New Series where we look at classic film heroes. Warts and all. Still Cool!
Face it. Most movie heroes are losers, dicks, cads, wallies, thugs, bounders etc. We love them because of their flaws as much as the adventures through which they are redeemed, right?
One of the cinematic prototypes in that regard is RICK BLAINE. Played by Humphrey Bogart in CASABLANCA (1943), the man is pure class and cool, personified.
Is the hero an anti-hero here? Sure. He smokes, drinks, gambles and does not take sides. The guy dumped lovely Ilsa post Paris romance and cloaks that in some noble excuse thanks to the war he himself is sort of avoiding. There is a lot of pub philosophy and hints about rather unsavoury gangland connections back in the USA.
But Bogart is impossibly cool, charismatic and confident. You believe in him and are thrilled when he devises a way to out play Nazis and rescue his beloved muse without having to commit to fighting one or loving the other.
And yes, we could have enjoyed sequels (there is a novel and it’s fun but perhaps wisely, unfilmed..maybe Robert Davi or Harrison Ford could have played Rick in Bogart’s absence..dunno). Leslie Grantham played Rick on stage once.
What game might Mr Blaine play, today? It’d have to be solitaire as he passes the time until the next old flame comes into his bar. Free solitaire!