We'll Always Have the Movies: American Cinema during World War II

We'll Always Have the Movies: American Cinema during World War II

We'll Always Have the Movies: American Cinema during World War II

We'll Always Have the Movies: American Cinema during World War II

Excerpt

History is not always a matter of record—facts in dry books
and smashing sensational headlines.

—Opening narration, Destination Unknown

Oh, you mean propaganda. Aw, that’s for Japs and crooked
politicians.

—Lucky Matthews (Lloyd Nolan) in Manila Calling

BY MIDWAY THROUGH THE 1942 wartime classic Casablanca, relationships among the characters have reached a state of crisis. American expatriate and Moroccan gin-joint owner Rick Blaine, having drunkenly insulted his former lover, Ilsa Lund, the night before, has been rebuffed in his attempts to apologize. Rick becomes bitter and, as his waiters note, drinks too much. Ilsa and her husband, the Czech resistance leader Victor Laszlo, in a morning meeting with the French prefect of police, Captain Renault, and the Gestapo’s liaison to Casablanca, Major Strasser, have been informed that the authorities won’t allow Laszlo to leave Casablanca. Laszlo and Ilsa turn to the black market but have no success in obtaining the exit visas that would get them to Lisbon and then to the United States. One visa might be obtained for Ilsa, but Laszlo can’t convince her to go without him.

That evening, they all gather at Rick’s Café Américain (after all, everybody comes to Rick’s), where things only get worse. Yvonne, the young French woman Rick rejected the night before, comes into the bar on the . . .

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