In terms of story, plot and character development, I think this movie actually gives more, then the other two. This flick isn’t nearly as iconic as the others, but it gives more than mere images, it gives other movies that borrow from it heart.
Originally I thought I would write up a review for each movie. This task, as daunting as it would have been, would lose a major point behind what I wanted to look at. Namely it would have been a review and less about the movies themselves. Doesn’t make much sense, does it? Reviews are designed to give you a brief outline of what occurs in the movie and an opinion of the actual film. How was it? Was it worth your time? All valid concerns for a review, but not exactly what I wanted to actually focus on, besides, if you haven’t seen the movie(s), I don’t want to be the one to ruin it. Instead, I intend to look at the movies themselves and the culture that surrounds them. Maybe even how they still function in an era of CGI this, and HD or 3D that. Do these movies, which defined Hollywood, enter the thoughts of the movie going populace? What makes them stand out? What makes them classics? Heck, am I the only one still interested in even watching these oldies?
This is the movie that actually started me on the path to answer the question, “What makes it stand out?” In fact, the movie didn’t even answer that question. It actually poses more questions, like why are movies like this no longer being made? I think that question could actually be answered by saying, “Because there is no one in Hollywood today, like Humphrey Bogart.” If I’m wrong, then I’d be interested to see who you think is. This actor oozes calm and cynicism in almost every line, and that’s just the first few minutes of screen time. Ingrid Bergman who also stars in the movie does a wonderful job playing opposite Bogart’s charm. The chemistry is solid between the two, and eventually their past history is told, than later resolved. To me what makes this movie a classic is the tale it weaves. Set in an exotic location, during one of the worlds darker periods, telling us there are still people that do what’s right. Ok, so maybe there’s more to it than that. The movie itself is beautiful, even in all its monochrome glory. The dialog is wonderful and the events believable. Let’s not forget, it also has one of the greatest lines in the history of cinema: “Where I’m going, you can’t follow. What I’ve got to do, you can’t be any part of. Ilsa, I’m no good at being noble, but 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. Someday you’ll understand that.”
What, were you expecting something else? I’m just messing with you. Actually, the movie is full of memorable quotes. It’s a testament the writing style that really has gotten lost through the ages. They wrote then, how they talked at that time. World War 2 was still going on when this movie was being made. Period movies today, to me, seem less… credible, because they lack this authenticity.