Ilsa: What about us?

Rick: We’ll always have Paris. We didn’t have it, we’d lost it until you came to Casablanca. We got it back last night. (1)

Collared trench coats, foggy airports, Bergman’s cheekbones and Bogart’s gun hardly seem the stuff of history. Films are fleetingly alive, but resolutely powerful. This paper is positioned at the nexus of popular memory, history and cultural studies, but is also immersed in the pedagogical (and political) difficulties of teaching the People’s War through film. Sue Turnbull asserted that “as media educators we should be building upon the tacit knowledge our students have of the media and the pleasure they derive from their many media practices, in order to help them (and us) understand the nature of that pleasure in a political and social context.” (2) This pleasure is frequently derived from the development of a consciousness of self, place and time.

One of the hazards and joys of university life is the frequent movement between jobs and countries. This teacherly tourism involves a scholar deriving far greater richness from the terrain than she or he deposits. Travelling and teaching is rarely discussed in academic journals. It is a sizeable tragedy that few scholars interrogate cross-cultural pedagogy. The research in this paper is situated in an educational context. I have taught Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942) in two very different contexts, utilising different aims and paradigms. In Wellington, New Zealand, it was a text that opened a discussion of the People’s War for a generation of Kiwis being trained in late modern European history, yet distanced from the horrors of the final solution. For Perth-based students, enrolled in cultural studies rather than history, it provided an opportunity to teach the politics of memory. My theoretical journey through Casablanca was triggered by a student’s comment made after a lecture on the film. In Wellington, Mason asked if I had heard the Front Lawn’s song “Claude Rains.” As I had not heard of the band, let alone the song, I bought the compact disc on my way home from work. (3) The song was politicised, reflexive and drenched in affectivity. It altered the way in which I thought about the film, history, memory and, indeed, New Zealand. Crucially, it demonstrated how ‘Casablanca,’ as an ideology and image, can be summoned in our present, wherever and whenever we may be.

While popular memory is an itinerant (and playful) amalgam of media, a disciplined engagement with methodology occupies teachers of history. Few events are more necessary to convey to first year university students than the horrors of genocide and the scale of the apocalyptic People’s War. These histories maintain an unreal quality. We may discuss the Eastern Front, carrying the voices and deaths of Soviet soldiers. Their blood rarely trickles into the reified atmosphere of a lecture theatre and evaporates completely in the humidity of assignments and exams. Smaller projects though, offer some potential. The opening line of Sam’s song – “You must remember this” – is a strong motif through which to anchor a discussion of memory. The meaning of ‘this’ has changed as time has gone by.

The continual importation of historical methods and protocols into cultural studies has resulted in important changes in research and scholarship. (4) History has been a constitutive part of cultural studies. This intellectual pillaging resulted in the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies, forming a Cultural History Group in 1973. From this promising beginning, history has been a marginal contributor to ongoing debates. One paper in the Grossberg et.al. Cultural Studies engaged with historical questions. (5) Thankfully, the days of sledging cultural studies scholars in historical journals has passed, albeit recently. There are still historians who worry about, to poach Keith Windschuttle’s title, The Killing of History. He argued that “history is not fiction.” (6) Indeed, he is correct. The real is a commodity that is shaped ideologically and politically. Historical facts cannot be verified, but only checked against other subjective accounts. History is an empowered fiction, a truth that is believed in a culture.

The discussion of popular memory is a site of inter-disciplinary potential, but has resulted in little research. Imagining spaces, rather than times, has attracted the intellectual attention. There is room for a fertile evaluation of memory, history and cultural studies. As Mark Carnes has suggested, “if all pasts are imperfect, their imperfections are distinctive . Hollywood history sparkles because it is so morally unambiguous, so devoid of tedious complexity, so perfect.” (7) Casablanca is significant to theories of time, memory and cultural studies. Richard Blaine is a man with an unmentionable past. Only after Ilsa’s entry into the bar could he remember Paris, and the scale of his forgetting.

