This year's Summer Classics series at the Kentucky Theatre has been about as classic as it can be, with all-time hits such as Citizen Kane and Gone with the Wind on the big screen. But Wednesday is arguably the biggest classic of them all: Casablanca, the Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman World War II doomed romance.
Why do we love this movie so much?
Is it the great lines: "Here's looking at you, kid?"
Is it As Time Goes By, the song Ilsa wanted to hear and Rick had to force himself to listen to?
Is it that perfect ending, "I'm no good at being noble, 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."
Last week, we asked Copious Notes readers why Casablanca endures. Here are some responses:
Kathy Walsh-Piper, director of the University of Kentucky Art Museum said, "Casablanca is almost a brand. It’s about the scent of flowers on an EVENING BREEZE. The story is a true romance in an exotic place, in a time when exotic places were truly “foreign,” when they gave you cigarettes on the plane."
Deborah Core, an Eastern Kentucky University English professor writes, "I love Casablanca because, like most great romances, it ties the love story to a war. Rick makes the connection explicit at the end when he says that the problems of two little people don’t matter much in comparison to the problems of the world. But the movie has persuaded us of how much the two little people do matter. In the end, though, history wins, and we’re left with two more great movie conventions: the rise of men to heroic stature (Rick and Louie) and the implicit beginning of a buddy film (again, Rick and Louie).
"The music is magnificent, and Ingrid Bergman makes me want to buy a hat!"
Charles Edward Pogue, a Georgetown resident and screenwriter of films such as D.O.A., wrote:
"I think it works largely because it is a lot of seasoned pros at the top of their game...Bogart, Bergman, Claude Rains, director Mike Curtiz, producer Hal Wallis, and writers the Epstein brothers and Howard Koch. A happy symbosis of great writing, directing, acting, and producing.
"Warners also had a great collection of strong,supporting actors...Cuddles Sakall, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Paul Heinreid, Conrad Veidt, Dooley Wilson...all filling out their smaller, supporting roles with colourful vividness. People always talk about MGM's stable of actors; but for me, Warners always had the best line-up.
"It is also an example of the strengths of the studio system...a stable of writers, executives, actors, and artists working in an odd checks and balance system and with a repertorial connectness.