It’s a tough choice, but if asked to name our favorite motion picture of all time, we’d have to say it’s Casablanca, which premiered 75 years ago today in New York City. (You can still visit the theatre where it debuted, but you’ll have to watch the video to learn more about that.)
We rewatched the “La Marseillaise” scene recently, in which a passionate rendition of the French national anthem gives the patrons of Rick’s Cafe Americain a small but satisfying victory over Maj. Strasser and his Nazi henchmen, and though we’ve seen this wonderful movie easily a dozen times (probably closer to two dozen), that scene still gave us chills.
Here are 16 things you should know about Casablanca, the official movie of Cladrite Radio…
Sydney Greenstreet, born 136 years ago today in Sandwich, England, made only 24 movies in a brief, eight-year movie career, but what an indelible mark he made in that brief span.
As a young man, Greenstreet sets his sights on a career as a tea planter in Ceylon, but drought conditions brought him back to England, where he managed a brewery. He also took acting lessons, as a lark.
He made his stage debut in a 1902 production of Sherlock Holmes and would go on to appear in many plays, in England and the U.S, appearing frequently with Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontaine in Theatre Guild productions.
Throughout his film career, Greenstreet battled diabetes and Bright’s disease, and his health forced him to retire from films in 1949. In 1950-51, though, he would star in a radio series for NBC, The New Adventures of Nero Wolfe. He died at age 75 in 1954, survived by his wife of 36 years, Dorothy Marie Ogden, and their son, John Ogden Greenstreet.
Happy birthday, Mr. Greenstreet, wherever you may be.