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We're No Angels

We're No Angels(1955)

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The working title of this film was Angels Cooking. At the end of the film, animated halos appear above the convicts' heads. Albert Husson`s play La cuisine des anges, on which the film is based, opened in Lyon, France in early January 1952, prior to its run in Paris. As noted in Hollywood Reporter, Paramount purchased the rights to the French play in mid-February 1952. According to a June 1952 Hollywood Reporter news item, Audrey Hepburn was considered for a part in the film. In January 1954, Hollywood Reporter announced that Van Heflin was to co-star in the film with Humphrey Bogart. According to an April 1954 Daily Variety news item, Paramount considered casting Irene Dunne and Gig Young in the film. John Derek was announced as a cast member in the same item but did not appear in the final film.
       A July 1954 Hollywood Reporter news item reported that Dan Towler and Harry Thompson, members of the Los Angeles Rams football team, had been cast, but their appearance in the completed film has not been confirmed. Lyricist Roger Wagner, George Chester, Lyle Moraine, Fred Sweeney and Willard Willingham were also announced as cast members in Hollywood Reporter news items, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed.
       In November 1955, four months after the picture's release, authors Samuel and Bella Spewack filed for an injunction against the film, claiming that a substantial portion of their Broadway play My Three Angels, which also was based on Husson's play and opened on Broadway on March 11, 1953, had been incorporated into Paramount's screen version. The New York Times review commented on the fact that the film "gives sole credit to the Galic original, then stalks the Spewacks almost scene by scene." The Spewacks demanded an accounting of the film's profits, noting that after Paramount bought the rights to the French play, they attempted to acquire the screen rights from Paramount but were denied. The disposition of the Spewacks' suit is not known.
       On December 8, 1959, a Ford Startime Theatre production of the Broadway play, also titled My Three Angels, was broadcast on the NBC network. Walter Slezak, who starred in the play, recreated his role for the television production, which was directed by Bretaigne Windust and Gordon Rigsby. In 1989, Paramount released We're No Angels, a loose adaptation of the Husson play, directed by Neil Jordan, written by David Mamet, and starring Robert De Niro and Sean Penn.