The Casablanca Chainsaw Massacre: Dealing With Underwhelming Greatness

Travis McClain

Bats: R, Throws: R. How Acquired: Traded for a player to be named later. I hold a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Louisville, earned in history. I have lived with Crohn's disease since 2005, and chronic depression since my youth. I bring into each film that I view a world view shaped by those and other parts of my background. I try to be mindful of the socio-political themes and implications of movies, intended or otherwise, and that surely shows in my blog pieces. I also love doughnuts.

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23 Responses

  1. I thought your piece was going to be about a much worse problem. I think it’s totally okay not to “get” The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. On the other hand, it is completely NOT okay not to “get” Casablanca. And I don’t mind telling you that I don’t “get” Casablanca, which is why I have it ranked in the second third of my 3,000+ films.

    I should probably watch it again, just to avoid the shame of telling people I don’t get it. But it’s not like I watched it when I was half asleep or something. I watched it as a special occasion to mark the 2,000th film I’d ever seen (which is over 1,000 movies ago now, Jesus — and yes, I kept a list, even before Flickchart). I saw it in the year 2005 when I was 32 years old. If I couldn’t get it then, I don’t know when I WOULD get it. Yet I still don’t know what all the fuss is about.

    I guess it’s good I am not insecure about my film opinions, or I guess I wouldn’t have even posted this comment in the first place.

  2. Derek, I find it interesting that you find it perfectly okay to be disinterested in “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre,” but are concerned about why you don’t “get” “Casablanca.” Is it because the horror genre is considered inferior somehow? Because “Massacre” is to horror fans what “Casablanca” is to studio-era romances. I could easily have substituted a discussion about “The Wizard of Oz” (musical, love it) and “The Terminator” (sci-fi, did nothing for me). Or any number of bona fide “classics,” really.

    In any event, I would suggest not worrying about how you feel–or don’t feel–about “Casablanca” or any other movie. As I indicated, there can be a sense that when seemingly everyone else in the world loves a given movie that we don’t respond to as favorably, that *we’re* the ones missing something; that the problem is with us. I reject that notion; I think it’s perfectly okay for someone to not react to a work of art the way everyone else in the room does.

    I also think it’s important to remember that’s just what film is: an art. You can evaluate a film’s technical qualities all day long, but at the end of the day, it’s still a work of art and therefore one’s response to it is entirely a personal matter that reflects one’s own experiences, tastes, state of mind, etc.

    That said, knowing you aren’t entirely in love with “Casablanca” makes me fear you’ve got a chain saw you use regularly on visitors.

  3. Beau Kaelin says:

    I’ve always regarded the goal of the film as being to make the viewer feel uncomfortable, much like watching Last House on the Left (which preceded it by two years). While I don’t consider myself a gorehound, I do relish horror films. I have an appreciation for what this movie was attempting to do: break the mold. By eschewing a structured plot, distinct protagonists (much less likable characters) and the traditional villain, it leaves the viewer feeling more like an invisible bystander in a refraction of reality that’s as nightmarish (albeit quite implausible) as it gets. It’s not a film I love, but not one I hate. I appreciate that it’s a pretty unique film when you come to regard it in the sense of “horror evolution.” It, Last House on the Left and Halloween would all three change the horror genre in less than a decade, ushering in splatter and low-budget filmmaking. Do I believe, then, that in that sense, “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” can be appreciated in a similar regard to “Casablanca?” Yes, for both are benchmarks by which other films in the genre are measured and stand out as icons, again within their respective disciplines. But is “Texas” on par with “Casablanca?” Nooooooooo. “Casablanca” is a richly-complex plot with multi-tiered characters whose lives are all interwoven within a mélange of mystery intrigue and historical significance. “Texas”…well, what you see is what you get. “Casablanca” is intended to make the heart skip a beat at the boldness of the human spirit and to leave you lost in introspection. “Texas,” while it might make your heart skip a beat, can only be taken at face value, for its goal is merely to make you squirm. However, Roger Ebert has often stated that “It’s not what a film is about, but how it’s about it” and in that sense, the two are both successful. If “Texas” had the production budget of “Casablanca,” it would lose its impact. It should look like a film you accidently find buried under a pile of scrap metal in a barn while poking about at an estate auction for a disheveled farm. The gritty and washed-out feel gives it a sense of the genuine which enhances the discomfort. Am I defending it because I’m a fan of the film? Not in the least. I’ve seen it twice and that’s enough. I’ve enjoyed “Casablanca” numerous times and own it. But I’m not so “film snobbish” that I can ignore what “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” got right and how it impacted the following generation of film simply because it wouldn’t be found on any pretentious “Top 100 Films of All Time” list. I believe in giving credit where credit is due and where Tobe Hooper’s notorious film is concerned, he does deserve some regard.

