You’ll Always Have Paris, Charlie Brown!
Casablanca! The city where the world's refugees gather outside the razor sharp grip of Hitler’s Germany. They come to Rick’s Café, operated by an expatriate American with a questionable past. Why is he in Casablanca? Why can’t he return to America? Is he a wanted man? Or is it a lost romance? A blonde, a brunette, or perhaps...a little red-haired girl who destroyed him.
See Charlie Brown in the role of a lifetime as Rick: “Of all the root beer joints in all the world, she had to walk into mine! Rats!
Rick’s faithful companion, Schroeder, at the piano: “I don’t know if I can play that tune any more, Charlie — I mean, Rick.”
Rick: "Play it, Schroeder, play it! You played it for her, you can play it for me!"
Then came Ilsa, Rick’s love from happier days in Paris...pre-war Paris, as played by Lucy Van Pelt: “Oh, Charlie — I mean, Rick! I’m so confused!"
Rick: "I can’t think of any reason why you should stay here."
Ilsa: "I can think of five. (Counting off as she curls her fingers one at a time into a fist.) One, two, three, four, five! Now give me those papers of transport, you blockhead!”
Linus Van Pelt as the man wanted by the dreaded Nazis, Victor Lazlo. (Insert no incest jokes here! Let’s keep this clean! After all, this is the Peanuts gang!): “I know you and Ilsa have a past, Charlie — I mean, Rick. I don’t hold that against you."
Snoopy, playing the world famous French military officer, Captain Renault!
Rick: "My own dog closes me down, shilling for the Nazis! Good grief!"
Major Strasser, the evil German officer newly attached to Casablanca, played by...um, an unseen muted trumpet sound.
Rick: "What’s that, Major? You think I have the papers of transport too! I can’t stand it!"
Thrill to the greatest romantic climax in Hollywood history:
Ilsa: "Victor thinks I’m going away with him!"
Rick: "Ilsa, I did a lot of thinking last night for the both of us. It all adds up to you getting on that plane with Victor."
Ilsa: "But, oh you blockhead! Fine! You could have had me, the most beautiful girl this side of St. Paul."
Rick: "St. Paul?"
Victor: "Forget it! She’s on a roll..."
Ilsa: "You do believe I’m beautiful, don’t you? You hesitated! You hesitated like you had to think about it! Oh, yech! Captain Renault just licked my face! Yech, I’ve been poisoned! Medic! Antidote! Don’t give me that @#$% vichy water! I need iodine! Iodine, now! I should have ran off with your piano player when I had the chance!"
Rick: "Good grief!"
Okay, so it used to be the greatest romantic climax in Hollywood history.
Coming Soon: Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo in Waiting for Godot.
*With sincere apologies to Charles Schulz, Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Reins, Paul Henreid, Conrad Veidt, and everyone else in the world for that matter.
(Thank you for reading. Please remember, this may be the end of American drama as we know it.)