The Greatest Film of All Time? A night with “Casablanca”

By Victoria McClendon-Leggett

The problems of six people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world, so we put our problems aside and drove to Houston to watch “Casablanca,” the film that the American Film Institute identified as the third greatest movie in Hollywood history.  But, first, we went to the restaurant that is one of Professor Yawn’s favorites: “Peli, Peli,” which offers African food with a Colonial twist.

Four of us ordered the Chicken Espetada, which was brought to our table on a hanging skewer dripping with garlic butter…

SHSU, LEAP Center, LEAP Ambassadors, Peli Peli

…while the other two (more adventurous) of us ordered the special for that evening, grilled and sliced beef tongue. Surprisingly, everyone was willing to try bits and pieces of the tongue, and it was deemed quite tasty by all. After a delicious dinner came a mouthwatering dessert of Chocolate Mousse Cake and Melktart Brulee. The experience was truly unique, but excitement was yet to come as we headed toward the cinema.

Released in 1943, Casablanca starred Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Paul Henreid. This work of Hollywood’s Golden Age is considered by nearly all to be a classic. On this 75th anniversary showing, the theater was packed with movie fans ready for the 102 minute adventure.

SHSU, LEAP Center, LEAP Ambassadors, Casablanca

While watching the film, it was fun to notice the many different phrases that were made popular and are still in use today because of this movie. It was neat to learn that phrases such as, “Round up the usual suspects,” and “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship,” come from this timeless classic. The film masterfully blends drama, comedy, romance, and even a bit of action. Casablanca truly is a work of art, and if you haven’t seen it, take the time to do so. We did!

SHSU, LEAP Center, LEAP Ambassadors, Casablanca
                                                                      “We’ll Always Have Paris”



Author: mikeyawn

Mike Yawn teaches at Sam Houston State University. In the past few years, he has taught courses on Politics & Film, Public Policy, the Presidency, Media & Politics, Congress, Statistics, Research & Writing, Field Research, and Public Opinion. He has published academic papers in the Journal of Politics, Political Behavior, Social Security Quarterly, Film & History, American Politics Review, and contributed a chapter to the textbook Politics and Film. He also contributes columns, news analysis, and news stories to newspapers such as the Houston Chronicle, San Antonio Express News, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Stamford Advocate, Greenwich Time, Huron Daily Tribune, Laredo Morning Times, Beaumont Enterprise, Connecticut Post, and Midland Reporter Telegram. Yawn is also active in his local community, serving on the board of directors of the local YMCA and Friends of the Wynne. Previously, he served on the Huntsville's Promise and Stan Musial World Series Boards of Directors. In 2007-2008, Yawn was one of eight scholars across the nation named as a Carnegie Civic Engagement Scholar by the Carnegie Foundation.

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