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17

THURSDAY

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Sam Spade, Philip Marlowe, Rick Blaine: Humphrey Bogart will forever be remembered as Hollywood’s quintessential tough guy, a hard-boiled private eye whose short stature and stiff upper lip fell under the shadow only of his steely confidence. It wasn’t until the twilight of his career, during which he starred in Michael Curtiz’s 1955 adaptation of a Albert Husson play, that Bogart proved his hard-bitten cynicism and trademark sneer were as suited to black comedy as they were to suspense. Under Curtiz’s meticulous watch, We’re No Angels wisely retains both the morbid humor and stage-bound claustrophobia of Husson’s play, while the film’s distinguished supporting cast members—including British theater veterans Peter Ustinov and Basil Rathbone—almost steal the silver screen the way they once did the stage. Philosophical, wicked, and self-consciously hammy, We’re No Angels is an undeniable comedic success, but in the end it’s all about Bogie—pink apron and all—slipping out of his usual Hollywood persona as easily as a prison on Devil’s Island. The film screens at 7 p.m. at the Library of Congress’ Pickford Theater, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free. (202) 707-5677. (Matthew Borlik)