miercuri, 12 aprilie 2017

Casablanca, with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman

Casablanca, with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman

A different version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:

For many critics and viewers alike, this is The Best Film ever produced.
And an unlikely candidate to begin with.

I have watched a wondrous series called

-          American Cinema

In it, the public is royally treated to all sorts of secrets, revelations and stories about the making of movies.
The great ones.

For Casablanca, a series of writers had to work and then change and change again.
Six of them are listed as having contributed to the scenario.

And as William Goldman keeps repeating in his classic work on Hollywood, Adventures in the Screen Trade, they never know what will work.

And when The Godfather or Casablanca were being filmed, producers, directors and cast had no idea that these will become the creme de la creme.

The tagline of the film is:

-          They had a date with destiny- in Casablanca

Rick Blane is portrayed by Humphrey Bogart in a memorable role.
He owns a reputed cafe in Casablanca.

Rick is inexplicably unhappy, morose and cynical.
Until we understand why.

The status of Casablanca is somewhat privileged.
Although France had been occupied and the Germans are calling the shots, it is not administered by them.

Nevertheless, everyone is trying to get a Pass and escape to Lisbon.
From there, a passage to America is available.

And everybody is willing to pay or do whatever it takes for these passes.
Two of them end up in the hands of Rick.

One night, he is very upset to hear his piano player, Sam singing a forbidden song.
And there we see Ingrid Bergman in the role of Ilsa Lund, who is married to Victor Laszlo.

The latter is a prominent, international leader of the fight against the Nazis.
And he offers the chance to Rick to "redeem" himself.

Rick and Ilsa have had a torrid, passionate relationship in Paris.
It looked like they were in love for ever.

But with the arrival of the fascists in Paris, they need to escape.
And outrageously, Rick receives a note from Ilsa, as he was waiting for her to get on the last train before the imminent occupation.

She was leaving him, or so it seemed.

The story is more complex, but considering the improbable reader who will read this without having seen Casablanca, I will refrain from any spoilers.

I was stunned to learn that Humphrey Bogart, an actor who appeared as the epitome of the tough, strong, determined and powerful man, was...whining!
In the aforementioned book by William Goldman we learn about this and so many other secrets.

Ricky finds redemption and Casablanca is a masterpiece

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