Ah, Louis Armstrong singing “As Time Goes By”. There was a great voice for the ages. But the most famous rendition of the song As Time Goes By came from an obscure little movie filmed at the beginning of the Second World War called Casablanca with a couple of big name stars filmed seventy years ago. Anyone unfamiliar with this legendary movie lyric must either be from a third world country without late night television or Mars.
Ask most people who sang the song and they will probably fall back on Louis. There were actually many versions of Herman Hupfeld’s 1931 song including one by Rudee Vallee’s version which was re-released to coincide with the success of Casablanca.
The gentleman who actually sang this tune for the morose Humphrey Bogart and moist-eyed Ingrid Bergman at Rick’s Cafe Americain amid the bleak WWII backdrop was 56-year-old Arthur “Dooley” Wilson, an African-American actor and singer who earned a comfortable niche for himself in film history with this simple, dramatic, piano-playing scene.
Dooley was only paid about 350 dollars a week for his role. But he achieved almost universal acclaim for all of the ages for crafting that role. Interestingly enough, he did not play piano and his scenes had to be dubbed. Also, as most people know from trivia games, Bogart never actually said “Play it again Sam”
When Ilsa first enters the Café Americain, she spots Sam and asks him to “Play it once, Sam, for old times’ sake.” After he feigns ignorance, she responds, “Play it, Sam. Play ‘As Time Goes By’.” Later that night, alone with Sam, Rick says, “You played it for her, you can play it for me,” and “If she can stand it, I can! Play it!”
You must remember this
A kiss is still a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh
The fundamental things apply
As time goes by
And when two lovers woo
They still say, “I love you”
On that you can rely
No matter what the future brings
As time goes by
Moonlight and love songs
Never out of date
Hearts full of passion
Jealousy and hate
Woman needs man
And man must have his mate
That no one can deny
it’s still the same old story
A fight for love and glory
A case of do or die
The world will always welcome lovers
As time goes by
Woman needs man and man must have his mate? This coming from Hollywood elites?
Well, it was a different time after all. The premise of that movie was the glorification of liberty and freedom in the face of would be tyrants. Tyrants were people who wanted to squelch freedom of speech and thoughts. The actors also spouted off things about traditional values and such. Can you imagine such a film being filmed today? Even the ending was corny… Rick doing the right thing by returning the love of his life to her husband.
I wonder what Casablanca would look like if it were filmed today in our culturally challenged society?
Rick would probably end up with Victor Laslo in a tent on a camping trip. Ilsa would end up in the arms of some female French refuge cutting her hair off in a protest against the male dominated society. Everyone would blame the Jews and George Bush for something. I can even see Harry Reid as the Gestapo captain though with a tight fitting black jacket with the collars up. I can almost hear him in that whiny little voice saying “Round up the usual suspects!”
Mid way through the film, there could be a cameo appearance by Dan Cathy. His only line as he watched Roseanne Barr waddle in would be:
“Of all the chicken joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine”
Here’s looking at you kid. Unless of course that means looking at you and your insanely ugly life partner locking lips in front of a chicken sandwich store. As a young submarine mechanic, I found myself having to crawl into and clean excrement tanks from time to time. Given the choice, I’ll take the tank.
Flash Update: Apparently MS Barr is running for President with Cindy Sheehan for the Peace and Freedom Party. Isn’t this a great country?