Casablanca and Established Opinion

Casablanca: When Melodrama Trumped History” by David Macaray via Counterpunch:

Not only is “Casablanca” regarded as one of the greatest American movies ever made—throbbing romance, exotic setting, superb cast, memorable song (“As Time Goes By”), signature dialogue (“Play it again, Sam”)—it managed to beat out an astonishing nine other nominees to win the 1943 Oscar for Best Picture. …

But for all the adoration and praise this movie has received, has anyone actually examined its plot?  Has anyone asked themselves what this movie isreally about? Because, if they had, they’d realize the movie’s central premise is patently absurd. …

And for those who think this appraisal is too petty or negative, let us go to the source.  Let us quote Julius J. Epstein, the co-writer (along with his brother, Philip) of the screenplay for “Casablanca.”

These are Epstein’s words:  “It was just a routine assignment.  Frankly, I can’t understand its staying power.  If it were made today, line for line, each performance as good, it’d be laughed off the screen.  It’s such a phony picture.  Not a word of truth in it.  It’s camp, it’s kitsch.  It’s shit!”

Ouch.

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