While Rick had problems with memory, so has the script of which he was a part. Casablanca is known as a piece of classic cinema, a text that has been removed from the horrors of war. The front cover of the 1991 Australian Magazine featured a snapshot of an embracing Ilsa and Rick, framed by the caption ‘You must remember this.’. What must be remembered was a love story, “our wounded yet unvanquished romanticism.” (8) The complexity and contextual intricacy of the film was lost – the love story has survived. For this manner of popular memory to be created, an affective map has to be formulated that renders the film ‘timeless.’ Only a text that is resolutely of its time could be mythologized in this way.

Casablanca was released in November 1942, eighteen days after the Allied forces, under the command of Lieutenant General Dwight Eisenhower, landed in North Africa and liberated the Algiers, Oran and Casablanca. Releasing the film at this moment in time was useful to both the film and the war effort. Starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman as Rick and Ilsa, Casablanca‘s time was right for success. During the 1944 Academy Awards, it received the Oscars for Best Picture, Best Direction and Best Screenplay. The film that was of its time is now 57 years old. Unlike Saving Private Ryan (Steven Spielberg, 1998), the text offers a trace of what is lost and gained from the epic fight against fascism.

The opening scene from Casablanca, featuring a rotating globe and newsreel voiceover, blurs fictional and documentary forms. The scene not only provides a location for the film, but hints at the desperation involved in waiting for migration out of a Nazified and imprisoned Europe. From 1939 to June 1942, nearly 20 million people moved from one part of Europe to safer terrain. The desire to escape is the imperative of the plot. Also claimed from the beginning is the desire to travel to the new world – America. This film was released at a time when the United States had been in the conflict for less than a year, since the bombing of Pearl Harbour. 1941 was a pivotal period of the war, with both the United States and Russia, powers outside Western Europe, becoming involved. The framing of the United States as the promised land was important to their war effort.

The Europe/America division is crucial to understanding Casablanca. The two major characters embody this shift. The mysteriously evasive Rick is an expatriate American. The beautiful, but tortured, Ilsa is a Czechoslovakian, a refugee from an invaded country. The split between the good America and the evil Europe is played out in a scene featuring a young Bulgarian woman, trying to make a new start with her husband away from Nazism. Lacking money and luck, she has some difficulties with the Prefect of Police in Casablanca, Inspector Louis Renault.

Renault: How’s lady luck treating you? Oh, too bad. He’s over there.
Woman: Monsieur Rick.
Rick: Yes How did you get in here?
Woman: I came with Captain Renault.
Rick: I should have known.
Woman: My husband is with me too.
Rick: He is? Well Captain Renault is getting broad minded .
Woman: Monsieur Rick, what sort of man is Captain Renault?
Rick: Just like any other man, only more so.
Woman: No, I mean is he trustworthy, is his word.
Rick: Oh just a minute. Who told you to ask me that?
Woman: He did, Captain Renault did. (9)

The corruption of officials, and the impediments to the new start in America, was present both in the film and Europe of the time. Social dislocation generated not only uncertainty, but a large and powerful black market. For the young Bulgarian couple, their journey to America not only involved travelling to the new world, but a passage away from a Europe that was killing itself.

The Second World War is known in historian’s circles, either ironically or ideologically, as a People’s War. (10) This united stand against Nazism, involving civilians and soldiers, men and women, is compared to the Great War, where there was a profound distinction between the military and civilian spheres. From 1939 to 1945, women were directly involved in decision making. The gender order was changing in response to wartime. Morality was in flux. Yet the degree of change can be overplayed. As Angus Calder has suggested, “the effect of the war was not to sweep society on to a new course, but to hasten its progress along the old grooves.” (11) John Costello agreed, recognising that the changes to gender relations did not fundamentally alter the conceptualisation of ‘women’s work.’ (12) Challenging this continuity, the Bulgarian woman asked Rick about the nature of ‘bad things.’

Woman: Monsieur, you are a man. If someone loved you very much, so that your happiness was the only thing she wanted in the whole world. But she had to do a bad thing to make certain of it. Could you forgive her?
Rick: No one ever loved me that much.
Woman: And he never knew and the girl kept this bad thing locked in her heart. That would be alright, wouldn’t it?
Rick: You want my advice?
Woman: Oh yes, please.
Rick: Go back to Bulgaria. (13)

When Rick tells the young woman to go back to Bulgaria, not only would she be returning to an old regime, but static relations between men and women. The movement profiled in the film was not only away from Nazism, but away from past social confines and restrictions.

