• Ice Cream Planet

    Fantastic work, Anthony. I’d expect nothing less.

  • Chapman Baxter

    The first time I saw this scene I was moved close to tears, touched by the characters’ defiance and patriotism in the face of Nazi oppression, and I’m not even French.

  • Mauricio

    I did not even remember who was Yvonne when I read the title, and now I’m having chills sent down my spine. That movie is so great.

  • This is really, really great.

  • NathanFords EvilTwin

    I love these kinds of brief snapshots of other characters we get in films. Any writer who can both flesh out the world around the characters, while simultaneously still having it reflect on them, is a marvel. Great work.

  • Michael G

    Those tears in Madeleine LeBeau’s eyes, those have got to be real tears, the tears of a true French refugee. Either that or she was the most underappreciated actress of all time.

    • Saxophonic

      It’s my understanding that both LeBeau and Conrad Veidt (who played Major Strasser) both evaded the Nazis.

      • Michael G

        A lot of the supporting cast were refugees, yeah. LeBeau’s husband, Marcel Dalio (one of France’s finest pre-war actors) has a small role in the movie too.

        • Saxophonic

          The scene where they all sing “La Marseilles” brings me to tears every time I watch it.

          Casablanca is one of my favorites. It’s certainly one of the most emotional films I’ve seen. I always get the impression that people get down on it because it’s one of the Great Movies That Everyone Always Goes On About. I’m happy to know that it gets real love from others.

          • Anthony Pizzo

            It’s such an incredibly powerful scene. I wound up rewatching it by itself just to check the close-up thing and it still gave me a lump in my throat.

  • Will_Feral_Animal

    Fantastic insights! I have to admit, I glossed over Yvonne’s significance in all the countless times I’ve seen this film. However, I can say for certain that I won’t miss them on my next viewing. Well done Anthony! Tip of the cap to you, sir.

    • This essay reminds me how much I’d love to see Casablanca adapted into a big ol’ doorstopper Dickensian novel or an HBO series that could really dig into all these characters’ stories.

      • Anthony Pizzo

        Apparently there was a five episode TV series prequel made in 1983, and it’s available on DVD. Starring David Soul (the “Hutch” part of “Starsky and Hutch”) as Rick.

  • I am shocked, shocked to find there is gambling going on in the comments section!
    “Your winnings, sir.”
    Thank you.

    • Anthony Pizzo

      I saw it last Sunday with a group of people who had never seen it before, and they all expressed surprise at how funny the movie was.

  • Anthony Strand

    This article was my introduction to the Solute, which I had somehow missed up to now.

    You guys are doing terrific work. I’ll definitely visit more often.

  • D Gary Grady

    The words she sing in close-up are particularly striking and include a phrase about enemy soldiers coming “into our midst” — “Ils viennent jusque dans vos bras,” — and given that she was earlier seen on the arm of a German officer this is especially striking, because the words literally mean “They (the enemy) come right into your arms.” (Oddly, I’ve never seen this pointed out.)

  • Pietrus Abalardus

    Leuchtag isn’t a Hungarian name. Nor are Karl’s words: “I habe nur die feinste Cognac gebracht, nur die Eingestellte” in the Hungarian Language.