Avocado Weekly Movie Thread (8/16)

Welcome to the Weekly Movie Thread, your place on the Avocado to discuss films with your fellow commenters. Want to make a recommendation? Looking for recommendations? Want to share your opinions of movies, both new and classic? 

This year, here’s lookin’ at you, kid, as we celebrate the 80th anniversary of Casablanca.

Among the movie’s many quotable moments, the one that sticks in my mind the most is toward the end: “I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you’ll understand that.”

Rick Blaine (played by Humphrey Bogart) throughout the movie is shown to be, at least outwardly, a self-centered businessman. Any advantage he can take to get ahead and get away from his depressing situation in Casablanca, he’ll take it. So when he comes across a couple letters of transit that lets him escape with a woman he loves (Ingrid Bergman), the answer should be simple.

But of course, there’s something out there that’s bigger than the both of them… little thing called World War II?!?!!

When I watched this in my wife, she was shocked at the ending. Perhaps it’s because all those years Casablanca has spent on top of “Most Romantic Movies of All Time” lists. How can they end this movie and Sam and Ilsa don’t end up together? Shoot, even the Simpsons knew that wasn’t how you ended the movie.

But we all know why it had to end that way, and that’s why the movie’s a classic. The problem of three people really don’t amount to a hill of beans. It’s a ballsy ending, and one I don’t think can ever be replicated in this day and age. Are any conflicts this black and white, where sacrificing your own happiness can mean so much for a greater good? A conflict that, when Casablanca was made, was happening at right that very moment with no idea as to how it would end?

And yet you get it, as the cafe proves to be a microcosm of a much greater conflict raging all over the world. The larger stakes are all around them and difficult to ignore. Even a grizzled expatriate has to make a stand.

Bonus prompt: what’s your favorite film depicting a smaller drama that doesn’t amount to “a hill of beans” compared to everything else going on?