Casablanca (Two-Disc Special Edition)
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Considered by many to be the greatest Hollywood movie ever made, this WW2 classic takes place in war-torn Casablanca and tells the tale of mysterious nightclub owner Bogart and his old Flame (Bergman), her husband, underground leader (Heinreid), and other skeletons from his past. Won 3 Oscars - Best Picture, Director, and Screenplay.
The two-disc set of this classic boasts new features and a new transfer. In comparing with the previous 50th anniversary edition, the 2003 edition is arguably better, but there is no debate it has a lot more stuff. As the transfer goes, this edition is pristine, the anniversary edition was excellent, and both are far better than anything seen before. The first-rate, 30-minute anniversary documentary is still here; added is a 90-minute biography on Humphrey Bogart made in the mid-'80s. The best new features are a production archive of photos and production notes (aptly illustrating how the movie was just another in the yearly output of the studio), and two dense commentary tracks. Rudy Belhmer rattles off facts about the production and the key players with machine-gun pacing as he reads, in part, from his book Behind the Scenes. Roger Ebert, as always, is very conversational as he relays facts, dispels myths, and admires the film; it's a real film-fan treat. Less stellar are reminiscences from the children of the stars, an episode from the ill-conceived TV show (1955), and some newly discovered cut scenes. --Doug Thomas
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"Casablanca" also has the distinction of being one of the movies that more people quote lines from than almost any other movie in history. I was glad to finally be able to see it in its entirety, so that I have a context for some of the great lines in film history, like, "We'll always have Paris."
Thanks to film, we'll always have Bogart and Bergman.
--Roger Weston, author of Global Tilt: A Chuck Brandt Novella (The Brandt Series)
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