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UW-Eau Claire to Screen Classic Film 'Casablanca'

RELEASED: Feb. 3, 2005

EAU CLAIRE — The Oscar-winning 1942 classic "Casablanca" will be shown at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Feb. 10-13. One of the best-loved films of all time, the timeless film will screen Thursday through Sunday at 6 and 8:30 p.m. in Davies Theatre.

After the fall of France in 1940, refugees from all over Europe went to Casablanca, one of the few places they could escape the Nazis, and desperately sought exit visas to America. The hottest spot in Casablanca is Rick's Cafe Americain, operated by Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), a cynical American expatriate. One night Rick comes into possession of two stolen letters of transit that are much sought after by the German authorities and the pragmatic prefect of police, Capt. Renault (Claude Rains).

Renault informs Rick that European Resistance leader Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid) is in the city and will do anything to get passage to America. Renault has agreed to the Gestapo's request to keep Laszlo in Casablanca and warns Rick not to interfere.

It is no surprise the Laszlo comes to Rick's — everybody comes to Rick's. But Rick does not expect Laszlo to walk through the door with Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman), the love of Rick's life, the woman who had abandoned him without explanation. Ilsa learns that Rick is able to help her and Victor get out of the country — but will he?

"Thirty viewings later (at least), I still can't watch only a little of 'Casablanca'; I have to stay aboard until Brazzaville," wrote film critic Charles Champlin. "And I can't watch any of it without a tightening of the throat and a hint of moisture in the eyes ... As I am frequently told (as if it were somehow my fault), they don't make movies like that any more. It's true, they don't, and I explain sadly that it's because they don't make the world the way the used to, either."

Directed by Michael Curtiz, the 102-minute black-and-white film is rated PG. Admission is $2 for International Film Society members and UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff and $1 for UW-Eau Claire students. Tickets are available at the University Service Center, (715) 836-3727, in Davies Center's east lobby. The film is sponsored by the University Activities Commission of the UW-Eau Claire Student Senate.

-30-

JS/NW

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