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Rick's Café Américain:
Setting the scene. Rick, the protagonist (Humphrey
Bogart), is an American who lives in Casablanca and owns a saloon
frequented by some of the most colorful characters ever written. They may be his customers,
but that doesn't mean Rick won't give them a piece of his mind now and
then. In the picture above, Ugarte (Peter Lorre)
watches Rick play chess with himself.
Ugarte: "You despise me, don't you?"
Rick: "If I gave you any thought I probably would."
Later in the evening, Ugarte gets himself arrested:
"Rick, hide me! Do something! You
must help me. Rick!"
But Rick sticks his neck out for nobody, least of all a cut-rate
parasite like Ugarte.
Besides its international atmosphere, the biggest draw at
Rick's is Sam, the piano player, who contributes such memorable songs as "Knock on Wood" to the soundtrack.
In this scene, Senor Ferrari (Sydney Greenstreet) tries to convince Sam to come work for him at The Blue
Parrot, but Sam turns him down. He claims that the extra money
wouldn't matter to him because "I ain't got time to spend the money
I make here," but we know it's really Sam's loyalty to Rick that
keeps him where he is. Actually, the role of Sam is actually
rather a progressive black character for the early 1940s, being neither
a servant nor a comic relief character. Although serving in a
musical capacity, Sam is also a friend and confidant of Rick, the white
protagonist, frequently taking care of him and even trying to protect
him at times. Needless to say, this kind of relationship between
black and white characters was unusual in films of the time.
Incidentally, Dooley Wilson, who played Sam, was a
singer and drummer but couldn't play the piano. The music for the
songs was actually dubbed in by Warners'
studio musician Elliott Carpenter. Also, Wilson was the only
member of the CASABLANCA cast who had actually been to the Moroccan city
Rick's already- eventful evening is further complicated
by the appearance of Ilsa Lund (Ingrid
Bergman) and Victor Lazlo (Paul
Henreid), at right, being introduced to Rick by Capt. Louis Renault
(Claude Rains), the local
Prefect of Police. When they leave, Rick gets drunk.
all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine."
--Rick (a .WAV file).
"Of all the gin joints . . ."
(a .MOV file courtesy Warner Bros. Home
(For help opening any of the multimedia files, visit the plug-ins
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