It’s still the same old story. And yet, seventy years after its debut, fans worldwide have never grown tired of going to Rick’s Café Américain.
Casablanca, the story of a jaded man who encounters his former lover against the backdrop of Nazi dominated North Africa has long been a staple of late night television. This Tuesday evening, March 4, audiences across America will have a rare chance to see the star-crossed couple in a theater setting as TCM Celebrates Twenty Years with 20 nationwide screenings of Casablanca. The local happening takes place at 7:30 p.m. at Harbor East Theatre, 645 President St., in downtown Baltimore. This event is a private, promotional screening and passes will not be available at the box office.
Winner of three Academy Awards for Best Picture, Screenplay and Director (Michael Curtiz), Casablanca has often been described as the perfect film. The movie marked a watershed moment for Humphrey Bogart; turning the heavy of numerous gangster films into a romantic leading man. Ingrid Bergman co-starred as the indecisive woman who broke the tough guy’s heart. Their scenes are electric and Bogey’s chemistry with Bergman is undeniable.
The film also stars Paul Henreid as Bergman’s husband – Underground hero, Victor Laszlo; Claude Rains as the vacillating Frenchman Captain Renault and Conrad Veidt as the villain, Major Strasser. Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, S.Z. Sakall, Madeleine LeBeau, Dooley Wilson, Joy Page, John Qualen and Leonid Kinskey fill out the rest of the stellar ensemble.
“Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.”
This Tuesday, at the Harbor East Theatre, you can walk into Rick’s place, too.
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Fans of movie music will also want to mark their calendars for June 12-14, as the BSO performs Max Steiner’s famous soundtrack to Casablanca while accompanying a screening of the film. Pairing the live orchestra with the celluloid action, audiences may experience the cinematic giant in a whole new way. It could even be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Tickets and more information about this event are available by visiting the BSO online.
Anthony C. Hayes is an actor, author, raconteur, rapscallion and bon vivant. A one-time newsboy for the Evening Sun and professional presence at the Washington Herald, Tony’s poetry, photography, humor, and prose have also been featured in Smile, Hon, You’re in Baltimore!, Destination Maryland, Magic Octopus Magazine, Los Angeles Post-Examiner, Voice of Baltimore, SmartCEO, Alvarez Fiction, and Tales of Blood and Roses. If you notice that his work has been purloined, please let him know. As the Good Book says, “Thou shalt not steal.”