Speaking of Casablanca:

(as we were):

I want to thank the person (whoever you are) who sent me the huge biography of Peter Lorre off my wish list. I have no email for you, and am not sure of the name either – but I SO appreciate the thoughtful gift! The book looks like a treasure trove, and I’m excited to eventually read it.

It’s funny: The marvelous SZ Sakall, also in Casablanca (and a million other movies), has MORE screen time than any of the other actors playing smaller parts in the film – including Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre – Peter Lorre is in the film for less than 5 minutes all together – but doesn’t he leave the impression that he is all over that movie?? It HAS to be way more than 5 minutes!! But it’s not. Kinda like that famous bit of trivia that Anthony Hopkins’ performance in Silence of the Lambs adds up to less than 17 minutes of screen time altogether. I think it’s about 16 minutes. Hard to believe. He is so omnipresent. It’s the shortest performance ever to win a Best Actor Oscar. I still find it hard to believe that he’s not in the movie for at LEAST 45 minutes! But he’s not. 16 minutes.

A similar situation with Lorre’s part in Casablanca, although he isn’t the lead. He disappears early on in the film – but his part is crucial.

I love Lorre’s oily slightly damaged persona – he’s fascinating. Amoral. Blunted, somehow.

Anyway, nameless person out there who sent me the book: so nice of you. Much appreciated!

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3 Responses to Speaking of Casablanca:

  1. Sharon Ferguson says:

    Al Stewarts opening lyrics for “Year of the Cat” keep playing through my mind:

    On a morning from a Bogart movie
    In a country where they turned back time
    You go strolling through the crowd like Peter Lorre
    Contemplating a crime…

    Would believe it wasnt until this past year that I saw Casablanca in its entirety? I know I know! Uncultured fool that I am LOL! But I remember wanting to keep seeing Lorre, even though it was clear he was done in.

    And while I soaked up Bogart completely, I also loved Paul Henreid – a friend of mine turned me onto him through “Now Voyager.”

  2. red says:

    Loooove Now Voyager – that’s a movie I just saw recently for the first time. I mean, I had seen parts of it – the cigarette bit and all that – but I saw the whole thing. I think bette davis is just brilliant in it.

    Oh – and Claude Rains is in it, too – if I’m not mistaken. He plays the psychiatrist in the beginning – am I right? I think he only has 1 or 2 scenes but he is, as always, impeccable.

  3. Sharon Ferguson says:

    Raines does indeed…I also recognized Mary Wickes…

    that lighting of the cigarette was supposed to have been considered very sensual for its time…

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