Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, ...

(Casablanca: Photofest)



Genre: Romance, Drama; Starring: Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart, Sydney Greenstreet, Paul Henreid, Peter Lorre, Claude Rains, Dooley Wilson; Director: Michael Curtiz; Author: Julius Epstein, Philip G. Epstein, Howard Koch; Runtime (in minutes): 102; MPAA Rating: PG; Distributor: MGM/UA Home Video, Warner Bros.

There are, I suppose, one or two who have never seen Casablanca, and to them I say, Welcome to one of the most perfect Hollywood movies ever made, starring Humphrey Bogart as a cynical expatriate saloon keeper in world-war-torn Morocco and Ingrid Bergman as the old flame who walks back into his place – of all the gin joints in all the world.

For the majority, meanwhile, who can quote every line – and the many with a copy of ”Casablanca” already on the shelf – the question is, when is it time to upgrade to a velvety new double-disc special edition, crammed with extras like stalls in a Moroccan bazaar? And the answer is, why not now, 60 years after the usual suspects were first rounded up? Although some of the add-ons are flimsy (e.g., opportunistic comments from Bergman’s daughter and Bogart’s son) and others appeared in the 2000 edition (e.g., the short docu ”You Must Remember This,” made for the film’s 50th anniversary), the erudite, chatty movie-buff commentary of Roger Ebert is a true bonus, complemented by a second, scholarly track from film historian Rudy Behlmer. Best goody of all: ”Carrotblanca,” a giddy 1995 Looney Tunes send-up starring Bugs Bunny, with Tweety Bird (okay, Bob Bergen) doing a dead-on Peter Lorre accent.

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Originally posted August 8 2003 — 12:00 AM EDT

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