The French actress is teary-eyed and among those singing “La Marseillaise” in Rick’s Cafe during a stirring, patriotic moment in the 1942 Warner Bros. classic.
Madeleine Lebeau, the luminous French actress who played Yvonne, the jilted lover of Humphrey Bogart‘s Rick Blaine who wells up during the patriotic singing of “La Marseillaise” in the immortal film Casablanca, has died. She was 92.
Lebeau, who later portrayed an actress named Madeleine in another classic, Federico Fellini‘s 8 1/2 (1963), died May 1 in Estepona, Spain after breaking her thigh bone, her stepson, documentary filmmaker and environmentalist Carlo Alberto Pinelli, told The Hollywood Reporter.
Lebeau is widely believed to be the last surviving castmember from Casablanca. Not too long before making the film, she herself had escaped Nazi-occupied France with her then-husband, actor Marcel Dalio.
In the 1942 Warner Bros. drama, Yvonne and Rick had a one-night stand, and when she makes another pass at him while drowning her sorrows at his nightclub, he spurns her and has the bartender take her back to her apartment. Later, she returns to the nightclub arm in arm with a German soldier.
When a group of German soldiers begin belting out “Die Wacht am Rhein,” Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid) leads Rick’s house band in response with a stirring rendition of “La Marseillaise.” All the patriots in the club, including Yvonne, join in to sing the French national anthem, and they drown out the Germans in a memorable “duel.”
Lebeau is teary-eyed in two full-screen close-ups and yells “Viva la France!” in her final, passionate line. Like her, many of the actors in the memorable scene were refugees from Europe, and they drew on real emotions.
Her husband Dalio played the croupier Emil in Casablanca after appearing in such films as Jean Renoir’s Grand Illusion and The Rules of the Game. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Classic Bogart & Bacall: ‘You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow’Posted: August 12, 2014
— Variety (@Variety) August 12, 2014
With deep sorrow, yet with great gratitude for her amazing life, we confirm the passing of Lauren Bacall. pic.twitter.com/B8ZJnZtKhN
— BogartEstate (@HumphreyBogart) August 12, 2014
It’s my pleasure to hijack a great item by Robert Ferrigno, and reintroduce readers to his blog. The wonders of YouTube — I was fortunate to find this very scene from KING OF THE UNDERWORLD –and include it, so we can watch for ourselves.
Popular culture, which is all about eyeballs and asses in seats, is more reliable than any survey to determine who we are at this moment. A glimpse at a shard of popular culture from the past is a snapshot of who we were at that moment. Sometimes, the disparity isn’t pretty. I was flipping through the channels at 4 a.m. yesterday, putting off getting to work, when I saw a very young Humphrey Bogart on Turner Classics. Had to stop.
The movie was KING OF THE UNDERWORLD, 1939. Bogart was a bank robber, natch, smooth and deadly, his grin like a poisonous flower beaming across the decades. He and his crew drive into a small town in Anyplace, USA, stroll into the Sheriff’s office, where the man with the badge is blathering with his sidekick about maybe they should put up a speed trap of something, bring a little revenue into God’s country. Next thing you know, Bogart’s gang show their pistols, take the sheriff’s keys and free their gang buddies from the jail. As Bogart and his men stroll out the door, the sheriff pushes a secret button on the floor, starting a siren blaring in this sleepy town.
What happens next knocked me out.
As the townspeople hear the siren, they rush TOWARDS the sheriff’s office. They don’t flee. They don’t duck and cover. They don’t wait for some alphabet agency to come and handle the problem, string out the yellow crime scene tape, maybe distribute bundt cakes and counseling afterwards. No, the call goes out that there’s trouble. One of the townspeople, who is Mr. Average Joe, calls out, “Get yer guns!” and the crowd scatters to homes and storefront where they get their guns and start blasting away at Bogart and his men as they flee. Bogart gets nicked in the arm, which sets off a chain of events which, by the end of the movie, leaves the bad guys dead or on their way to prison.
It made me realize how different we are now. King of the Underworld was a B-movie when it was made, a quickie ground out in two months. No one thought it was art or social commentary or anything but 90 minutes of excitement and diversion, but there was something in that man shouting “Get yer guns!” that must have seemed natural at the time it was made. An instinctive response to evil. Collective action by free people. If it wasn’t a commonplace reaction at the time, it at least seemed like something the best of us should do.
Today a screwhead goes nuts, murders innocents and the response is let’s make it harder for people to defend themselves. Homeland Security comes out with the recommendation that when faced with an armed gunman, we should run, hide or throw something at him. Evidently that something not including .357 hollow points. The message is, “stay calm, you poor, dumb bastards, the authorities will be on their way shortly to carry away the dead and parade the victim’s families to the cameras until there’s no more political gain or TV ratings to be squeezed out of their grief.
We are not the people we used to be.
via Roberts Blog