This year, I had two movies that I thought to be bigger challenges for me than others. For September, I watched one of those movies, and turns out, my 2018 Blindspot, has only one truly challenging movie. And it ain’t Casablanca.

If you listen Across the Universe podcast, you might have heard that I have not seen a lot of Golden Age movies. In other words, I’ve seen so few, that I can probably count them on one hand. Yes, before you gasp in horror, I know it’s bad, and yes, I’m sort of trying to improve myself. The thing is, Golden Age classics scare me, and even after watching Casablanca for 1,5 times, they still scare me.

The 1942 film Casablanca, won three Oscars: Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay. Out of those three, I think for me, the stand out was the writing of the film. The script written by the Epstein twins is quick, clever and has quite a few known quotes even for someone like me! I was totally surprised that despite my fear for the Golden Age, I actually seem to know a little about it.

What I did not know, was that Casablanca is a thriller. Sure, it is categorised as a romance drama film, but if you’d ask me, it has the foundation of a classic thriller. We have the political intrigue, the shootings, the scheming, the mystery of the woman’s past – and that ending is definitely thrilling! Another thing I didn’t realise before I had watched Casablanca, was that it is quite sad. The two main characters, who are in a complicated love triangle, do not end up together. I thought it was a rather awful ending to such a film, but I guess that’s what truly makes it a classic?

Kiss me. Kiss me as if it were the last time.
– Ilsa

The two leading actors, Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman are names I recognise. Yet Casablanca marked the first time I saw them on screen but definitely not the last. Their chemistry, though defined by the restrictions of the era, was strong and exciting. It felt a little dangerous even, and this intrigued me a lot. Plus, Bergman reminds me a little of my grandmother: both stunning women!

When I said I have seen it 1,5 times, I meant that I got only half way through it the first time. Had to stop, and then when I had time to watch the rest of it, decided to start from the beginning. For me, this actually worked so well! You could say I was more in the moment when I saw it the second time around. Also, it felt less strange and foreign to me. This in turn, makes me want to believe that the more I watch Golden Age classics, the more I would like them.

And with such a positive thought, I’d like to end my discussion. Yes, it was brief, and yes I really didn’t express my opinion, but what else is there to say? There isn’t a lot that hasn’t been said about a classic which is beloved by so many. And I definitely wouldn’t be able to write about the unsaid. So I’ll leave it at this: I liked it, but I’m not ready for love.




  • Glad you enjoyed it. I was fortunate to see it in the theater 8 years ago with my parents at the Marietta Square theater. They didn’t like it. They found it to be boring.

    • Hah, very interesting. I do think that I would have liked it more in a theatre because at home my attention span is all over the place. 😀

  • I love the film and have seen it many times which leads me to your reference to seeing it 1.5 times and how you felt more into it when you went back. It’s the kind of film that benefits from multiple viewing because its so rich in both writing and performance there is always something new to discover. I also saw it in the theatre at a special showing and it added a great deal to see it with an audience because different people would react to different parts.

    I think the ending while disappointing from a romantic angle is the right one and adds an impact that helps keep the film special. These are people in extraordinary circumstances and their decisions have to have a worldview beyond themselves.

    Bogie and Ingrid do have a fantastic chemistry and I think the fact they only co-starred the once helps keep that unique energy fresh, sort of like Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh in Gone with the Wind. The cast that surrounds them all add distinctive touches as well down to the smallest role, It’s a real testament to the best of what could be achieved by the studio system,

    Definitely seek out more classics! There’s a world of fantastic discoveries waiting there!!

    • I do think the movie was more entertaining to me during the second time around, so I imagine it being even better the third. I’m just not sure if I’d watch it again. I have so many classics to see. So if I would watch the ones I’ve seen more than once, I’ll never get through my list. 😀
      Oh I did love Gable and Leigh in Gone With the Wind – the classic I saw without the help of the Blindspot series. But that final scene in that film was also brutal… that’s why I asked, if it’s the ending is what makes it a classic.

      I will, I have a few left for this year and I’m already struggling to make the list for next year.. there are just too many to choose!

  • I remember loving Bogart more than anything, but I recall little else about this movie (I watched it once…because I SHOULD). I’m with you on a total lack of golden age movies, as they aren’t exactly in my wheelhouse. And when I do end up enjoying them, I’m always suspicious that I feel that way because I’m supposed to, you know? There’s something disingenuous about the whole thing sometimes…

    Anyway, glad to see you knocked one off your list. What are you thinking is the next one?

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