Wednesday, September 2, 2009


One of the best scenes in the film Casablanca is the scene where the French National Anthem, La Marseillaise, is sung over the German song Watch on the Rhine. In the film, Victor Lazlo, played by Paul Henreid asks the band to play La Marseillaise and Rick (Humphrey Bogart) gives them a nod of approval.

Closeups are of the principle characters: Bogart, Henreid and Ingrid Bergman (Ilsa). The singer with the guitar, played by Mexican actress Corinna Mura, was uncredited in the film. Rick's jilted girlfriend, Yvonne, is shown with tears in her eyes and shouting "Vive la France!" at the end of the song. Yvonne was played by French actress Madeleine Lebeau who fled Paris with her Jewish husband in 1940, reaching the gateway city of Lisbon and eventually getting into the United States with temporary Canadian passports after being stuck in Mexico.

Before Casablanca, Lebeau had a small part in the Olivia de Havilland, Charles Boyer and Paulette Goddard 1941 film, Hold Back the Dawn, coincidentally about refugees trapped in Mexico trying to get into the United States during World War II.

And, of course, Claude Rains, as the Vichy Captain Louis Renault, steals almost every scene that he is in.

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