Cincinnati Babyhead

Speaks his mind on music & movies!

Movie : Casablanca

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Casablanca is the passageway refugees hope to find out of the WWll conflict and escape to America.  Passport visas are a hot item with all sorts of desperate people trying to obtain them.  They will pay any price and do almost anything to get them. This atmosphere breeds corruption at all levels including the local authorities.  Two Nazi officers are murdered and are robbed of two exit visas.  These become the hottest tickets in town.  Everyone wants them including the Nazis and a Czech resistance fighter and his wife.  The visas end up in an American club owner’s hands who now holds the fate of so many.  The wife of the Czech comes to the American asking for the Visas.  They know each other.  Years before she jilted him and disappeared leaving him messed up.  He is in no hurry to give them to her.  The hurt is still there. Along with this twist and many more we are stuck in Casablanca until this plays out.

CB caught this at an old repertory movie house.  They would show double bills of old films and more obscure off the radar movies.  Obviously I had heard of Casablanca.  I figured this film would be old and dated and maybe I’d get a little something out of it. Well I ended up getting “something” out of it.  I was swept away right from the start into Casablanca and the story.  Michael Curtiz uses everything at his disposal and takes advantage of it.  From the story,  cinematography (Arthur Edeson), to the performances.  Edseson catches so many cool shots.  He knows how to get a closeup.  The first shot of Rick (Bogart) playing chess with himself is a beauty and it also tells a story in itself.

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So many great characters and because of that we get a smorg of great actors. Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet, Paul Henreid, Conrad Viedt all shine.  So many memorable bit parts. Rains, Bergman and Bogart are made for each other. The relationships between them are full of such great moments. Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa is perfect casting.  She brings so much truth to the role. Beautiful.  Claude Rains for CB’s money just about steals the show.  His Captain Lois Renault is a favorite screen character and Rains brings him to life. The corrupt little bastard.  Humphrey Bogart is high up on CB’s favorite actor chart and he keeps himself there with his performance as Rick.  Lots of actors could have played this role but not like Bogart.  He hits on every note he plays.  Two things I wanted to do after watching this movie, have a smoke and open up a bar.

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Turn the lights off, get comfortable, grab a beverage, a snack and jump into the world of Casablanca.  It’s worth a watch or two or three ….

“I’m not interested in revolution, I’m a saloon keeper”.

27 comments on “Movie : Casablanca

  1. Heavy Metal Overload
    February 25, 2018

    Had a DVD of this forever but haven’t watched it yet. Think it might be time…

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      February 25, 2018

      I’ve done that with a few books. The “time” will strike and you will “strike”. Just make sure you’re not trying to quit smoking.
      (Just a reminder about those Metal albums you are sending my way. A few HMO essentials)

      Like

      • Heavy Metal Overload
        February 25, 2018

        Oh shit, I forgot all about that. Sorry! (Don’t smoke so safe there…)

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        February 25, 2018

        No sweat, CB has nothing but “Time”. A while since I popped over. This week some time.

        Like

    • 1537
      February 26, 2018

      I came to watching this film solely through Woody Allen.

      Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        February 26, 2018

        We all get to Casablanca eventually. Many paths.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Heavy Metal Overload
        February 26, 2018

        Was that the Play It Again Sam film?

        Liked by 2 people

      • 1537
        February 26, 2018

        Yup. One of my very favourite WA films.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Heavy Metal Overload
        February 26, 2018

        I never really got into his stuff. Quite liked that one though… Annie Hall I quite liked too.

        Liked by 2 people

      • 1537
        February 26, 2018

        Annie Hall is one of my very favourite films!

        Liked by 2 people

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        February 27, 2018

        Bullets Over Broadway was the last one of his I saw. Some good bits in it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • 1537
        February 27, 2018

        My mum is a WA nut, she says that there’s always some great in his films – even if it is only a line, or two.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        February 27, 2018

        I knew Mum was behind the WA love. She is absolutely right about her take. I love the scene in Annie when Walken is talking about driving and the next scene he’s driving Woody to the airport. Predictable but funny. Plus could you imagine going for a car ride with Chris Walken?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Jim S.
    February 25, 2018

    It’s sad but a lot of kids today don’t know Bogart or for that matter, Jimmy Stewart and that generation of actors. I can’t remember if I mentioned this before but when I grew up in Philly there was a late show on (I think) CBS that showed old movies. They had a Bogie week. On night one I didn’t know who he was. By night five I was a fan. BTW, my son came back about a month ago from a trip with his college mates to Morocco. And there is a Rick’s Cafe in Casablanca that they visited. Interestingly, to my point, he and his chums had no context for it and the teacher either don’t know about the movie or didn’t tell them. I found that odd.
    http://www.rickscafe.ma/

    Liked by 2 people

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      February 25, 2018

      Yeah Bogie had a high batting average with me. Good flicks and great performances. Funny you mentioned Stewart. Have a film coming up that he did later in his career (not a western). I think you did mention the Bogie Fest. After a week of watching Bogie you’d be slapping people and chuffing cigarettes. The Rick’s Cafe thing would be similar to going to Sun Records and not getting the significance.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yeah, Another Blogger
    February 26, 2018

    Great review, CB. You make me want to see this movie again. The last time I saw it must be ten or more years ago.
    This movie deserves its popularity. Truly great.

    Liked by 2 people

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      February 26, 2018

      Interesting if you watched it and see how it stands up to the recent Oscar contenders you’ve seen.
      It really is a good film. I’ll be watching it again when the mood strikes.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. christiansmusicmusings
    February 27, 2018

    A timeless classic I must have watched a dozen times or so, since did first in my early teens! At the time, Elvis was my favorite music artist and Bogart was my favorite actor – a had a life-size poster of him on my room door!

    If you think about it, this picture has zero special effects – if you did that to present-day films, in most cases there would be nothing left. Back then, you needed a good script and decent actors to cut it. Whatever Bogart perhaps didn’t have in terms of acting skills, he more than made up with his style and coolness.

    Also, let’s not forget the rest of the cast, especially the stunning Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid. And then there’s of course the amazing “As Time Goes By!”

    Liked by 2 people

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      February 27, 2018

      I tried to put a life size poster of Bogie in our living room but my gal put the brakes on that one (I have Elvis in the Rec room).
      Bogart is one of my favorite actors. Like I commented earlier, he has a high batting average for great films and great performances ( Treasures Sierra Madre, African Queen, Key Largo, Maltese Falcon ..). He has such a subtle style that you don’t think he’s acting. In Casablanca you can see the hurt and conflict all over him.
      The cast is great. Greenstreet, Lorre and Bogart were a team. Good points Christian.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. J.
    February 28, 2018

    I haven’t seen this since I was a kid (watching the ‘classics’ with the parental unit on a Sunday), but I’ve always meant to watch it when I got all grown up… I’ve just not gotten around to it yet. Still time, right?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thom Hickey
    March 3, 2018

    Lost count of how many times I’ve seen this … sometimes feel as if I’ve stood on that runway for final scene. Thanks CB. Thom

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Chris
    March 10, 2019

    Getting “swept away” is a great feeling. I agree Casablanca is nice to rewatch. Good review

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      March 10, 2019

      Thanks. And it’s kinda why we watch. To be taken into the story and the lives of the characters in the circumstances.

      Liked by 1 person

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