Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Rank Sentimentalist

Everybody comes to Rick's.

I saw Casablanca on TCM tonight, for the umpteenth time. I never get tired of it.

Some of the character actors are well-known: Sidney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre, for example. But some of the lesser-known members of the cast are interesting, too.

"Your winnings, sir."

Marcel Dalio, who played Emil the croupier, had an interesting life story. A French Jew, he had fled France in 1940 by way of Lisbon, using a forged visa. Reaching Mexico, he somehow qualified for a Canadian passport and reached Hollywood. He had already appeared in several French films now considered classics, like Rules Of The Game and Grand Illusion. And he went on to have a very successful career after the war, on both sides of the Atlantic.

"Yvonne, I love you, but he pays me!"

Dalio married actress Madeleine Lebeau ("Yvonne") when he was 40 and she was 17. She was 19 when she appeared in Casablanca.

This scene was shot on June 22, 1942. Dalio had her served with divorce papers that same day. Lebeau had just turned 19 about a week earlier.

Conrad Veidt played the evil Major Strasser. Born in Germany, Veidt also fled the Nazis and became a British citizen. Although he himself was not Jewish, his first wife was. He died in April 1943 while playing golf.

Two other character actors were S.Z. Sakall and Leonid Kinskey. Look closely; do you see the bottle of Absinthe on the bar?

And of course the luminous Ingrid Bergman.

"Here's looking at you, kid!"

The last surviving cast member is Madeleine Lebeau; she was born in 1923.


Guffaw in AZ said...

I'm with you, another one! Thanks for the interesting trivia. I always refer to the orchestra vs. the German drinking song, as 'the Battle of the Bands'.

drjim said...

Wonderful movie.
It's where the phrase "The Usual Suspects" came from.

Old NFO said...

Still my favorite movie of all time! Thanks for the trivia, I didn't know most of them!

og said...

I once had a girl call me "Captain renault" and I had to have her explain to me what it meant. "You're just like other men" she said "Only more so"

Great movie.

Murphy's Law said...

I always had a thing for Yvonne.

Stretch said...

I've seen Casablanca many times in the theater. Wore out one VHS copy and now have it on DVD. And, yes, I still watch it on TCM every time it comes around.
Have introduced a number of people to the film.
It lead AFI's "100 Greatest Film Quotes" with 7 (I think).
Arguably one of the top 10 films of all time.
If you'll excuse me my DVD player is calling.

w/v=prenis So close!