Wednesday, June 4, 2014

the word is courage

   "The writing, a fair amount of it done quickly, by committee, with no thought of it being great writing, has panache, and hits on several turns of phrase that just work.  All of these things lift up the story of love, higher duty, and the triumph of good over evil, and over cynicism," wrote one customer reviewing the film Casablanca.

Panache -- I love that word.
  The thing that's amazing to consider, when watching Casablanca, is that when this movie came out, the Second World War was still on; the Allies had not won yet, though they knew they had to (Churchill:  "We shall never surrender").

----------------- [excerpt] ---------------- The biggest contribution that Warners could offer to the war effort was continuing the work the studio knew best:  making movies.  The shock of the war's first days did little to slow the pace of production at the studio.

"Production of all kinds is vital to the success of our country's effort to rid the world of a horrible danger," wrote Harry and Jack [Warner] to all employees at Warners a few days after the United States entered the war.  "This applies, we believe, to the work of making and exhibiting motion pictures as it does to every vital industry in America.  Ours is an important link in the chain America seeks to forge around the forces of evil.

"We are working now with a double purpose and it is necessary, we believe, that every loyal American employed by Warner Bros. recognize this and have a hand in building entertainment that will help keep up the courage of the workers at home as well as of the troops in the field.

This is the time for every man and woman to consecrate themselves to the serious business ahead of us and to give freely of his time and strength and courage to the Victory we will all sometime celebrate.  The word is courage."

{excerpt -- Casablanca:  Behind the Scenes.  Harlan Lebo.  Copyright, 1992.  Simon & Schuster.  NYC.}


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