Casablanca and stupid young people

Okay, I’ll try my darndest not to make this a rant headed for the Pit.

The other day I watched Casablanca on one of the many Cinemax channels we get. It’s been at least 25 years since I’ve seen it. No special effects, black & white, 60+ years old, and it’s STILL one of the absolute greatest movies EVER made. What a masterpiece this film is. Just simply excellent. I’m glad I hit the record button on the VCR as I watched it.

So, tonight my 18 year old son and the little slu…uh, I mean girl he’s been dating are clicking through the cable movie channels, complaining that nothing good is on. I suggested that if they find nothing I have a copy of Casablanca, one of the best movies ever.

So I get an earfull of how ridiculous I am to suggest that a movie that’s old, B&W, and absent of Arnold/Tom/Sly blowing something up, could possibly be worth their precious time, and how I, at only 43 years old, am already showing signs of fossilization!!! :eek:
SIGH! :rolleyes:
I hope the young people who have the intellect to roam these sacred SDMB have the intellect to understand that just because something is old, doesn’t mean it’s not GREAT!
Regardless of your age, folks: SEE CASABLANCA!
Trust me! :slight_smile:

As a fan of old movies, I’m the first to admit that many of the “four-star”, classic, old black and white movies have aged very badly and suck eggs.

But not Casablanca. It’s great. Particularly the alternate ending. :slight_smile:

Yvonne: Where were you last night?
Rick: That’s so long ago, I don’t remember.
Yvonne: Will I see you tonight?
Rick: I never make plans that far ahead.

Captain Renault: I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
Croupier: Your winnings, sir.

Rick: And remember, this gun is pointed right at your heart.
Captain Renault: That is my least vulnerable spot.

I think the problem we (young people, I’m 23) have with Old Movies is that they’re, well, old movies. To a youngin weaned on quick cuts, bizarre camera angles, MTV-style editing, the old-time Hollywood style can be hard to adapt to. Pop culture’s become much more disposable, we don’t remember movies more than 2 or 3 years old, and even then, they’re OLD.

Or we (generally) have no taste.

I’ve loved that movie since the first time I saw it, and I was in my teens at the time(I’m in my early 20’s now). It’s “young adults” like the ones you mentioned that give some of the rest of us a bad name(though then again, even when I was a teen, I tended to feel that a lot of my classmates were a bit on the shallow side).

Though my after discussing it with my mom once, one of us developed the theory that Louis may be Gay(or at least bi-sexual) and somehow longing for Rick. I have to admit, it’s rather creepy how well the theory seems to fit. Louis always seems to be just a little too interested in Rick and his activites(moreso then a police officer should be).

But that’s another thread entirely.

Now some great lines:
Major Strasser: You give him credit for too much cleverness. My impression was that he’s just another blundering American.

Captain Renault: We musn’t underestimate American blundering. I was with them when they blundered into Berlin in 1918.

Major Strasser: Are you one of those people who cannot imagine the Germans in their beloved Paris?

Rick: It’s not particularly my beloved Paris.

Heinz: Can you imagine us in London?

Rick: When you get there, ask me!

Captain Renault: Hmmh! Diplomatist!

Major Strasser: How about New York?

Rick: Well there are certain sections of New York, Major, that I wouldn’t advise you to try to invade.

By, jove, I think he has it! :stuck_out_tongue:

Don’t forget, I was about (maybe even a tad younger) than you are now when MTV first came out. I loved it. Yet I have appreciation for great movies (and television) that is much older than I.

And get this: (you may not believe this, but I swear it’s true) at one time MTV actually stood for MUSIC Television! That’s right: They actually played tons of music videos on it! I gotta be old to remember that, I guess! :smack:

I’ve just turned 21, and I LOVE Casablanca. And The Big Sleep, and The Maltese Falcon. I tend to look down on those who cannot or will not see the entertainment value of a classic film.

I once didn’t talk to somebody for a week because after we watched Casablanca, she said it sucked because it was so cliched. “I mean, really - ‘we’ll always have Paris’? What a cheezy, over-used line THAT was!”

:stuck_out_tongue: Bwaaahahahahahahaha!

She probably was tired of hearing all the “cliches”( :rolleyes: ) in that movie and was disgusted that they’d have tha gall to steal lines from Bugs Bunny cartoons! :smiley: :stuck_out_tongue:

I saw The Godfather re-release in the theater, and when they got to the “Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes,” the audience groaned. :smack:

Golly gosh, gramps, tell me more! Tell me more! Were there electric lights and stuff, too?! :eek:

Mrs. Kunilou is – well, she’s old enough – and she and I have been going around on this subject for the 23 years we’ve been married.

She doesn’t like black and white. This is someone who grew up on black and white TV. But black and white is very nearly a deal-breaker for any movie, be it Casablanca, Citizen Kane or Duck Soup. On the other hand, she’ll sit and watch the Wizard of Oz (at least she understands why part of it is black and white), Gone With the Wind and other horribly over-Technicolored examples without a peep.

So don’t feel too bad about the young 'uns. You have to teach them.

Rick: “I remember everything about that day. The Germans wore grey. You wore blue.”

I didn’t see many classics at all as a kid; it wasn’t until my early twenties that I first saw The Maltese Falcon and fell madly in love with film noir. Until then, my main impression of such movies had been watching Queen of the Nile with my father at age thirteen and being bored out of my skull with it; I was therefore very suspicious of any movie that might be remotely similar.

