15 November 2010

Welcome back to the fight. This time I know our side will win.

Casablanca, 1942

My list of 15 films continues with Casablanca. I was first shown this film in my tenth grade film class and I was instantly in love with it. I got so lost in the story and completely swept away and involved in the love triangle. I honestly had no idea who Ilsa was going to end up with, and I totally felt for her, because I had fallen for both men as well.I was drawn to Rick (Humphrey Bogart) and his smart-ass remarks, and I thought that Victor (Paul Henried) was such a good, brave man. By the end of the picture, I had to quickly wipe my eyes and pretend that I hadn't been crying.

Also, I remember thinking that the girl in the movie was very pretty. Only later did I learn her name was Ingrid Bergman and that she was an Academy Award winning Swedish actress. (She's now one of my favorite actresses). I think she's especially beautiful in this film. She's absolutely luminous- especially when Rick sees her again for the first time in years:

The part that stands out to me the most isn't the famous goodbye scene, but when Victor leads all the people in a chorus of La Marseillaise, much to the annoyance of the German soldiers. In this scene, Paul Henried is so brave, and so handsome, and Ilsa is so proud of him. It's such a beautiful scene. Observe:

Casablanca is true escapist cinema, and I can just imagine what it did for people during World War II. I've always wanted to talk to someone who was around during that time and ask them what it was like seeing that film back in 1942, and how they reacted to it.

With its great story, love triangle, endlessly quotable lines, and great performances by all involved, Casablanca is s treasure of a movie that everyone really should see.

PS- I'm sorry about the video, I didn't realize that it couldn't be embedded. It's going to take you straight to the youtube page.

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