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"Here's Looking At You, Kid" - Warner Bros Plan Casablanca Sequel


Ingrid Bergman Humphrey Bogart Howard Koch

Warner Bros are reported to be working on a sequel to one of Hollywood’s best loved classics: Casablanca. The original, iconic movie was released in 1942 and starred Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart. Set in World War II, it told the tale of a man forced to choose between his love for a woman, or helping her husband escape Casablanca, to continue his fight against the Nazis.

The rumor currently doing the rounds is that Warner Bros are working on the next stage in the tale, with a working title of either Return to Casablanca or As Time Goes By. The plot is said to revolve around Richard Blaine (the illegitimate son of Humphrey Bogart’s character Rick Blaine and Ingrid Bergman’s Ilsa Lund). At the end of the original movie, those two were famously separated and the new movie finds Rick on the hunt for his biological father, to discover what became of him.

The new movie was the brainchild of Cass Warner, The Independent reports. The late Howard Koch wrote the guidelines for a sequel back in the 1980s. Cass Warner, the granddaughter of the Warner Bros founder Harry Warner, has seemingly been pressing for the sequel to be made. Cass said, of the new movie “There will be flashbacks, but it's a film about the next generation; a son going back to find what happened to his parents. I wouldn't want to touch the original for the world,” though that may be of little reassurance to film purists.

The Letter Review


Good
Given the source material and the star power, The Letter should be a smash, but this sweaty tropical melodrama doesn't quite deliver. It serves as a reminder that back in the day, even the greatest actors were forced to play whatever roles their studio bosses dictated. That explains why Bette Davis's career in the '30s and '40s has as many misses as hits. This is one of the near misses.

Based on a stage play by W. Somerset Maugham, The Letter opens with a bang, actually six bangs, as Malaya rubber plantation mistress Leslie Crosbie (Davis) pumps six slugs into her neighbor, Geoffrey Hammond (David Newell). The murder throws the plantation into an upheaval, and when Leslie's husband Robert (Herbert Marshall) arrives and learns what has happened, Leslie's explanation is simple: Hammond was drunk, he was possessed with lust, and he tried to "make love" to her. Robert gets his lawyer, Howard Joyce (Robert Stephenson), involved right away, and the visiting police are terribly kind to Leslie, telling her she performed magnificently. Nevertheless, they'll have to arrest her for murder and take her to Singapore for what should be a quick and easy trial.

Continue reading: The Letter Review

Casablanca Review


Essential
"Play it again, Sam." Well, those lines aren't in Casablanca, but the words "Bogie and Bergman" rank just below "Bogie and Bacall" when it comes to famous celebrity film pairings. Sometimes a kiss isn't just a kiss -- in this case, it's forever. And it was certainly the beginning of a beautiful friendship...

A new double-disc DVD of Casablanca enhances the film for novelists and cineastes alike. I rarely do this, but I listened to Roger Ebert's entire commentary track, which he uses to discuss the film's curious shortcomings (what good would letters of transit signed by Charles de Gaulle be in getting you out of Morocco?), Bogart's past and rise to fame (this being his first starring role), Bergman and her foibles, endless points about the film's dozen or so famous lines, and extended commentary on the lighting, special effects (if you can call them that), and camerawork.

Continue reading: Casablanca Review

The Sea Hawk Review


Good
Captain Blood's Errol Flynn hits the high seas again in this overstuffed historical epic. The film careens from the water (as Flynn's Captain Thorpe plays pirate against the Spanish galleons of the Elizabethan era) to the royal drawing rooms (as Thorpe raises the ire of Queen Elizabeth (Flora Robson)). Meanwhile, he's in love with a Spanish lady from one of the ships (Brenda Marshall) and he tries to woo her while avoiding capture.

The sea adventure is fantastic (two life-size ships were constructed specifically for the film) but frankly I could have used far less parlor rooming in the picture -- especially because Robson is so difficult to believe as Elizabeth, despite the severe hairdo. Flynn -- in his 10th collaboration with director Michael Curtiz -- acquits himself just fine, though perhaps he should have taken his sword to the overblown script as well as the Spaniards.

Continue reading: The Sea Hawk Review

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Howard Koch Movies

Casablanca Movie Review

Casablanca Movie Review

"Play it again, Sam." Well, those lines aren't in Casablanca, but the words "Bogie and...

The Sea Hawk Movie Review

The Sea Hawk Movie Review

Captain Blood's Errol Flynn hits the high seas again in this overstuffed historical epic. The...

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