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Jan 12
"Casablanca" is my all-time favorite movie.
I usually only watch a movie once. If it is a
great movie, twice. "Casablanca" I have
watched probably 50, 60 times. Why is that,
you ask? There are many reasons. Every
scene is iconic. Bogart, who was expelled
from Andover, the school from which I
graduated, is not handsome, yet he emotes
a singular masculine appeal. I wish there
were a real Rike's Cafe Americain. I would
go wherever it was, even though I neither
drink alcohol nor gamble. Virtually every
actor and actress plays her or his part in a
scintillating way. The story line keeps me
rapt, even though I have seen the movie
so many times The Paris scenes are the
most romantic I have ever seen. When
Bogart helps the young married couple
from Bulgaria get enough money to get
to Lisbon, then to America, by cheating his
own casino, my heart, too, is softened.
And the dialogue at the end of the movie
is trenchant, unforgettable. But, to be
honest, the most compelling reason I have
watched "Casablanca" so many times is
that when Ingrid Bergman and her movie
husband first enter Rick's, I instantly press
"pause." Then I spend as long as I wish
staring at Ingrid's face, the most beautiful
woman's face I have ever seen, and I have
had the good fortune to see many beautiful
faces of women up close in my life, but none
as radiant and mesmerizing as Ingrid's.

Copyright 2020 Tod Howard Hawks
A graduate of Andover and Columbia College, Columbia University, Tod Howard Hawks has been a poet and human-rights advocate his entire adult life. He recently finished his first novel, A CHILD FOR AMARANTH.
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(76/M/Boulder, CO)   
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