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    sexta-feira, abril 14, 2017

    You Must Remember This: Why We Return to ‘Casablanca’ and ‘High Noon’


       

    "It’s a strange but serendipitous coincidence that two books devoted to Hollywood classics, “Casablanca” and “High Noon,” are being published at the same time. The films, released a scant 10 years apart in 1942 and 1952 respectively, are perfect bookends, spot-on reflections of the times in which they were made, and therefore dramatically different. And in the era of the Trump presidency, these books are charged by an immediacy they otherwise might not enjoy.

    “Casablanca” arrived just short of a year after the United States declared war on Germany. In it, Humphrey Bogart’s Rick Blaine, whose mantra is “I stick my neck out for nobody,” famously does just that, shrugging off the neutrality that had been American policy until Pearl Harbor, and helping his former flame Ingrid Bergman and the Czech resistance hero Paul Henreid escape the Nazis. The film also includes a memorably inspirational episode of collective defiance, as the refugees, con men and adventurers in Rick’s place join in a rousing rendition of the “Marseillaise,” drowning out German officers who are singing “Die Wacht am Rhein.”

    “High Noon,” on the other hand, is a profile in collective cowardice. The United States was in the grip of the Red Scare, and the marshal, Will Kane (Gary Cooper), can’t find a single good man in the dusty Western town of Hadleyville to help him confront the Miller brothers and their gang, who have sworn to kill him. Coop prevails, naturally, but his triumph fails to dispel the toxic fog of betrayal and disillusion that shrouds the story."

    read the review by PETER BISKIND

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