Casablanca‘s war signifies a shift from that which is known to that which is possible. The fall of France, and in particular Paris, is seen as the penultimate tragedy of the film, taking second place to Ilsa leaving Rick standing alone in a foggy airport. The Paris invasions signalled the start of the French armistice and an end to the short Second World War for the French forces. The army was defeated in less than a month. Casablanca, in flashback mode, presents the repercussions of Blitzkrieg.

Rick: He says he’ll water his garden with champagne before he’ll let the Germans drink it.
Sam: This ought to take the sting out of being occupied, eh Mister Richard?
Rick: You said it. Here’s looking at you, kid. (14)

Unfortunately, champagne did not take the sting out of being occupied. Clearly displayed is the Germans presence and the fear they generated, along with their capacity to tell occupied populations “how to act when the Germans come marching in.”

Film, particularly in the Hollywood tradition, is not an effective medium for conveying group fear and behaviour. The medium has an exceptional ability to impart intimate relationships and individual activity. The ‘evilness’ of the Nazis had to be embodied in an individual, rather than through the presence of troops or the conditions of labour camps. Casablanca has an extremely effective Nazi – a superb baddy – Major Strasser.

Renault: You may find the climate of Casablanca a trifle warm, Major
Strasser: We Germans must get used to all climates, from Russia to the Sahara.
But perhaps you were not referring to the weather?
Renault: What else, my dear Major? (15)

The tall, cold, evil German Major, with a carefully groomed pencil moustache, discusses world power and domination. In this scene, the viewer also meets the smooth, suave Captain Louis Renault, head of Police. Unlike Strasser, his position is far more ambiguous. Renault was Casablanca’s representative of Unoccupied France, a political alternative to the Vichy Governments and a rallying site for French patriots. Vichy was a complicated, pluralistic dictatorship by Nazi Germany over France. Article 3 of the Armistice agreement, drawn up in 1940, imposed a French administration over a little more than half of France. This region was also occupied by the Germans, meaning that the French Government had to collaborate with German military authorities. The presence of Vichy granted French politicians limited independence, but activated a complex network of allegiances. In this context, what did it mean to be French? The supporters of Vichy were seen to be anti-French and termed collaborators. Frequently, the two types of collaboration, the first with Germany to safeguard French interests and the second with the Nazi regime, converged. The war being waged in France after the armistice in 1940 was a Franco-French war. (16) The Resistance were the footsoldiers in this fight. They were not concerned with the boundaries of the French nation, but self-respect and honour.

War-time France, the France of Casablanca, is a complex socio-political site combining an incomplete occupation with a longer project to exploit French weakness. The contradictions of this time and place are performed by Louis Renault. How Free was Free France? Who was collaborating with the Nazis? With all these ambiguities and confluences, Renault had to be smooth and flexible.

Renault: We are very honoured tonight, Rick. Major Strasser is one of the reasons that the Third Reich enjoys the reputation that it has today.
Strasser: You repeat Third Reich as though you expected there to be others.
Renault: Well personally, Major, I’ll take what comes. (17)

He is the pivotal character in the film, the link between collaboration and resistance to the Nazi authority. While France is locked between the forces of resistance and collaboration, good and evil, Renault “takes it as it comes”. Ironically, the most French in Casablanca is not French at all. The Resistance of the film is embodied by Victor Laszlo, head of the Czechoslovakian movement and Ilsa’s husband.

