Sunday, July 29, 2018

1943 Alternate Oscars

My choices are noted with a ★. Historical Oscar winners are noted with a ✔.

Some previously-published thoughts about Dooley Wilson, Humphrey Bogart and the ending of Casablanca.

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 the desert, and Rick just drops him like an unwieldy subplot, running off with Louie instead. What the fork, man?

But logically, it makes complete sense. I think Rick figures the trip to the airport is strictly a one way ticket. After he gets Lazlo and Ilsa on the plane, he is, at best, going to wind up in a concentration camp; more than likely, the Gestapo will stand him up against a wall and shoot him. 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 the 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 ...


Uncle Tom said...

I like your scenario. In my version, that entire ensemble eventually works their way to Liverpool as a cabaret and acrobat act, discovers the Beatles and much later get John Lennon to write "Hey Bulldog" - the big mystery remains who the song alludes to - Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, or Bogart. More cynical fans insist its Ingrid Bergman in her later years.

They also eventually work their way back to the US, start NFL Films and discover Jon Facenda languishing on the nightly news in Philadelphia. Greesnstreet eventually eats all the profits up with nightly binges at Pat's Cheesesteaks.

Hey, it could happen. Anyway, it's my fantasy so you doubters can shut up.

I'm sorry - what was the original topic?

Mythical Monkey said...

One of my all-time favorite movie moments is when Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre frolick with the Beatles while "Can't Buy Me Love" plays. Then they scratch the skin off Ringo only to discover "It's a fake! It's a fake! It's lead!"

Uncle Tom said...

"Scratching Ringo"...."Shaking Hands with Abraham Lincoln"...I've heard it called lots of things.

This is sort of the online equivalent of you and me throwing toys on each other.

Mythical Monkey said...

I promise the next time you're in town, I'll throw toys at you.

Off the subject: is a bowling ball a toy?

I kid.