POSTED March 21 2012

Here’s Looking at You, “Casablanca”

They'll always have Paris

Happy 70th, Casablanca. When you turned 50, I wrote this toast for a Turner commemorative.

Casablanca? You must remember this. Globes spinning. Idealism cloaked as cynicism. Ceiling fans spinning. The Germans wore gray, you wore blue. Roulette wheels spinning. Dooley Wilson sings the blues. Revolver cylinders spinning. Humphrey Bogart, anti-hero or hero? Airplane propellers spinning. Ingrid Bergman, lust object in white silk; political animal in gray flannel. Letters of transit spinning. Dialogue, like editing, proceeds at Warners’ breathless clip. Claude Rains puts spin on opportunism. Irony, meet patriotism. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Though not the best movie ever, it’s the best drinking buddy among American films.

Will you go to see it on the big screen tonight? Your toast here:



  1. Annette Wernblad says:

    Major Strasser: Are you one of those people who cannot imagine the Germans in their beloved Paris?
    Rick: It’s not particularly my beloved Paris.
    Heinz: Can you imagine us in London?
    Rick: When you get there, ask me!
    Captain Renault: Hmmh! Diplomatist!
    Major Strasser: How about New York?
    Rick: Well there are certain sections of New York, Major, that I wouldn’t advise you to try to invade.

  2. Gary says:

    I wish I could see this tonight…Last time it played at the Ritz I went with a friend. Every line was familar (and comfortably so). We felt it was almost cliche but CASABLANCA is where these great lines that became cliche originated. Such is the film’s evergreen endurance.

  3. You are jumping the gun by about eight months, arent’t you? :=)

  4. Carrie Rickey says:

    If I’m a few months early, it’s because TCM has decided to celebrate Casablanca’s 70th about six months before its NY/LA premiere in December 1942.

  5. Robert Beizer says:

    Hopefully it will be re-released in December 2012 with more warning and fanfare!

  6. Jim Hughes says:

    Saw Casablanca last night in Oaks. Theater was about 75% full. It looked and sounded great. Based on the audience reaction, quite a few were seeing it for the first time. What a wonderful introduction to a classic.

  7. Carrie Rickey says:

    @Jim: So happy to hear this.

  8. Sam Fragoso says:

    I went to my local theater last night to see the film on the big screen. It’s my 9th viewing of the film in the last year and a half. Beautiful it is. Audience was into it.

    Granted, I was the only 17 year old (and or teen/child) in attendance.

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