Posted in Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

Casablanca

casa1Still one of my fav movies for dialogue. And it stars Humphrey Bogart, my first love, well, one of the firsts, it’s hard to remember.

Sadly, Ingrid Bergman is more of a Barbie figure with limited facial expressions: worried and adoring, sometimes worriedly adoring or adoringly worried. I never thought this was her best, although I loved her wardrobe.

This was a love story with a perfect ending. If that doesn’t satisfy the viewer you can always imagine Ilsa and Richard get together after the war when Laszlo doesn’t need her strength anymore.

The bromance between Riccasa7k (Bogart) and Renault (the magnificent and sardonic Claude Rains) is the best part of the movie; especially as Renault And Rick walk off into the fog together and Rick says: “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

If you’ve never given yourself the gift of watching this movie, do so. If you have, do it again…you’re worth it.

Some interesting info about Casablanca:

Casablanca wasn’t expected to be a hit, just one in a string of patriotic World War II films and Bogart’s first try as a leading man. Bit of a shock when it went on to be one of the greatest movies of all time.

Humphrey Bogart was a brilliant chess player. casa2

 Many extras in Casablanca were European émigrés who shed real tears while filming the battle of the anthems scene. Conrad Veidt, (Major Strasser) had escaped with his Jewish wife from Germany in 1933 when he learned he was being targeted by the SSVeidt was resolute in being cast only as Nazi villains believing it would help the war effort.

Even though it’s in black and white (spare yourself the horror of the Colorized version) we know the colour of Ilsa’s dress the day the Germans invaded Paris. “The Germans wore gray. You wore blue”.

casa9There’s been talk of a sequel and a few unsuccessful remakes and prequels, but no success. However, I did love Bugs Bunny in Carrotblanca and The Marx Bros in A Night in Casablanca.

No one in Casablanca ever says, “Play it again Sam”…one of the most famous misquotes of all time.casa5

Rick dramatically reads the dissolving note from Ilsa in the rain at the train station in Paris…seconds later he and Sam are getting on the train, dry as a bone.

Humphrey Bogart, Sydney Greenstreet, and Peter Lorre (he was sooo cool) had previously appeared in the amazing The Maltese Falcon together.

Dooley Wilson (Sam) was actually a drummer; didn’t play piano.

Too many best lines, here’s a few…

Yvonne: “Will I see you tonight?”
Rick: “…I never make plans that far ahead.”

Rick: “…My health, I came to Casablanca for the waters.”
Renault: “The waters? What waters? We’re in the desert.”
Rick: “…I was misinformed.”

Ugarte: “You despise me, don’t you?”
Rick: “…If I gave you any thought, I probably would.”

Renault:Major Strasser’s been shot.” (Glances at Rick, holding the smoking gun, and he repeats–) “…Round up the usual suspects.”

Rick: “But it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you’ll understand that. Now, now. Here’s looking at you, kid.”casa4

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Posted in Movies, Uncategorized

ARSENIC AND OLD LACE

aaol2One of my fav Halloween flicks. Madcap and macabre, it gives laughs, groans, and an appreciation that some of the best movies were made long before you were born.

Released in 1944 (although filmed in 1941 due to Cary Grant’s availability) this film has withstood the test of time. Based on Joseph Kesselring‘s play; both the play and movie are ghastly joys, in their own ways.

Cary Grant as Mortimer Brewster gives a stunningly awkward and charmingly frenetic performance.aaol1

Josephine Hull and Jean Adair portray Abby and Martha Brewster, Mortimer’s darling Aunts who also happen to be serial killers for a good cause, “It’s one of our charities”. They’re like the Dexter of their day. Their explanation of their murderous ways? They stop the suffering of lonely old bachelors by poisoning them with arsenic, strychnine and “just a pinch of cyanide” disguised in elderberry wine.

Uncle Teddy (John Alexander) who believes he’s Teddy Roosevelt unwittingly aids the Aunts by digging graves in the basement, thinking he is digging locks for the Panama Canal and burying yellow fever victims.  Hull, Adair, and Alexander reprise their 1941 stage production roles.

Mortimer, whose ultimate dysfunctional family causes no end of headaches explains to his hapless new bride – “Insanity runs in my family, practically gallops!”

Peter Lorre and Raymond Massey are so sublimely creepy they really are Halloween.aaol3