Wednesday, November 28, 2012


“Here’s looking at you, kid”
This month marks the 70th anniversary of Michael Curtiz’s CASABLANCA.

CASABLANCA is always found near the top of any list of all-time greats. Based upon an unpublished stage play and set during World War II, the film starred Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Paul Henreid. Its focus was a simple, yet effective story of a man caught inbetween love and virtue. With its noir-style of classic shadow and lighting effects, it was a marvel to look at in black-and-white, but it was its blend of drama and romance which really made it stand out.
CASABLANCA would go on to win three Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Long term, the American Film Institute (AFI) ranks it as the third-best film of all time, and it was selected for preservation in the U.S. Film Registry in 1989 for its historical and cultural significance.

Of all the great things CASABLANCA does, it is perhaps its screenplay (which won an Oscar) which is the most overlooked. The film is the source for many of the greatest quotes in movie history. The AFI’s list of Best Movie Quotes has six lines from CASABLANCA:

“Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship” – 20th

“Play it Sam. Play ‘As Time Goes By” – 28th (often paraphrased as “play it again Sam”)

“Round up the usual suspects” – 32nd

“We’ll always have Paris” – 43rd

“Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine” – 67th


Any student (or blogger) of film would be well-served to study the writing of CASABLANCA. Its script isn’t just very quotable; it tells a simple, yet important story effectively. A lot of what the movies are today comes from CASABLANCA.



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