I suspect that if you could convince your son to watch the movie – tell him that it’s hilariously funny (which it is) – he might end up loving it. Convincing him to sit down for it might be the hard part, though.


I’ve never seen all of Casablanca, or Gone With The Wind, or It’s a Wonderful Life. There’s a problem with being young and the classics. They’re classics, people tell you about them your whole life!

By the time I was 10 years old I knew just from listening to people talk that in It’s A Wonderful Life George is depressed about a money issue that’s going to cost him everything, so he wishes he’d never been born. An angel named charlie, who wants to get his wings, shows George what would happen if he’d never been born, and at the end of the movie the uncle figures out what happened to the money so the nasty old man couldn’t buy them out after all. " Every time a bell rings an angel gets their wings."

If you haven’t seen a classic by the time your age has two numbers to it, odds are it’s so spoiled for you that you’re never going to want to see it unless you like watching movies for something other than discovering the plot as you watch. Me, unless it’s a adapted from a book, I have no desire whatsoever to see a movie that I know the entire plot to before hand.

Well, it’s imminently watchable, but it isn’t nearly the greatest movie ever made. Not close. I like it, obviously, but see my previous thread on the film.

What you describe is not what happens at the end. You might want to actually see the film to see how it really goes.

More importantly, there’s more to a good story, whether it be in a movie, a song, a play, or a book, than just the plot. Lots more. If all you get out of such things is the plot, you’re missing out on most of they have to offer.

If you started a thread where people posted their favorite lines from Casablanca, eventually you would have the entire script posted. That is the difference between great movies and the throw-away popcorn movies: dialogue. There is a lot of substance to a movie like Casablanca - the script, the acting, the plot, the characters, the atmosphere, the humor… It is incredibly rewatchable. But there is no accounting for taste. Some people like slow dancing in the dark and some like disco.

The first time I ever watched Casablanca, it was in that horrible colorized format. Really badly done, with nasty muted unrealistic colors.

We watched it for an hour, bitching about the color, before someone finally went “uh… why don’t we turn the color down on the TV?” :smack:

elfkin - Well first of all, as Gary T said, you don’t know how It’s A Wonderful Life ends, because the ending you’ve picked up is not at all correct. But more importantly, that movie is so much more than just the plot (as any great movie is). If you don’t know about Buffalo Gals, and Bert and Ernie, and Zuzu’s petals, and Martini’s, and what happened to George’s ear, then you owe it to yourself to find out.

I too had no interest in seeing It’s A Wonderful Life for many years because I had seen so many parodies and reinterpretations. Then one night someone else was watching, and I joined in, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I’ve seen it many times, and this year I found myself eagerly anticipating NBC’s annual showing, and sat and watched it all the way through, loving every minute and still finding new things to enjoy.

OTOH, I’d heard about Gone With the Wind for years, and when I finally sat down and watched it, I didn’t like it at all. But at least now I know why I don’t like it, and when it’s referenced, quoted, or parodied I can respond with an understanding not only of the basic plot, but of all the underlying themes and context that make it a classic.

I like Casablanca, although it’s not one of my favorite movies. That said, I’m glad that I’ve seen it (several times) because it does give me a context for understanding all of the references. Lines like “We’ll always have Paris,” “round up the usual suspects,” and “this could be the start of a beautiful frienship” (can’t believe I’m the first to post that one) became classics because of how important they were in the movie, and how much meaning lay beneath the surface of the words. To those who haven’t seen the film, they’re stripped of their richness.

I think Ex_Machina hit it right: the quality of dialogue/story makes some old movies much more memorable than new ones. Case in point: The Matrix–an absolutely interesting eye-fest but with dialogue (mainly in the last two movies) that was completely forgetable. Finding Nemo had better dialogue and it was a cartoon!

I also wonder why there is such a gap between ‘young’ and ‘old’ people of today. Do I notice it more because I’m ‘old’?
Still, I grew up mainly in the 70’s and saw hundreds of old B&W movies and even in my teens I don’t remember being turned-off by them. They were cool. Old 'B’movie monster flicks were still cool even after Star Wars came out and threw the bar up 10 stories.

So I would like to go with the suggestion that the ‘younger’ generation has been raised on MTV sound-bite/epileptic camera
fluff. But that accusation seems wrong because I like that stuff, too (when it’s used skillfully). The ‘dumbing-down of america’ seems more appropriate of an explanation to me.

One thing I do notice is my 13 yr old and the discrepancy between his interests when he’s at home with only family (will sit and enjoy Casablanca) and when he has friends around (oh, Casablanca is boring!). That’s a very interesting thing to watch.

I first saw Casablanca 30 years ago, in college – projected in my housing unit’s dining room. To establish the zeitgeist: this was early 70s. Baby boomers ruled pop culture; there was no nostalgia for anything before the '60s, and there was practically no access to old movies (no DVDs, no Turner Classic Movies). I’m guessing 90% of the audience had never seen the movie.

The place was packed, and the audience absolutely loved it. When the classic line “round up the usual suspects” (which wasn’t yet a movie title in itself) was spoken, the audience cheered.

I don’t think young adults have changed much since then. Your average YA will still appreciate Casablanca if they’re introduced to it carefully.