I’m trying to read a book each week in 2018, and you can follow along at home! Expect a mix of fiction, historical non-fiction, comics and graphic novels, and movies-related books over the next 52 weeks!
This week’s book is We’ll Always Have Casablanca: The Life, Legend, and Afterlife of Hollywood’s Most Beloved Movie by Noah Isenberg. I’ve read a number of books on the making of Casablanca … this one is timed to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the film’s release. Quite possibly the most popular Hollywood film of all time, Casablanca was the right movie at the right time, hitting screens in the heart of World War II and winning audiences all over the country. Isenberg looks at the film’s origins and production and why it continues to be so popular. Almost perfectly cast (let’s face it: Paul Henreid is a stiff) with one of the great romantic movie teams of all time, Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre (I kid … too bad they don’t have a scene together), Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, and—of course—the wonderful Claude Rains. Is there another movie with such a plethora of great lines? From “We’ll always have Paris,” to “Here’s looking at you, kid,” but not “Play it again, Sam” (Woody Allen said that); from “Round up the usual suspects,” to “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship,” (plus don’t forget “Of all the gin joints...”), Casablanca tops them all. If you’re a film buff, there isn’t a lot new in this book, but it’s a nice refresher course on one of Hollywood’s best.
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