“Casablanca” turns 75: We’ll always have parodists

When I was in my late teens, a Nashville TV station ran a late-night double-feature of Humphrey Bogart movies. Immersed in the nostalgia craze, I grudgingly sacrificed “Treasure of the Sierra Madre” and dozed off so I could stay awake for the fabled “Casablanca.” In those pre-DVD, pre-streaming days, my nap was my “letter of transit” to a wonderful experience.

Flash forward. November 26 marks the 75th anniversary of the premiere of the film (dubbed “the best Hollywood movie of all time” by critic Leonard Maltin).

“Casablanca” boasts an inspiring message and a stellar cast: Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Dooley Wilson. (Says Kevin Spacey, “I may have been in that one, too. I don’t remember. Blame it on drunken behavior.”) “Casablanca,” with its saga of starcrossed lovers and ultimately doing the right thing, is timeless; but it would certainly suffer if being produced today.

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