  4. johnmason says:

    I’m not commenting on “Texas”; I’m not really a horror fan, and I’ve never seen it.

    A few months ago, I had a reaction of mild disinterest to one of “the greatest films of all time”. “The Godfather” was always on my list of movies I’d kind of like to see, but it took me forever to get around to it, even though it was in my dad’s VHS collection when I was in high school. (Same with “Casablanca”, in fact–a movie I’ve still never seen.)

    Well, when I finally had someone loan “The Godfather” to me a couple months back, I found a movie that I could appreciate on some levels–and enjoyed on others–but my overall reaction to it was rather “meh”. It currently sits in the middle of my Flickchart of 1200+ movies.

    If not loving it is wrong, well…I guess I’m wrong.

    I really do need to see Casablanca sometime…

  5. johnmason says:

    Oh, and Travis? Nice article. But if anything, your following comment is even better. :)

  6. John, first let me thank you for reading and for your kind words. As for “The Godfather,” it took me until about eight or nine years ago to finally see it. I’d have been in my early 20s. I walked away from the experience knowing I’d seen something *considered* a classic, but wasn’t terribly in love with it myself. It has its moments, of course, but I don’t worship at the altar of Marlon Brando. Which reminds me: I think being Catholic really helps one appreciate “The Godfather.” I’m not, so all the theological layering went right over my head.

    I remember Frank Miller once discussing his take on Daredevil, and how he decided that the blind lawyer who fought crime at night as a vigilante simply *had* to be Catholic, because it’s the only faith that would allow such a dichotomy. I think if you go back and re-watch “The Godfather” with just that one nugget in mind, it can unlock a lot of Michael Corleone’s character for you.

  7. KingofPain says:

    Casablanca and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre are two of my favorite movies. I actually saw Summer School and the The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (as a teenager) before seeing the original, and so my expectations were a bit out of whack. It took me a number of years to appreciate The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on its own terms, but now I like it more than either of the other movies. I went into Casablanca as an adult, and had seen a lot more movies by then, but I enjoyed it immediately. Mostly due to the snappy dialogue and slight campiness, but I considered it a favorite right off.

    I hate the phenomenon of not “getting” movies. It makes no sense. What is there to “get”, exactly? Is there some secret meaning to every film that everyone must understand? No. Movies can be appreciated in a whole bunch of ways, and so there is no one way to “get” any movie. The idea that a movie must be understood a certain way ruins the experience of watching it. People who watch enough movies should be able develop their own individual perspective for enjoying film, based on their own experiences. A movie can be liked or disliked, but there is nothing in particular to “get”.

    In the movie Never on Sunday, there’s a character who watches Greek tragedies but chooses to change the stories in her mind so the endings turn out happily. Maybe, in her case, she doesn’t “get” what she’s watching. If you watched The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and criticized it for its bad musical numbers, maybe in that case you didn’t “get” it. But if you watched it, followed what happened in it, and found it disagreeable, then you just didn’t like it. Time to move on.

    The only thing that matters with a movie is how much you enjoy for what it offers. It’s age or iconic status or all the critical opinions of it don’t matter. If it works for you, then it’s a winner. You’re the only person that you need to watch it for.

  8. KingofPain, Your remarks expose a weakness in my initial thesis. I did not mean to suggest that there is a singular reaction to a given film to “get.” Of course, each of us takes away something specific and personal from any work of art regardless of medium or artistic intent because we each come to that work with our own unique experiences and perspectives. I believe I indicated as much if not in my original post, then certainly in my previous comments to Derek.

    Unfortunately, the best definition I can offer at this time for “getting” a film–or any other work of art–is more of a gut feeling than a “like” or “dislike” verdict. There’s more of a sense of resonance to “getting” a film, I think–or at least, within the context of this discussion I’m framing it that way.

    For instance, take “Star Trek.” It baffles me that it’s so popular among conservatives because it’s really about a Utopian, socialist society where cooperation, rather than competition, is valued. And yet, on any given message board, you will find rabid Trekkers disparaging about real-life liberal politics. I’m certainly not qualified to say which side is right about the franchise, but it’s obvious that two different sides both like and “get” it in their own terms.