Strasser: You may be in Casablanca indefinitely, or you can leave for Lisbon tomorrow – on one condition. You know the leader of the Underground Movement in Paris, Prague, Brussels, Amsterdam, Oslo, in Athens.
Laszlo: Even Berlin.
Strasser: Yes, even Berlin. If you will furnish me with their names and their exact whereabouts you will have your visa in the morning.
Renault: And the honour of having served the Third Reich.
Laszlo: I was in a concentration camp for a year. That is honour enough for a lifetime.
Strasser: You will give us the names?
Laszlo: If I didn’t give them to you in a concentration camp, where you had more persuasive methods at your disposal, I certainly won’t give them to you now. (18)

The pervasive power of the Underground Resistance was a source of fear and concern to the Nazis. Also present in this scene is the collaboration of unoccupied French authorities with the Nazis, as Renault refuses Laszlo an exit visa. The concentration camp horrors are hinted. The “pervasive methods” do not have to be stated: Laszlo’s scarred face and biting voice convey some of the horror. (19)

The force that keeps the resistance unified in Prague, Oslo, London and even Berlin is performed in Casablanca. When the Marseillaise plays, French nationalism survives in the melody, even though the French nation had surrendered. (20) The power of the Resistance is displayed through small victories, such as those in Rick’s café. Casablanca serves to unravel the spheres of the political and personal. The film undercuts the invasion of Paris with champagne, and survival of the resistance with the loss of love.

Casablanca‘s narrative and ideologies demonstrate the way in which identities are formulated in times of war. Although Casablanca presents a clear love story between two individuals, the final scene of the film denies the self in favour of higher goals.

Ilsa: You’re saying this only to make me go.
Rick: I’m saying this because it’s the truth Inside of us, we both know you belong with Victor. You’re part of his work, the thing that keeps him going. If that plane leaves the ground and you’re not with him, you’ll regret it, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life . Ilsa, I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. (21)

In this single statement, the affirmation of collective goals, ahead of individual needs and desires, is proclaimed. In war time – as in eras of peace – there are more significant cultural forces than love. In the end, Rick is the noble protagonist who embodies the need to fight oppression, the responsibility involved in struggle and the personal losses necessary for a greater cause.

Rick’s loss is not the final scene of the film. Rick’s political and personal reversal is complete when the “blundering American” kills the Nazi, not out of hatred, but in self defence. Renault’s transformation is even more revolutionary. While Rick moved from apathy to action, Louis shifted from collaboration to resistance and saved his friend with the statement “Round up the usual suspects”. He became a patriot. The symbolic throwing away of Vichy water embodied this shift. This ending presents Ilsa fulfilling her clichéd destiny as first lady of Czechoslovakia, standing by her man and sacrificing her happiness for the greater good. Louis and Rick join the freedom fighters. The ‘happy ending’ of the film does not involve romance, but the survival of the resistance. Casablanca‘s war was a good war. Reichman argued that “history, it is often said, is written by the victors. If that is true, one important task for critics of the status quo is to recover lost alternatives.” (22)Casablanca, like the earlier Versailles conference, left an empty chair at the bar. The only Soviet in the film is Sascha, the “crazy Russian” barman, even though the USSR entered the war during 1941, the same year as the United States. The scale of the Soviet commitment and losses during Operation Barbarossa was enormous. The goodness of this war, in the many resonances of that phrase, remains highly contested.

An effective notion of history is not framed in terms of time. Instead, it is a method of constructing an interpretation that resonates within the present. Instead of asking E.H. Carr’s question of What is History?, (23) the inquiry must be rephrased. Greil Marcus has presented the temperament of this new, enigmatic pursuit.

What is history anyway? Is history simply a matter of events that leave behind those things that can be weighed and measured: new institutions, new rulers, new winners, new losers. Or is history also a matter of those things that seem to leave nothing behind, nothing but the mystery of spectral connections between people long separated by place and time. If the language they are speaking, the impulses they are voicing, has its own language, might it not tell a very different story from the one we’ve been hearing all our lives? (24)

Popular memory is the site of lipstick traces and spectral connections. To study memory is not an investigation of the past, broadly defined. Instead, it is an analysis of the material traces of past cultures and experiences that survive in the present. The investigation of memory is different from researching history. To remember is a way to mask the enormity of forgetting. The complexities of the Second World War are being washed away, along with many of the frameworks of post-war reconstruction. Like Rick’s personal history, the ‘good war’ finds few comfortable positions in the present. Following the traces of filmic representations forms a way to, as Roth suggests, “live with this past, which refuses to find a home in the present.” (25) To work within popular memory studies is to write against forgetting internments and Dresden.

