By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The movie poster proclaimed it “The most romantic film of all time,” and a good case could be made.
“Casablanca” with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman first hit theaters 70 years ago, and ever since, fans have said, “Play it again.”
On Wednesday, it returned to the big screen at the Cinemark in Tupelo as part of a nationwide celebration of the classic love story set against the backdrop of World War II.
“We loved it on DVR and VCR, so I guess we’ll love it on the big screen, too,” said Patty Hass, 68, of the Carr-Vista community.
It was Hass’ birthday, so she and her husband, Norman, 68, decided to take a quick trip to the past.
“We like all kinds of movies,” she said, “but they don’t make them like they used to.”
The Parker family drove up from Smithville to enjoy the opportunity.
“It’s the experience of seeing it …,” started Patty Parker.
“Like the original,” said her 15-year-old daughter, Chloe Parker. “It’s nostalgic.”
“You can imagine yourself seeing it in person when it first came out,” Patty Parker said.
Randy Parker, 47, said he came as a “chauffeur.” Johnny Parker, 17, got a marketing pitch from his mother before the screening.
“For Chloe and me, it’s a classic romance. It’s the Nazis and war mongering part for Johnny,” Patty Parker said. “I filled him in. We’ve had a little history lesson with it.”
“Casablanca” won three Academy Awards, and it’s generally acknowledged as one of the greatest movies ever made. That assessment hasn’t changed as time’s gone by.
Emily Rackley, 29, of Tupelo, has seen the film repeatedly on television, but Wednesday was her first chance to see it at a theater, as the filmmakers had intended.
“I found out about it on the Cinemark website, and was trying to decide all day if I was going to go or not, then the rain started,” she said. “But this is a one-time thing. I couldn’t pass it up.”
If she’d missed it, she probably would’ve regretted it. Maybe not for the rest for her life, but soon and for a long time.