Casablanca Appreciation Day


From The Making of Casablanca: Bogart, Bergman, and World War II:

“Bogart had competence,” says Billy Wilder. “You felt that, if that big theatre where you were watching Casablanca caught on fire, Bogart could save you. Gable had that same competence and, nowadays, Mr. Clint Eastwood.” But Gable is too heroic for a disillusioned world. Three decades after his death, Bogart still seems modern. “He wore no rose-colored glasses,” wrote Mary Astor. “There was something about it all that made him contemptuous and bitter. He related to people as though they had no clothes on — and no skin, for that matter.”

Continued below:

Film critic Stanley Kauffmann was born in 1916 and has watched six generations of film heroes. “People never go to see my favorite American film actor of all, Fredric March,” says Kauffmann ruefully. “Bogart absolutely encapsulates permissible romance. In this disillusioned, disenchanted world here was a romantic hero we could accept. I think that that disenchantment began with World War I and the emergence of what could be called the Hemingway — the undeluded — generation. And I think that that revulsion with the romances and the lies of the nineteenth century and the twentieth century has persisted. There have been plenty of representatives of the lovely bucolic strain of American life on the screen. Bogart was someone urban — in a sense more jagged and abrasive than Cagney — who you felt was suffering. Cagney was triumphant. Bogart was tough, but he had sensitivity. Certainly the epitome he stood for was in Casablanca. I was misinformed. That’s the twentieth century.”

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