So you can read my books

Friday, June 13, 2014


Thanks to the blog hop hosts with the most:

As the Squidster said on his blog, here's a prompt for the hop:

The greatest films stand the test of time, speaking to us in different ways at various life stages. Is there a movie that was a part of your life when you were younger that you see differently now?

If you’ve ever watched Casablanca, it’s probably one of your two or three favorites. If you’ve never watched it, shame on you.

There are very few movies that can be involved in a “best movie ever” argument. Sure, you can argue that the original Halloween is the best horror movie of all time

and you can questionably argue that the original Arthur is the greatest comedy of all time.

You can even mistakenly argue that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is the greatest western of all time.

But none of those can compare to Casablanca in a “best movie ever” discussion.


I first saw Casablanca when very young during a weekend classic movie marathon with my other friends in our closely knit group we called The League of Five.

All of us wanted to be Rick Blaine in that movie.  And why not?

I want to be Rick Blaine. Rick is noble, principled, generous, straightforward, tough, secretive, respected, unpredictable, wealthy, loved by his friends and employees, and irresistible to women.

I want to run Rick’s Cafe Americain. I want my shot at Ilsa.

I want to drink as much as Rick and not feel the effects.

The only thing I would do differently is not smoke.

As Captain Louis Renault told Ilsa Lund near the beginning of the film, “If I were a woman…I should be in love with Rick.”

Perhaps that is why my Samuel McCord owns a haunted jazz club and is in love with a bewitching woman, Meiloiri?

As an adult I look at it with different eyes --

Love can become bitter.  Pain, if held on, to can be an anchor.

To forgive can breathe life back into a bruised love, and friendship and wit can see you through most fogs.

It is a superb film, which boasts among the strongest casts I’ve ever encountered on screen.
The performances are uniformly powerful and affecting:
the solitary, brooding Rick (Humphrey Bogart), the enigmatic Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), the smug yet witty Captain Renault (Claude Rains)—
the list goes on and on.
The cast members play off each other beautifully. Sparks fly as personalities and motives clash.
Another appeal for the adult writer in me is its rapid-fire dialogue.
The movie debuted in 1942, while sound film was in its relative infancy.
Filmmakers during this period began to take full advantage of the asset of sound, and films became dialogue-driven rather than using a mainly visual narrative style.
Director Michael Curtiz implements the emerging technology with expertise. The quick rapport between the characters drives the plot—
If you don’t pay attention, you can miss a crucial plot point inlaid in an aside between passing characters.
Snarky remarks and snappy retorts are tossed across card tables and over drinks.
In a perfect example, the slimy character Ugarte (Peter Lorre) inquires of our hero, “You despise me, don’t you?” 
Rick replies offhandedly: “If I gave you any thought, I would.”
Casablanca was filmed in 1942.  We were losing the war at that time.  It looked like the Nazis would conquor the world.  The film spoke to bravery and sacrifice for the greater good.
The “La Marseillaise” scene so beautifully embodies man’s unquenchable devotion to freedom and country that it gives me chills every time I see it.


  1. Shame on me, because I haven't watched it. I had the intention of watching it several times but could only watch a few minutes before getting bored. I still plan on watching it one of these days, though.

  2. I have to totally agree with you on this one, Roland, it's my fave movie of all time - it rates above my scifi, since I don't like a lot of 'romantic' movies.

    I do like Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), Olivia de Haviland and Lauren Bacall (with Bogie in Key Largo), Marlene Dietrich. They don't make female actors like that anymore. I wanted to be Ilsa, even though she was faced with a tough choice too. (after all - 'we'll always have Paris'). . . memories are better than nothing.
    Glad you joined in.

  3. Wonderful tribute to a classic that still shines.

  4. I have to admit I've only seen parts of this movie but it's obviously such a classic that it's great you featured it. So many snappy quotes. Friendship and forgiveness will take us a long way on this earth.

  5. When I told my brother about this blog hop, this is the movie he said he'd choose!

  6. One of my favorites of all time!
    The first time I watched it was when I was in college. It was at a theater in Shreveport that showed old films. Yes we all wanted to be Rick.

  7. Great sequence. Great film. Bergman and Bogart couldn't be beat.


  8. Great movie choice, one of my all time favorite movies.
    Wonderful review.

    cheers, parsnip

  9. Great choice. There's a lot of pain in Casablanca, the sort of pain one best understands from a love lost. If you've never felt it, it's definitely harder to appreciate it.

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  12. Someone asked a while ago, "What's one movie you've never seen but should have" and I forgot all about this one! I can't even remember what movie I listed.

  13. A classic - what is not to love?


  14. Sorry, Everyone, I've been working all day, driving in the pouring rain & just got in --

    Bored? A terrified, running man is shot dead in the middle of a crowded daytime street by shouting police!

    It must be the black and white film in a color world! :-)

    Stars seemed to have more substance back then -- many of them got their start in theater, and it shows.

    You're right: to have memories of love is better than not to have loved at all! :-)

    The poster for CASABLANCA is on my front door -- and as I leave and enter, I say to Ilsa, "Here's looking at you, kid." LOL.

    Yes, friendship and forgiveness are cornerstones in most of my novels -- I guess it is easy to see where I got that theme from!

    Now, I don't feel so alone! :-)

    I envy you seeing this film on the big screen!!

    I still watch portions of this film though I've seen it a zillion times. :-)

    I'm glad you enjoyed my review and post -- don't be a stranger around here.

    Lost Love is something that haunts so many of us in today's society. You have a point. Thanks for visiting. :-)

    Black and white movies are eloquent and evocative more so than color ones for me -- Imagine seeing Psycho in color!

    Yes, you catch yourself saying that aloud at the end of that clip, don't you?

    It teaches true love is being strong enough to do the right thing and letting go -- of anger and of someone who needs to leave. :-(

    Thanks for enjoying my post, Roland

  15. The first time I saw this movie was just a few years ago. I'm surprised that I never saw it when I was a kid because I'd seen a lot of Bogie films and was a fan. It is a great film. Maybe not in my top 20 favorites but it's in my top 100.

    Tossing It Out

  16. This is a great post and a great choice for a movie as well. It's a long time since I've seen it, but I love the clip you shared on the post... gave me goosebumps.

    Thanks so much for sharing this on our Bloghop!

    Nancy at Hungry Enough To Eat Six

  17. Lee:
    You and I have seen a lot of movies we like -- it would be hard for me to pick only 20 as the best!! And Bogey is the man -- he even has a starring role in my latest audiobook, GHOST OF A CHANCE!

    Thanks for thinking so. :-)

    The ghost of Bogey thanks you. :-)

    Wasn't that clip goosebump inducing?