Time gone by: ‘Casablanca’ celebrates 70 years

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Considering one of the all-time classics of film, Casablanca remains just as relevant today as it ever was.

The first time I saw “Casablanca,” I was a high school junior enrolled in a literature course. “Casablanca” was part of our final project. I will never forget the excitement I felt at the prospect of seeing this wonderful film for the first time. This was an experience like no other: viewing one of the greatest films of all time among friends and without the nuisance of commercial TV.

Thirty years later, “Casablanca” has lost none of its power, charm or charisma. In those ensuing years, I’ve observed countless rereleases, remasters and new-movie poster art – all coinciding with one of the film’s many anniversaries. Perhaps most noteworthy was the fervor created in the 1980s when Ted Turner infamously “colorized” the movie with decidedly-garish results.

Perhaps to make amends, Turner Classic Movies, NCM Fathom and Warner Brothers are teaming up to bring Casablanca 70th Anniversary Event to the big screen for a special one-night showing. In addition to a new digital transfer of the film, fans will be treated to a special introduction by film expert Robert Osborne, as well as other extras.

What is it about “Casablanca” that still fascinates film fans? “Casablanca” is the complete package: a film that expertly blends romance, intrigue, action and drama with perfect performances from a cast featuring some of America’s best actors including, of course, Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart. Director Michael Curtiz received an Academy Award for his effort and also helped earn the film an Oscar for Best Picture.

Despite all this, it is the performances of Bergman and Bogart that remain etched in the upper echelon of cinema. Bergman was never more beautiful, and, here, Bogart would create the image with which he will always be associated: the fedora-wearing, trench-coated loner. The two make for an infinitely-watchable couple.

  • WHAT: Casablanca 70th Anniversary Event
  • WHEN: Wednesday – 7 p.m.
  • WHERE: Hamilton 16 IMAX (13825 Norell Rd., Noblesville)
  • INFO: Visit gqti.com
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