"That's Typing" Tuesday, in which I share unpolished, unpublished writings from my vast store of unpolished, unpublished writings. On Tuesdays.
Some thoughts about Dooley Wilson, Humphrey Bogart and the ending of Casablanca.
[SPOILERS DEAD AHEAD]
Every now and then I see a complaint—or maybe just a plaintive wail—about the ending of Casablanca, along the lines of "But what about Sam?"
On an emotional level, I get it. Sam has followed Rick to hell and back, from at least Paris and probably before, all the way to this dead end job playing piano in a restaurant, and Rick just drops him like an unwieldy subplot, running off with Louie instead. What the frak?
But logically, it makes complete sense. I think Rick figures the trip to the airport is strictly a one way ticket to the afterlife. After he gets Lazlo and Ilsa on the plane, at best, he's going to wind up in a concentration camp; more than likely, the Gestapo will stand him up against a wall. That's not the sort of end you ask a good friend to share.
"Where I'm going, you can't follow. What I've got to do, you can't be any part of." Indeed.
That Rick gets away is wholly unexpected. You can't blame the man for that.
I like to think he and Louie went back and got Sam. It's the romantic in me. And Carl and Sasha, too, and the croupier and the doorman. And Yvonne. She was pretty hot even if she was no Ingrid Bergman, but then Ingrid Bergman is on her way to America with another man, so what the hell.
And then, because it's also a great movie, Rick busts the cast of The Maltese Falcon out of jail—and now we've got Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre and Mary Astor along for the ride, too. Actually, we can have Greenstreet there twice since he also played Ferrari in Casablanca, and Lord knows he was fat enough to play two characters.
You've got a pretty good size army together by now.
Actually, this is just about what happened in Passage to Marseille, where Bogart, Rains, Lorre and Greenstreet reunited to fight Nazis. They even brought in Michael Curtiz to direct it.
Now if they'd only brought in Howard Koch and the Epstein brothers to write it ...