Customer Review

302 of 322 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2009 Release is Identical to 2003 Release, January 30, 2010
This review is from: Casablanca (Two-Disc Special Edition) (DVD)
This 2009 release of "Casablanca" is identical to the 2003 Special Edition release, except it's packaged in a regular DVD case as opposed to the cardboard case of the original. The first disc contains two commentary tracks (one with Roger Ebert, one with historian Rudy Behlmer), a two-minute introduction by Lauren Bacall, and a gallery of trailers. The film transfer is also identical to the original release, but this film looks about as great as it possibly can on DVD.

The second disc contains the one hour and twenty minute 1988 "Bacall on Bogart" documentary and a thirty-five minute making-of documentary "You Must Remember This: A Tribute to Casablanca". Next is a seven minute feature with Bogart's son and Bergman's daughter titled "As Time Goes By: The Children Remember", along with the eight minute 1995 cartoon spoof "Carrotblanca". A selection of deleted scenes and outtakes, totalling about seven minutes, are of particular interest here (though there is no sound for any of them), and a "Production Research" gallery. Of lesser interest is the premiere episode from the 1955 "Casablanca" TV series titled "Who Holds Tomorrow?", it's a noble failure and clocks in at about nineteen minutes.

As far as special features go, the only thing the "Casablanca" Ultimate Collector's Edition has over this release is the hour-long 1993 documentary "Jack Warner: The Last Mogul" on a third disc. It's quite entertaining and informative, particularly for film buffs, but it's really the only reason to purchase the 'Ultimate' edition. That is, unless one cares about a small book of production photos, office memos, lobby & poster cards, and a passport holder and luggage tag emblazoned with "Casablanca".
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 21, 2010 11:52:36 AM PDT
Thank you for mentioning the two audio commentaries. I have Roger Ebert's commentary on Citizen Cane and it by far THE best commentary I have ever heard!!!!!!!!

Posted on Mar 12, 2011 1:52:46 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 12, 2011 1:55:18 PM PST
I happened upon this superb review (and attempted to leave you "helpful" vote No. 100; hope it 'takes' -- "99" looks so . . . waiting for the other shoe to drop!) Not for the first time, leaving a "helpful" for a review by Leif Sheppard (your take of last October on THE MISSION was the best review of those to-date).

A propos nothing but a shared love for Rick's Cafe and the song it made famous (11 years after it was written) I posted an appreciation of AS TIME GOES BY on a thread I have going at the 'world's biggest website for musicians,' HarmonyCentral (in the "songwriting" folder of their 'forums' (clear as mud?). The thread, titled, A GREAT MELODY FIRST, THEN THE LYRICS, has as of this week, 47,000 "views" -- their all-time monster. Budding young song writers haven't contributed much, but tune in each day to see which great old song/great singer I'll celebrate next! Something tells me Leif Sheppard would enjoy, if you can find your way there. I said, in part:

"Back when NO important popular singer was celebrating the Great American Songbook, in the mid-1970s Harry Nilsson commissioned Gordon Jenkins and London Symphony musicians to do "A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night" - culminating with AS TIME GOES BY, described I remember in the loving liner notes as "arguably the greatest love song ever written." I asked my Dad about that, when he was seated one day at the Steinway in his living room. "Maybe the best song ABOUT love," he said before playing the melody for me.

Dad said the movie CASABLANCA captured "better than any other film that came out during the war" (1942) the high anxiety felt by those in areas occupied by the Nazis - such as "Vichy-administered" Casablanca, home of "Rick's Café" where Dooley Wilson at his peril obeys the lovely Ilsa's urging to "Play it for me, Sam - play `As Time Goes By'."

The reason it wasn't "Best Song" nominated that year? It was written eleven years earlier, for a 1931 Broadway "review" and recorded by only one then-important singer, crooner Rudy Vallee, and promptly forgotten and ignored. Until that fateful night in Rick's Café . . .

Just thought of my previous favorite version of this song - also to a Gordon Jenkins arrangement - played prominently during the Norah Ephron `chick flick,' "Sleepless in Seattle" (remember?) sung as only he can by Jimmy Durante . . . "

Did I say "fine review"? Write more, Leif Sheppard.

Mark B of the frozen North

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 23, 2011 11:21:10 PM PDT
"As Time Goes By," arranged by Gordon Jenkins? With or without Jenkins' weeping string section?
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