The Cold War rendered the allegiances and enemies of 1939-45 unpalatable and irritating to national and European reconstruction. Casablanca is useful as it offers a snapshot of a moment when the war was yet to be won. As Johan Huizinga stated, “the historian must . constantly put himself at a point in the past at which the known factors will seem to permit different outcomes.” (26) To ask counterfactual questions – like what if the Nazis had won the war? – is particularly important in the process of researching popular memory. To think about the flow of history can result in an understanding of the fear that the Nazis instilled or the difficulty involved in assembling a workable allied unity. To stop the clock in this way provides options outside of historical determinism and teleological arguments. As Roger Ebert has suggested, “Casablanca is not about love anyway, but about nobility. Set at a time when it seemed possible that the Nazis would overrun civilisation, it seriously argues that the problems of a few little people don’t amount to a hill of beans.” (27) Yet ‘what ifs’ saturate the end of Casablanca. What if Ilsa had stayed with Rick? What if Laszlo could not leave Casablanca? What if Renault had rounded up Rick, rather than the usual suspects?

The People’s War, which has dominated Western historiography, found an ending in 1989, when the long Second World War finally crumbled with the Berlin Wall. Casablanca has continued to be popular, but does the text allow viewers to uncover a trace of the good war? Steve Goldman described World War Two as “our history, Casablanca is our heritage.” (28) The division between history and heritage renders Goldman’s words disturbing. When the film moves through time, it empties of this context, and is filled by the ideological requirements of a new era. The film is unshackled from fighting against the Nazis, and becomes a love story. At the fiftieth anniversary of the film’s release, a reviewer mentioned the Second World War only in the context of “a brief re-cap on the famous plot.” The film becomes saturated in “the sheer romance of this love story.” (29) Specific ideologies and identities refuse to find anchorage in the present. Contemporary viewers of Casablanca are increasingly having to make temporal leaps to formulate ideological closure. As Eco has stated, “Casablanca became a cult movie because it is not one movie. It is ‘movies.’ And that is the reason it works.” (30) The web of clichés allows contemporary viewers a path through the narrative. There are political consequences of this multiplicity and fragmentation. Memory is more than a narrative. It upholds a sense of the past in the present.

Popular memory was defined by the Birmingham Centre’s Popular Memory Group as “first an object of study, but, second, as a dimension of political practice.” (31) While the group argues that all histories are histories of the present, their investigation actually extends towards defining the nature of historical writing. The discursive field that constructs the past is littered with prior inscriptions of power and meaning. Because history is a political tool, it is integral to the continual formation of hegemony. Memory is a composite construction, which means that discovering a radical or alternative memory is a difficult task.

During the Second World War, there were many individual experiences and memories, but certain moments arch beyond the self. The memory of particular songs, like Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood” and Noel Coward’s “London Pride”, or the connection of particular films with events in the war, are fully textualized experiences that become the fodder of collective experiences. While, like all texts, these sites provoke a myriad of readership strategies, there is a collective recognition of relevance and importance. Popular memory provides a way to assemble a sense of how the past is produced outside disciplinary inscriptions. History is a dominant memory, and frequently a literate formation. Private or individual memories have a limited circulation and operate within photograph albums and everyday conversations. Collective or popular memories rebound in the liminal space between private reminiscence and national narratives.

Casablanca is a usable past: mobile, active and ideologically promiscuous. The most famous scenes have been replayed in sites as varied as Woody Allen’s Play it Again, Sam (1972), When Harry Met Sally. (Rob Reiner, 1989), and three episodes from Star Trek: “The Next Generation”, “Deep Space Nine” and “Voyager”. In the imagined science fictional future, Casablanca is the simulacra of the People’s War – even better than the real thing. Cultural theorists too, use the film in frequently inappropriate ways, serving to mask the other political struggles of the text. Alan McKee utilised Casablanca as a metaphor for a discussion of the homosexual kiss on Australian and American television. The ambiguous connection between a 1942 film and Matt on Melrose Place was justified on the final page of the article through this stretched analytical supplication.

