My grandfather loaned me his DVD copy last week and I finally got a chance to see this 60 year old film.
My goodness, what a series of cliches! “Here’s looking at you kid,” “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.” “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship”
I mean, what a hack job. They had a black piano player named Sam! It was shot in black and white! It’s like they stole these ideas from Screenwriting 101 class.
OK, in all seriousness, I liked this movie, though I thought it had even more potential than what came across on screen. I loved Humphrey Bogart. He was absolutely perfect for this role as he oozed coolness and self confidence all across the screen. I don’t watch all that many old films, but I’ve also seen him in the African Queen and he’s great there too.
Captain Louis Renault was wonderful. Despite being a corrupt officer, willing to allign himself with whomever pays him the most money, he still manages to come out as a good guy. “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!” That made me laugh out loud.
But, I’m sorry, I really didn’t like Ingrid Bergman, her character, or the relationship she had with Rick. She plays a weak female, unable to confront either of the men she loves in the past or in the present. She nearly ends up hurting both of them because she is unable to come clean with her true feelings. What does Rick see in her anyway? She might have been fun as a “no questions asked” Paris fling, but why does Rick end up loving her? What is it about her character that would make a man like Rick fall that madly in love in so short a time? The screenplay never told us and Bergman never showed us.
I’m left to believe that it was love for the sake of the movie, but that can’t be right, can it? This is an all time classic love story. #7 on the IMDB list. What is it I’m missing about this relationship that everyone else gets or at least accepts?
I think part of my problem might have come from the fact that I knew the ending well before I saw the movie. I knew he doesn’t get her, that he lets her go in true moment of self sacrifice. I never questioned who would get the girl and perhaps that marred my enjoyment of the film, but that doesn’t change my question of why he was faced with this dillema in the first place. Just let her go and problem solved.