4:42pm

Wed March 28, 2012
Monkey See

DVD Picks: 70 Years of 'Casablanca'

Time now for a home viewing recommendation from NPR's movie critic, Bob Mondello. He's found himself swept up this week by the 70th Anniversary edition boxed set of Casablanca.

Even if you don't know this movie, you know this movie: Bogie and Bergman steaming up Rick's Cafe Americain, drummer Dooley Wilson pretending to tickle the ivories of a piano he couldn't actually play, Peter Lorre sniveling. Paul Henried standing tall, Claude Rains rounding up the usual suspects. People who would otherwise refuse to watch black-and-white movies make an exception for this one, and whole generations can recite the classic lines along with the characters:

"Here's looking at you, kid."

"Is that cannon fire or is it my heart pounding?"

"Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine."

"It doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world."

"I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here."

"We'll always have Paris."

This 70th anniversary edition includes two commentaries (one by Roger Ebert), a whole disk of documentaries, deleted scenes, and even the cartoon "Carrotblanca" starring Bugs Bunny's Bogie and Tweetybird doing a Peter Lorre impersonation. Most of this was included in previous releases. What wasn't is some swag — a set of Casablanca coasters for instance — and a new blu-ray transfer of the film itself, so pristine you can almost see the camera lens reflected when a tear forms in Bergman's eye.

Audience tastes have changed in seven decades, but with Casablanca, the fundamental things apply.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Time now for a home viewing recommendation from movie critic Bob Mondello. He's found himself swept up this week by the 70th anniversary edition box set of "Casablanca."

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "CASABLANCA")

HUMPHREY BOGART: (as Rick Blaine) Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.

BOB MONDELLO, BYLINE: Even if you don't know this movie, you know this movie. Bogie and Bergman steaming up Rick's Cafe Americain, Dooley Wilson pretending to tickle the ivories, Claude Rains rounding up the usual suspects. People who would otherwise refuse to watch black and white movies make an exception for "Casablanca."

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "CASABLANCA")

BOGART: (as Rick Blaine) Here's looking at you, kid.

INGRID BERGMAN: (as Ilsa Lund) Is that cannon fire or is it my heart pounding?

BOGART: (as Rick Blaine) It doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.

CLAUDE RAINS: (as Captain Louis Renault) I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here.

ALEXANDER POLLARD: (as Croupier) Your winnings, sir.

RAINS: (as Captain Louis Renault) Oh, thank you very much.

BOGART: (as Rick Blaine) Remember, this gun is pointed right at your heart.

RAINS: (as Captain Louis Renault) That is my least vulnerable spot.

BERGMAN: (as Ilsa Lund) What about us?

BOGART: (as Rick Blaine) We'll always have Paris. We didn't have. We'd lost it until you came to Casablanca. We got it back last night.

MONDELLO: This 70th anniversary edition includes two commentaries, one by Roger Ebert, a whole disc of documentaries, deleted scenes and even the cartoon "Carrotblanca," starring Bugs Bunny's Bogie and Tweetie Bird doing a Peter Lorre impersonation. Most of this was included in previous releases. What wasn't is some swag, a set of "Casablanca" coasters, for instance, and a pristine new Blu-ray transfer of the film itself.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "CASABLANCA")

BERGMAN: (as Ilsa Lund) Play it once, Sam, for old time's sake.

DOOLEY WILSON: (as Sam) I don't know what you mean, Miss Ilsa.

MONDELLO: You can almost see the camera lens reflected as a tear forms in Bergman's eye.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "CASABLANCA")

BERGMAN: (as Ilsa Lund) Play "As Time Goes By."

WILSON: (as Sam) Oh, I can't remember it, Miss Ilsa. I'm a little rusty on it.

BERGMAN: (as Ilsa Lund) I'll hum it for you.

MONDELLO: Audience tastes have changed in seven decades, but with "Casablanca," the fundamental things apply.

I'm Bob Mondello.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "CASABLANCA")

BERGMAN: (as Ilsa Lund) Sing it, Sam.

WILSON: (as Sam) (Singing) You must remember this. A kiss is just a kiss. A sigh is just a sigh. The fundamental things apply as time goes by. And when two lovers woo, they still say, I love you. On that you can rely. No matter what the future brings as time goes by.

BOGART: (as Rick Blaine) Sam, I thought I told you never to play... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Related program: