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.