View Full Version : 'Casablanca' (1942)

Roger Dyer
29th June 2015, 02:44 AM
I feel certain that everything that need be said about this iconic film has already been said....still, I won't let that stop me:).

It was made at a time when the world was in turmoil. With it's overt anti-nazi sentiment it shone as a beacon of hope to so many cinema-goers world wide. Leading the way was ,Humphrey Bogart(Rick), a world-weary cafe owner who, to our delight, was determined not to be shoved around by the most sinister, hateful, Nazi of them all, Conrad Veidt. Ingrid Bergman provided the 'love' interest for Bogey and lit up the screen with a smile that had the power to gladden the hearts of all, even the most cynic amongst us....what normal, well adjusted, male could fail to be captivated by her at that time. The part of Bergman's husband (the calm freedom fighter, Victor Laszlo), was cleverly underplayed by Paul Henreid and counterpoint to the tense demeanour of Bogart's 'Rick', he presented Ilsa with the problem of deciding who would, finally, win her heart. The film's cast also included Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre and the cuddly, S.Z.Sakall, so there was something for everyone. At film's end the audience was greatly reassured when even the corrupt French policeman, Captain Louis Renault (Claude Rains) establishes an allegiance with Rick.....perhaps allowing the audience to leave the cinema with added confidence and hope that, eventually, all would come right in a troubled world. (An alternative ending was made for this film, but I like to believe that the director, Michael Curtiz, and the producers made the right choice)

The theme for the film was originally written by American, Herman Hupfield, in 1931, for inclusion
in the Broadway musical 'Everybody's Welcome'. At first, it was recorded by a few singers (including Rudy Vallee) and several orchestras, but it's success was only moderate. In it's original form, the words of the first verse referred to Einstein's concept of 'time as a fourth dimension' however this verse was soon discarded by popular omission and is now virtually unknown. Hindsight is indeed a wonderful thing, but that iconic first line, 'You must remember this.......', just perfect....the use of anything else now seems unthinkable. The film's release in 1942 brought with it a stroke of good fortune for singer, Vallee, when re-issue of his 1931 recording became a smash-hit. The American Film Institute voted the song No.2. in it's 100 top songs/themes of all time (second only to 'Over the Rainbow'). It has been recorded by everybody from Billie Holiday to Tiny Tim, but, for me, as sung in the film by Rick's piano-player, Sam (Dooley Wilson), it shall ever remain the definitive and best version.........

.......so... 'for old times sake...play it, Sam,... play 'As Time Goes By'.



Doc Vernon
29th June 2015, 03:49 AM
Must say one of the Classic old time Movies I have seen and again seen a lot too!
I love both Bogart and Bacall ,and another one that takes some good parts in many Films is Peter Lorre.
So many good Black and White Movies made around that time!
This sticks out as one of the Finest!