Inglourious movie moments #2

Another clip inspired by “Inglourious Basterds.” This brief sequence from “Casablanca” is one of my favorite scenes from any movie. Here is World War II in microcosm as the Paul Henreid’s heroic Victor Laszlo and the employees and customers of Rick’s Cafe Americain take on Conrad Veidt’s Nazi Colonel Strasse and Claude Rains’ Vichy-regime opportunist, Captain Renault, the only way they can.

One thing to consider about just why this scene remains so powerful is that very many of the actors here, including the German-born Veidt, whose first wife was Jewish, were themselves refugees from World War II-era persecution.

  

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Another fantasy movie moment: “The Thief of Baghdad”

In the spirit of the Harry Potter series, here’s a trailer for the classic 1940 version of the “The Thief of Baghdad” produced by Alexander Korda and with five, count ’em, five directors including Michael Powell. The print here is somewhat dicey, but check out those colors. And if this reminds you of a certain animated Disney hit from 1992, I don’t think you’re wrong.

  

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Monday Night Quickies

Not that kind of quicky. I’m referring to brief links to stuff around the interwebs, tonight with a geeky edge.

* The “actuals” are in on the weekend box office race. The “Transformers” sequel won by a wafer thin half a million smackers, dang it.

* I’m not sure how this started, but my pattern on the “Harry Potter” franchise has been to read the books just before the films come out. To avoid spoilers for “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” (I’m on page 139 and the story’s barely begun), I’m not reading any reviews right now. Thanks to the miracle of Rotten Tomatoes I can nevertheless say that the reviews for the film thereof are looking quite good thus far. That’s a good thing because director David Yates is finishing out the series, which seems to be wrapping up much better than it started. The choice of Yates, a specialist in TV miniseries, to wrap up the films makes a lot of sense, especially since that’s essentially what the Potter movies are — the most expensive miniseries ever made.

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