Toronto Film Society presented Casablanca on Sunday, October 5, 1980 in a double bill with One, Two, Three as part of the Season 33 Sunday Afternoon Film Buff Series, Programme 2.
“A picture which makes the spine tingle and the heart take a leap. They have turned the trick of draping a tender love story within the folds of a tight topical theme….One of the year’s most exciting and trenchant films. It certainly won’t make Vichy happy–but that’s just another point for it.” (Bosley Crowther in the New York Times)
“Before the U.S. seizure of Morocco handed Warner Bros. some of its most dazzling promotion in years, Casablanca was just an exotic location for a topical melodrama….Bogart, so tough that at one moment he looks like Buster Keaton playing Paul Gaugin.” (TIME)
“When one speaks of a typical Warners’ film in the thirties and forties, one is generally speaking of a typical Curtiz film of those periods… The director’s one enduring masterpiece is, of course, Casablanca, the happiest of happy accidents, and the most decisive exception to the auteur theory.” (Andrew Sarris, The American Cinema)
“…a movie that demonstrates how entertaining a bad movie can be… One’s tender sentiments will probably still be stirred, but in the cool night air afterward one may wonder a bit that this received the Academy Award as Best Picture of 1943….” (Pauline Kael, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)
“No two ways about it, we say with comforting complacent pessimism as we get up from an evening’s television: they don’t make pictures like that any more. What we mean could neatly be summed up in one word: Casablanca.” (Arkadin, Sight and Sound, Autumn, 1968).
So here’s looking at you all kids, once again! Rick, Ilsa, Sam, Victor, Louis, Ferrari, Ugarte, Major Strasser. And to those who’ve never seen Casablanca (if there can be such people), this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Notes compiled by Helmuts Drengers
October 2022 – April 2023