Sunday, February 14, 2010

While Watching "Casablanca"...

...particularly that beautiful scene with "La Marseillese" play-off I wondered what it would've been like to watch the movie when it was released.
Sure now it's a classic that occurred almost accidentally as we know, but back then it was risky propaganda that could've gotten the people who made it in trouble if the Nazis invaded our continent.
What would've it been like to either get all hopeful over Bogey and Bergman or cynical at how fantastical the outcome might've been.
"Casablanca" does take place in the middle of WWII and it's such a miracle that its central theme doesn't age.
But then I wondered what would you have thought of the movie if you were walking by the theater lobby and saw that poster?
Bergman certainly looks glorious throughout the film (it's arguably the movie were she looked the loveliest) but isn't its idea of Rita Hayworth-esque glamour something completely off base from what "Casablanca" actually is?
Perhaps it's a matter of ingenious marketing strategies and they intended to lure the men by teasing them with sexy Ingrid (first time I've paired those two words...).
Whatever the reason it's yet another proof of the many ways in which we can approach "Casablanca" as if we were going for the very first time.


Castor said...

It's funny that you mention it, I was watching a documentary about Hollywood just before and during WWII this morning and there was so much fear and even antisemitism here in the US. Mostly, the movies made in Hollywood would not talk about the Nazis discrimination against Jews in particular, they would say "non-aryan" instead of "Jew". At some point, Hollywood was even chastised by Congress for trying to get America on the path to war against Nazi Germany... Of course, this all changed once we actually went to war but in all, Americans were extremely isolationist until Pearl Harbor.

Jose said...

Wow, that sounds fascinating.
Do you remember what the documentary was called?

Castor said...

It's called Imaginary Witness, it was on Ovation TV