There are very many memorable scenes in this movie which I was seeing for the very first time but these two stand out. One is the emotionally charged scene of utmost patriotism in the face of danger and oppression. The German soldiers were singing Die Wacht am Rhein and Victor Lazlo comes to overshadow it with the beautiful and heartfelt rendition of La Marseillaise that would make the head of anyone swell, French or not. A very defining scene in fact. I couldn’t get enough of it. (The irony of this scene to a viewer like me lies, of course, in the fact that both the German and the French folks were engaged in that phychological fight for superiority while occupying Morocco, a country that technically belonged to neither of them.)
The other is a very tender love scene full of nostalgia and affection. A black man (perhaps from America, having fleed from the discrimination of the South) played a moving slow rendition of a now favourite song. It was my pleasure to discover on iTunes today that the song As Time Goes By has been remade after the movie by greats like Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong among many others. Even Kenny G did an instrumental version. A great song by many standards, and the movie gives a very strong emotional background to its appreciation. Play it Sam.
Full of laughter, drama, intrigue, action, romance and bravery, with very superb acting by Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid Casablanca has suddenly become one of my most favourite movies of all time. A wonder I’m seeing it now just for the very first time.