing.  Poor Isabelle has convinced herself she's in love with said nephew, and the letter also contains the news of his engagement to someone else, hence all the fainting.

By the end of the movie, the three convicts have solved all the family's problems, including Isabelle's infatuation, and although they may not be angels, they earn halos just the same.


If you've never seen We're No Angels, I urge you to find it and watch it -- you can buy it on DVD quite inexpensively right now, and it is delightful.

18 comments:

  1. Awww. I love this movie so much. Definitely need to get a copy and rewatch it in the near future.

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    1. Jenelle, I'm so glad you've seen it and love it! I want to spread the love for this film, because there is no reason why it shouldn't be as well known as movies like Miracle on 34th Street. It's adorable.

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  2. Awwwwwwwww, that's cute :-) "The 'deadly paragraph'"--HAHA.

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    1. Jessica, this movie has some of the best, funniest, cleverest dialog ever. Watch it over and over so you catch it all, or put subtitles on, whatever works best for you!

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  3. Heehee. So I haven't yet seen this, but you honestly made me giggle with "The Deadly Paragraph." Sooo perfect and funny! :D

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    1. It's really a hilarious movie. Endlessly quotable, too. Now you see why I immediately knew what scene I wanted to talk about -- just had to find the time!

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  4. Funny. It sounds fun! :)

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  5. This is definitely on my to-watch list. :)

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  6. I love this movie!!! And Aldo Ray... need I say more?

    I love when she wakes up and faint again and Aldo Ray is like "All I did was smile!" And Ustinov is hilarious!!! And now I want to go watch it again haha.

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    1. Phyl, yes!!! Aldo Ray, the end, full stop.

      Sooooooo many good lines in this. My best friend and I try to watch this together around Christmas every year or two, and we bust up continually, even though we've seen it oh-so-often. "I could go to jail for the way I feel about you." "It followed me against my will." "Of course not! What do you take me for, stepping on the grass?" I'm giggling just remembering them <3

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  7. Hey... In November I just finished doing the play this movie is based on - My Three Angels. I had the Humphrey Bogart role... playing Joseph. It was gobs of fun to play the convict.

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    1. Stanley, that's so cool! I know that it got performed at my alma mater decades ago, directed by one of my favorite professors, and I so wish I'd been around back then to see it. I adore this story. I can well believe it would be super fun to be in it!

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    2. I recall this one for all of my life (so far) and catch this one every holiday season (yes, I do own the DVD) and enjoy it every time. It's kinda overlooked as an annual Xmas classic which perhaps it should be. There ARE great lines sprinkled throughout, and very quotable. And what also helps me be particularly endeared to the film is that my Auntie Gloria portrayed the part of the ever-fainting Isabelle Ducotel and she considered that as one of her favorite roles. It's pleasing to realize that more than a handful of folk in the universe are actually familiar w/ this film and like it as well.

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    3. Yes, it's sadly overlooked as a Christmas movie. That's very cool that you're related to Gloria Talbott! I bet she had some neat memories to share. I can see how this movie could be a favorite for everyone involved in it!

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  8. Absolutely! Apparently by all accounts the atmosphere on the production was a pleasant and relaxed one w/ the cast and crew very cordial in that environment. One should be able to witness in the viewing just how well they all interact w/ each other, including the protagonists and antagonists that even when those parties are @ odds there's still a very good-natured feeling to the performances and the whole affair in general. I can understand as to why, out of the several films and numerous TV programs in which my Auntie appeared in, this was the only one she greatly desired obtaining a copy of (on 16mm celluloid, this being in the pre-cable and pre-video days).

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    1. Craig, I can readily believe this was a fun, relaxed production! All the actors appear to be having a wonderful time, which definitely makes it more enjoyable for us to watch! How cool that your aunt could get a 16mm film copy!

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