In the First World War, British Lt. T. E. Lawrence (Peter O’Toole) is selected to assess the situation of Prince Faisal (Alec Guinness), who is having issues with the Turks. Going against the wishes of his superior officer, Lawrence catches the attention of the Prince, and advises a plan to attack Aqaba, a strategically positioned shipping port, by land, something deemed impossible due to the treacherous desert that must be crossed to do so. Even so, Lawrence and 50 men set out to do just that. Continue reading →
When King Richard is taken captive in Europe in 1191, his villainous brother Prince John usurps the throne, raising taxes dramatically and forcing many of his subjects into poverty. Enter Sir Robin of Locksley (Errol Flynn), the self-proclaimed greatest archer in the land, who amasses an army of townsfolk and loyal followers, with the intention of righting Prince John’s misdeeds, and winning the heart of Lady Marian (Olivia DeHavilland), who is to be wed to John’s right hand man, Sir Guy of Gisbourne (Basil Rathbone). Continue reading →
When her German father is arrested and sentenced to 20 years in prison for treason, Alicia Huberman (Ingrid Bergman) is recruited by the American government as the perfect candidate to spy on some suspected Nazi agents in Brazil. For her mission, Alicia must become close with one of the agents, Alex Sebastian (Claude Rains) which doesn’t sit well with her American correspondent Devlin (Cary Grant), as he and Alicia have recently fallen in love. Continue reading →
I’ve finally watched Casablanca! After Gone with the Wind and Singin’ in the Rain I’ll finally be able to call myself a film fan. Don’t worry, they’re on the list, and GWTW is on my DVD shelf, so watch this space. There are many films – these three included – that are held with such high regard in the cinematic community – nay, the world – that one cannot possibly expect to leave the film having had expectations met and a smile on the face, so I went in expecting nothing but misquoted famous lines, romantic clinches and a bitter sense of disappointment, yet when those closing credits rolled the sense of elation tingling up my spine cannot be exaggerated. What we have here is more than a film, it’s a landmark in history.
Humphrey Bogart is of course Rick, owner of Rick’s Cafe American in Casablanca, French Morocco around the outbreak of World War 2. Bogey set the template for cynics on screen, sticking his neck out for nobody but those that will help him along. Rarely is there a moment when he isn’t drinking, smoking or both. The story involves a concentration camp escapee and secret documents containing a letter of transit allowing a safe departure from the town, but what you’re really here for is the script. Everyone knows the classics, “Here’s looking at you kid” “all the gin joints…” and “we’ll always have Paris” (“play it again, Sam” is never actually uttered) but the lesser known phrases are just as good, if not better: “I have given him the best, knowing he is German and would take it anyway” “this gun is pointed right at your head”/”that is my least vulnerable spot”.
Long scenes make the film seem longer than it is (for a classic it is surprisingly sleight at only 102 minutes) and Ingrid Bergman wears a distractingly terrible blouse for much of the film, but if yuo haven’t seen this film, I urge you to do so soon.I think I’ll go watch it again.