Classic Scene: Casablanca (1942)

Casablanca was a ‘blind spot’ for me; a film that, for one reason or another, I had not watched until a week ago. Even though most people have similar gaps in their cinematic knowledge this is probably the one that I’ve been most ashamed of; somehow the absences of other classics I’ve still got to check out, like Dr. Strangelove, Yojimbo and Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch, just aren’t quite as embarrassing. Anyway: the issue has been rectified and I’ll have a review up tomorrow (as if it actually needs a review).

Chances are mention of the film will make you think of Herman Hupfeld’s As Time Goes By, the song famously performed by the character Sam (Dooley Wilson) in Rick’s Café Américain (that translates as Rick’s American Café, monolingual readers) during the film. The second song that will probably pop into your head is La Marseillaise, a rendition of which results in one of the most stirring scenes of the entire film, even though it barely involves Ingrid Bergman’s Ilsa or Humphrey Bogart’s Rick. If there’s anyone reading that hasn’t actually seen Casablanca – ha, imagine not having seen Casablanca! You suck! – the rousing anthem is used here to drown out a troupe of SS soldiers singing Die Wacht am Rhein; for reasons of authenticity many of the extras used in the film were actually refugees, and some reportedly burst into tears upon the completion of this moving scene.

 

Comments 10

  1. Keith January 6, 2015

    Oh my friend, what a great scene from a great movie. If I was forced to name one film my favorite of all-time it would be Casablanca. I think it is the perfect film. So many great lines. Some great music. A beautiful romance. Glorious movie.

    And definitely see Dr. Strangelove and Yojimbo. Two very different movies but two that are essential viewings for film lovers.

    • Stu January 6, 2015

      Hey wait a minute…so you’re not recommending Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch?! Haha. I will hopefully get round to the other two one day. I was going to do a blind spot series this year but I think I’ll just try and watch a few as and when.

      I really enjoyed Casablanca, even though it was a very different experience to the normal one of watching films you haven’t seen before! I was familiar with a lot of it…all the obvious lines and scenes.

      • Keith January 6, 2015

        LOL, I dunno man. For some reason Seventh Inning Fetch isnt giving me the warm fuzzies!

        I think I first saw Casablanca in the early 90s and it really opened me up to the joys of classic cinema. I love the classics and I always enjoy when I read someone spotlighting them, reviewing them, or just talking about them.

        • Stu January 6, 2015

          If I ever do an Air Bud blogathon I will let you know! But on a serious note – we’re lucky we’ve got so many decades of films to explore today, I guess, and all of it so readily available. There’s a hell of a lot for me to check out from that period from the US alone, never mind the rest of the world.

  2. grotesque ground January 6, 2015

    You didn’t see Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch? Instant unfollow! 😀

    To be honest, every cinephile has such gaps. Mine for years have been Zorba the Greek and The Wages of Fear. I keep hearing what masterpieces they are and still haven’t watched them.

    And I’ve recently rewatched Casablanca. It’s a strangely compelling movie. It will make you sobby even if you don’t particularly like Bogart (my case).

    • Stu January 7, 2015

      I haven’t seen those either … I really need to up my game.
      I must admit to being moved by the Rick and Ilsa story just a little. I think I had something in my eye at the very end!

  3. Todd Benefiel January 7, 2015

    Strange, I thought ‘Casablanca’ was a superhero movie based on…

    (Warning: this joke only works when read immediately following my comment for ‘Birdman’. Or, depending on your mood, perhaps it doesn’t work)

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