"Here's lookin' at you, kid."
Last Thursday, Casablanca topped a list of 101 greatest screenplays of all time. It is my personal favorite movie of all time.
Whoa! I just now remember the first time I ever saw this movie! I had forgotten, until I asked my brain just now, "When did you first see this movie?" I believe it was a year after high school. Midway through high school, I had moved from Austin, Texas, to Redlands, California. I took a year off after graduating, rather than going straight into college. Back in Austin, there was a girl who I still had a deep yearning for. So the year after I graduated (I think)....no, wait.....ok, and sometime after getting accepted to UCLA...(I think)....I took a road trip all by myself from Redlands back to Austin. My high school crush was a year into school at the University of Texas. And we went on campus to catch a showing of "Casablanca". I had no idea what I was in for. I think that night was the beginning of a love affair with this movie. One of my literary heroes from high school was Sydney Carton from Tale of Two Cities; and the Humphrey Bogart character of Rick, redeemed by love into a selfless act- into taking part in something greater than himself- just resonates with my sense of the heroic, and the power and beauty of nonphysical love to ennoble the soul.
There is so much to love about Casablanca: The cast of colorful characters, the dialogue, the taut, tightly drawn script, the tense atmosphere, wartime patriotism (in the best sense), redemption, self-sacrifice, the song, a love triangle, and on and on. Even my political opponents love this film classic. Young people think it's chock full of clichés. Children? This movie is where all of those clichés came from!
And just to make this political (after all, I run a political gin joint, here),
Mistake Factual error: When Rick is talking about the German guns shelling near Paris, he describes them as 77's (non-existent) - likely meant the famous 88's used as anti-aircraft and tanks as well as for wheeled guns. [The line was originally "88s" but was changed at the request of the War Dept. so as to not tip the German's hands that we knew about the 88s.]Hmm.....think today's NY Times or Hollywood elite would be capable of doing anything at all resembling honest journalism AND pro-American news reporting? The kind of reporting that doesn't undermine the war effort, and give aid and comfort to the enemy?