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Playing it over and over again: how Casablanca was made

For many, Casablanca is not just any old movie but the old movie. When Woody Allen was looking for a heroic exemplar for his nebbish cineaste in Play it Again, Sam , it was to Bogarts Rick Blaine that he turned. When Nora Ephron wanted to illustrate the practicality of women in When Harry Met Sally , it was Bergmans example she held up (I dont want to spend the rest of my life in Casablanca married to a man who owns a bar). The source of endless spin-offs, parodies and skits, from the Marx Brothers A Night in Casablanca to Saturday Night Live , Casablanca is the movie we go to when we want to invoke movieishness itself, the dream factory at full tilt, a heroic foil to our mock-heroic age. As Umberto Eco put it in Casablanca: Cult Movies and Intertextual Collage , It is movies.