I recently saw Casablanca again. I think a few years ago it topped the list of the most romantic movies ever made. Anthony Minghella paid homage to it in The English Patient. Remember when Almasy is in the market and buys Katherine a thimble and she says isn’t it a little overpriced and Almasy snaps back: “I don’t care to bargain.” It’s also in Casablanca only Humphrey Bogart buys Ingrid Bergman a piece of jewelry or a wallet or was it a parrot? I don’t remember. Anyway, I recently saw the movie again and when it came to the scene where Bogart is finally asking Bergman to climb the plane with Lazlow and telling her that if she stayed maybe she’ll not regret it today or tomorrow or in the next couple of months but eventually she will. I finally realized why this scene is considered one of the most romantic moments in the history of the cinema. But, if I may disagree, I found the scene where Claude Rains bare-facedly lies to his troops to let Bogart off the case a little more romantic.

“Round up the usual suspects,” he ordered.

Of course Bogart, in the tradition of old Hollywood movies, walks into the sunset or in this case, into the fog, but not with the girl but with the duplicitous German officer. By then, one of the more famous lines in the movie, which I read somewhere was only written and dubbed weeks after the shooting ended, was heard:

“Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship...”

At that moment, something in my head—ping!—glowed like a light bulb but it had none of the yellowish hue that most light bulbs have. It was pink.


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