“Here’s looking at you kid” what can one say about a movie proclaimed to be the best ever? Of course the film’s cast is outstanding! Humphrey Bogart Ingrid Bergman Paul Henreid Claude Rains Conrad Veidt Sydney Greenstreet Peter Lorre S.Z. Sakall and John Qualen. This Best Picture Oscar winner actually should have competed with Mrs. Miniver in 1942 since it premiered in New York in November of that year. However it didn’t play in Los Angeles until its general release that January so it competed in 1943. Michael Curtiz finally won a Best Director Oscar on his fifth try and was never nominated again despite directing many quality films over nineteen more years; the film also won an Oscar for Writing. The great scenes between Bogart and Rains also earned them Best Actor and Supporting Actor nominations. It was added to the National Film Registry in 1989. #1 on AFI’s 100 Greatest Love Stories list. #2 on AFI’s 100 Greatest Movies list; Bogart’s Rick is AFI’s #4 hero. #37 on AFI’s 100 Most Heart-Pounding Movies list. “As Time Goes By” is #2 on AFI’s 100 Top Movie Songs of All Time. “Here’s looking at you kid.” is #5 on AFI’s 100 Greatest Movie Quotes list. “Louis I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” is #20 on AFI’s 100 Greatest Movie Quotes list. “Play it Sam. Play ‘As Time Goes By.'” is #28 on AFI’s 100 Greatest Movie Quotes list. “Round up the usual suspects.” is #32 on AFI’s 100 Greatest Movie Quotes list. “We’ll always have Paris.” is #43 on AFI’s 100 Greatest Movie Quotes list. “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world she walks into mine.” is #67 on AFI’s 100 Greatest Movie Quotes list. #32 on AFI’s 100 Most Inspiring Movies list.
Bogart is Rick the nightclub owner in the titled town which served as the exit point for those fleeing Europe with the onset of World War II. He used to work as a gun runner but after a failed love affair in Paris is now somewhat detached from the world around him. That all changes when his former lover Ilsa (Bergman) arrives with husband (Henreid) who’s the leader of the Resistance (Henreid). They need exit Visas which Rick just happens to be holding for another (Lorre) that killed for them. He struggles with his emotions as he tries to decide whether to help them escape which would mean outmaneuvering a German Major (Veidt) and the local French police captain (Rains). Greenstreet plays a rival cafe proprietor that wants to hire Rick’s piano player (Dooley Wilson) who plays “As Time Goes By” which reminds Rick of Ilsa and Paris. Sakall plays a waiter in Rick’s employ. The movie’s classic ending features unforgettable dialogue!