Nov. 26, 2012 at 12:27 PM ET
Round up the usual suspects, it's time to honor "Casablanca," the Humphrey Bogart-Ingrid Bergman classic that premiered 70 years ago, on Nov. 26, 1942. Are there many movies as beautiful, or as beautifully quotable?
Usual suspects are rounded up. Beautiful friendships have begun. Songs are played again, by Sam (though the line, famously misquoted, is really just "Play it, Sam" -- no "again" mentioned.)
In Rick's famed tear-jerker of a goodbye to Ilsa, he tells her that "we'll always have Paris," and then reminds her that "the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world."
When Captain Renault announces that he is "shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here," a croupier smoothly hands him his own winnings.
And when Nazi Maj. Heinrich Strasser sneers to Renault that Bogart's Rick is just another "blundering American," Renault points out, "We mustn't underestimate American blundering. I was with them when they blundered into Berlin in 1918."
And of course, in a line that's been mangled and parodied from here to Morocco and back, Rick says of Ilsa, "of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine."
Movies like "Casablanca" don't come around every day, or even every decade. That's why it's distressing for many movie fans to read in the Wall Street Journal that a sequel, "Return to Casablanca," was written in the 1980s and could still have new life. (A sequel about a son of Rick and Ilsa? Who himself would be almost 70 now? Hey, maybe Harrison Ford can play him.)
Of that possibility, the best that can be said for many fans may be: They might make a sequel, but they can't make us watch it.
Happy anniversary, "Casablanca." Here's looking at you, kid.
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