At least Ingrid and Humphrey could say that they will ‘always have Paris.’ By contrast, what we will ‘always have’ is excuses from the television networks about the impossibility of representing homosexualities with the same strategies afforded heterosexualities. (32)

While there may be political battles to be won through the affirmation of sexual diversity and rights, there is a point where other wars and imperatives must not be allowed to drain from the text. My plea does not aim to restrict any film to a singular rendering or reading. Yet there is a need to recognise that metaphors must be mobilised with care, and analysts must be conscious of what is displaced or lost through dubious applications. While Casablanca may be a celebration of heterosexuality (which is an ironic posture when remembering the film’s final shot), the Marseillaise was not sung to woo a member of the opposite sex, but to drown out a Nazism engulfing Rick’s café and Europe.

Eco described Casablanca as “a living example of living textuality.” (33) If that is the case, then is there a problem in desiring to hold an authentic image of war, justice and collectivity? The conflict fought in Casablanca is in ruins, reduced to little more than a plot device to propel the love story. Yet, as Chris Healy has offered, “Ruins are never simply gone or in the past; ruins are enduring traces.” (34) Casablanca was part of a textualized fight against Nazism. It is remarkable that this struggle has been the first ideological skin to be lost to time, readerships and memory. This weathering has been paralleled by the attempt to moderate German history in a “return to normalcy.” (35) By making Casablanca the greatest love story of all time, viewers and critics forget what made it important and politically relevant. This uncomfortable, politicised past, of Vichy France, American late entry into the war and Nazi genocide, refuses to remain a part of our present and leaks out of Casablanca. The teaching of popular memory remains an imperative of the contemporary humanities, as it reveals the conscience of the Academy. Films like Saving Private Ryan and The Thin Red Line (Terrence Malick, 1998) have masked America’s late entry into the war. Similarly, the role of the other allies and the Resistance has been lost in the rush to establish American bravery and heroism. Ironically, Casablanca – a war-time melodrama – offers a far more complicated and gritty imagining of the conflict than these contemporary films. Without the special effects, without the severed limbs and shrieks of pain, Casablanca conveys the ambivalent and confused allegiances of the People’s War.

When Sam played it again, for the first time, he sang the words

You must remember this
a kiss is just a kiss
a sigh is just a sigh.
The fundamental things apply
as time goes by. (36)

Perhaps it is a tragedy of our times that the fundamental things no longer include a People’s War, fighting fascism and social justice. Instead, we look to Bogart, Bergman and a love story. The hope remains that Casablanca, as a popular memory text, will continue to move and change, so that it does remain a story without an ending.


