It’s been over thirty years since I last watched it, but I
couldn’t pass up the opportunity to watch it again last night. Casablanca.
It is the greatest cinematic love story of all time,
combining romantic love in a triangle and patriotic love of freedom and
country. Rick, Ilsa and Victor, caught
in the struggle of Nazi oppression in “unoccupied France” (Morocco) in the city
I thought I was watching a two-hour Rich Little show, the
great impressionist of twentieth century stars.
Humphrey Bogart, Claude Raines, Peter Lorre and Sidney Greenstreet were
all in Little’s stable of characters.
And, of course, the great one-liners that have become famous: “Here’s
looking at you, kid,” “We’ll always have Paris,” “Round up the usual suspects,”
“Play it again, Sam,” (thought not actually said in the film), “In all the gin
joints in all the towns in all the world, she has to come into this one,” and “This
is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
Although slow paced at first, the emotional impact reaches a
fever pitch in the scene where Nazi officers begin singing a German tune in the
cafe, Die Wacht am Rhein, but are drowned out when Victor summons the band to
play La Marseillaise, and every French man and woman in the place stands and
sings loudly and passionately.
I may not be able to wait another thirty years before
watching it again. You shouldn’t either.
You played it for her; you can play it for me. Play it again, Bogie.