Wednesday, March 14, 2012

PLAY IT AGAIN: CASABLANCA RETURNS FROM THE GOLDEN AGE TO THE SILVER SCREEN

  It's been 70 years since Humphrey Bogart told Sam the pianist to play As Time Goes By again. And to celebrate the anniversary,  that classic movie Casablanca is coming back to the big screen.
   Warner Bros and Turner Classic Movies are joining up to show the epic love story at movie theaters across America on March 21 at 7pm.  The screening will begin with Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne taking audiences behind the scenes in a special original production showcasing stories from those who were on set and those who simply admire the timeless classic.
  As every movie lover knows, Casablanca is a tale of unrequited love
and political and romantic espionage set against the backdrop of war-torn Europe. It  is a project that defined the “golden age” of Hollywood and is listed again and again on the top ten lists of critics and fans alike; its snappy lines are repeated by movie buffs the world over. 
 With rich and smoky atmosphere, anti-Nazi propaganda, Max Steiner's superb musical score, suspense, unforgettable characters (supposedly 34 nationalities are included in its cast) and memorable lines of dialogue (e.g., "Here's lookin' at you, kid," and the inaccurately-quoted "Play it again, Sam"), it is one of the most popular films of all time, focusing as it does on the themes of lost love, honour and duty, self-sacrifice and romance within a chaotic world.
  Directed by Michael Curtiz and shot almost entirely on studio sets, the film moves quickly through a tightly constructed plot, even though the script was written from day to day as the filming progressed and no one knew how the film would end - who would use the two exit visas? [Would Ilsa, Rick's lover from a past romance in Paris, depart with him or leave with her husband Victor, the leader of the underground resistance movement?] 
  And three weeks after shooting ended, producer Hal Wallis contributed the film's famous final line - delivered on a fog-shrouded runway.
  It won Oscars for Best Picture (producer Hal B. Wallis), Best Director, and Best Screenplay.

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