  1. Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart, from R. Anobile (ed.), Michael Curtiz’s Casablanca (London: Macmillan, 1974), p. 235-6
  2. S.Turnbull, “Missionary Positions: the Status of Media Studies”, Metro Education, No.7, 1996, p.7
  3. “Claude Rains,” written and performed by Harry Sinclair and Don McGlashan, from Songs from the Front Lawn, (Auckland: Virgin Records, 1989), track seven.
  4. There are absences and gaps in the construction of a linear history of cultural studies. The most obvious of these gaps is the loss of E.P. Thompson as an important founding father of the paradigm. Obviously, The Making of the English Working Class was pivotal to the formation and politics of cultural studies and melded with ease into Richard Hoggart’s The Uses of Literacy and Raymond Williams’ Culture and Society and The Long Revolution.
  5. C. Steedman, “Culture, Cultural Studies, and the Historians,” in L. Grossberg, C. Nelson, P. Treichler, (eds.), Cultural Studies, (New York: Routledge, 1991)
  6. K. Windschuttle, The Killing of History, (Paddington: Macleay Press, 1994), p. 154. Windschuttle stated that “when the proponents of cultural studies write about the past they now have few reservations about calling their practice ‘history’. However, they are usually careful to distinguish this from the discipline of traditional history, in which very few of them have trained,” p. 15. Clearly, my research does not work from the premise of a binarized division between history and cultural studies. Traditional history, like all traditions, is changing. Also, many history graduates are moving to cultural studies. Unlike Windschuttle’s unnamed ‘them’ in cultural studies, I have trained in history, holding both an undergraduate degree and a research Masters in the discipline. As with most historical, and historian’s, generalisations, Windschuttle must evaluate the evidence of movements between history and cultural studies departments.
  7. M. Carnes, “Introduction,” from M. Carnes (ed.), Past Imperfect: History according to the movies, (London: Cassell, 1996), p. 9.
  8. S. Goldman, “Play it again, again and again,” The Australian Magazine, July 11-12, 1992, p. 27
  9. dialogue from Casablanca, screenplay by Julius Epstein, Philip Epstein, Howard Koch, directed by Michael Curtiz, (Warner Bros., 1943)
  10. Angus Calder’s two texts, separated by thirteen years, The People’s War (London: Michael Joseph, 1978) and The Myth of the Blitz, (London: Cape, 1991) demonstrate the shifting historiographical debates sweeping through understandings of the Second World War.
  11. Calder, The People’s War, p. 17
  12. J. Costello, Love, Sex and War, (London: Collins, 1985), p. 362-369
  13. dialogue from Casablanca.
  14. ibid.
  15. ibid.
  16. For an excellent early analysis of this Franco-French war, please refer to Stanley Hoffman’s “Collaborationism in France during the Second World War”, Journal of Modern History, Vol.40, 1968
  17. dialogue from Casablanca.
  18. ibid.
  19. As Walter Laquer recognised, “the full horrors of the extermination camps were brought home to the public only as a result of the trials in the late fifties”, Europe in our time, (New York: Penguin, 1992), p.26.
  20. Ingrid Bergman stated that “in Paris, when the picture came out they weren’t too pleased with it. They didn’t like the political point of view. The picture was taken off immediately and was never sold to television. Awhile ago it was brought in and opened in five theatres in Paris, as a new movie. They had a big gala opening where I appeared and people were absolutely crazy about it”, from R. Anobile, “Introduction” from Michael Curtiz’s Casablanca, (London: Macmillan, 1974), p.7.
  21. dialogue from Casablanca.
  22. ibid., p.127.
  23. E.H. Carr, What is History?, (London: Penguin, 1963).
  24. G. Marcus, Lipstick Traces, (London: Secker and Warburg, 1989), p.6.
  25. M. Roth, “Hiroshima Mon Amour: you must remember this”, in R. Rosenstone (ed.), Revisioning History: Film and the Construction of a New Past, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995), p.95.
  26. Johan Huizinga, cited in N. Ferguson, “Virtual History: Towards a ‘chaotic’ theory of the past”, in N. Ferguson (ed.), Virtual History: Alternatives and Counterfactuals, (London: Macmillan, 1997), p.1.
  27. R. Ebert, “Casablanca at fifty”, from H. Koch, Casablanca: Script and Legend, (Woodstock: Overlook Press, 1992), p.250
  28. Goldman, p.27.
  29. I. Jacobson, “That magic remains true as time goes by”, The Sunday Times, October 11, 1992, p.72.
  30. U. Eco, Travels in Hyper-Reality, (London: Picador, 1987), p.208.
  31. Popular Memory Group, “Popular memory: theory, politics, method”, from R. Johnson, G. McLennan, B. Schwarz and D. Sutton (eds.), Making Histories, (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1982), p. 205
  32. A. McKee, “A kiss is just”, Australian Journal of Communication, Vol.23, No.2, 1996, p.71.
  33. Eco, p.199.
  34. C. Healy, From the ruins of colonialism: history as social memory, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), p. 1-2.
  35. For a superb analysis of the changes to the writing of German history, please refer to Roderick Stackelberg’s “1968 vs. 1968: The turn to the Right in German Historiography”, Radical History Review, No.40, 198, particularly pages 50-62.
  36. Lyrics from “As time goes by”, Casablanca, score by Max Steiner.

About The Author

Tara Brabazon is an Associate Professor in Media, Communication and Culture at Murdoch University and Director of the Popular Culture Collective. She has published three books, Tracking the Jack: A Retracing of the Antipodes, Ladies who Lunge: Celebrating Difficult Women and Digital Hemlock: Internet Education and the Poisoning of Teaching. A fourth book, Liverpool of the South Seas: Perth and its Popular Music, is being published by the University of Western Australia Press in October, with a fifth book From Revolution to Revelation: Generation X, Popular Memory and Cultural Studies released by Ashgate in November.

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