Play it again Sam…

They are certain films, certain scenes, and sayings that have been “embedded” in the collective memory, transferred from one generation to the next. Although it has been 80 years since one of cinema’s classic films, Michael Curtiz’s black-and-white Casablanca was released in the US in late November 1942, it remains a landmark.

Those of you who have seen it, probably more than once, will understand what the scene with Ilsa saying to Rick’s bar pianist, “…Play it again Sam, play ‘As time goes by,’ play it for the old times’ sake…” is something of a “holy book” for the initiated in the history unfolding in this timeless film noir. It is worth noting that it was broadcast in the middle of the Second World War and the references to the events that were then in progress were made in a similar way. However, the song requested by Ilsa, played by Ingrid Bergman, is ‘As time goes by’ written by Herman Hupfeld in 1931 and made famous when Dooley Wilson sang it in the film. The song was Ilsa and Rick’s shared memory of being in love in Paris.


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