    Note: This is also an ongoing discussion in a forum I frequent, so I’m carrying on parallel discussions about the same subject. Forgive me if I conflate things or misunderstand anything any of you kind readers have posted to me here!

  9. KingofPain says:

    I guess you could say that you Like, Really Like, or Love a movie. Love = resonance. Like and Really Like = general enjoyment.

    There’s a difference between interpreting art and “getting” it. Interpreting implies a personal perspective, while “getting” implies One Universal Meaning. It makes sense that a conservative could relate to and enjoy Star Trek on some level, because there are so many episodes that there’s a lot of room for interpretation. Or maybe they just like the Geek Factor, regardless of politics. People don’t always apply a consistent philosophy to every aspect of their lives.

    We must free our minds. I put off watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen because of all the people speaking ill of it, but when I finally watched it… not so bad. Stupid, but mostly fun. Do I want to live my life assuming all Michael Bay movies will suck? No. Certain people view movies with an Us vs. Them attitude. Like there really is some wall seperating Art & Trash. There isn’t. Movies are movies. A person needs to approach artistically questionable movies with caution, but never with automatic disdain. Some people try to identify themselves by the type of movies they like, rather than the movies themselves. I don’t want to be associated with only certain types of movies. I want to embrace all kinds. That’s hard to do if I’m worried about “getting” the right movies.

    It’s all wide open.

  10. I would have replied sooner but I forgot to check the “Notify me of followup comments” box, so I thought no one else had commented.

    I agree with everything that’s been said that lets me off the hook for not loving Casablanca. However, let me add a little wrinkle into the discussion. I am a paid film critic — I don’t get paid a lot, but I do get paid, which distinguishes me from a lot of other film bloggers in the following way: I feel like there is a greater accountability to my own likes and dislikes, because I am being paid to be the mouthpiece of a particular publication. If I consistently submit reviews that are off-base, chances are, my skills as a writer are not going to be enough to save me. Eventually, someone will say, “This guy knows nothing about film.”

    Of course, I don’t think I’m out of sync with the mainstream enough that this type of conclusion would ever be reached. And besides, any particular critic needs to have the right to hate movies that certain other people love, if only so that their integrity can’t be called into question. However, I do think there are certain films that qualify as kind of “litmus test” films, and Casablanca may just be one of them. Fortunately, if you took 20 key films in film history and chose them as your entire list of “litmus test films” on which any critic might be judged, I will probably agree with the mainstream on 16-17 of them, which means I can keep my job for now. ;-)

  11. Derek, the professional critic will always have that nagging conflict the same way a commercial artist must balance adherence to expectations vs. his or her own ambitions. It’s something that the rest of the world assumes is easy, because the rest of the world hasn’t actually tried to be creative or honest with someone else footing the bill and inserting themselves into our work.

    To me, the most interesting and engaging things a critic can share in a review is not the most titillating thing about the plot’s third act (take note, “Entertainment Weekly”) but his or her own experiences.

    For instance, if you tell me you once spent a summer at your grandparents’s home in the country in a place like the setting of “Texas Chain Saw Massacre,” I not only understand why you would find it squeamish to all of a sudden be threatened in a movie by an environment you considered “safe,” but I’ve also learned something about you that personalizes what I’ve just read.

    (You don’t need unsolicited advice about how to do your job, of course, and I didn’t intend my last remark to read as such.)

  12. Paul says:

    It’s OK not to “get” a movie, but I think you did miss the entire point of TCM… (spoilers ahead for any other virgins)

    “It was just a matter of going through the motions of uniting victims with the killer.”

    Well, what did you expect? We’re not talking about a movie that’s built around nuance of plot. We’re talking about dread, terror, the existence of unspeakable evil lurking behind the facade of normality. The creeping sense of unease as we know something is going to happen, then the sudden and brutal violence when it does. Plot twists were not the order of the day.

    Remember this is well before the modern slasher craze, before even the standard model for the genre, Halloween, was made. While such things are now familiar and done to death, most of the horror movies made since are informed by this film.

    “the killer”? Did you somehow forget that it was a *family* of cannibals? Leatherface may be the poster boy for the movie, but it was the psychotic hitchhiker, the disarmingly “normal” seeming cook and the aged corpse-like grandfather that give the film so much personality – essentially a breakdown of the different personality types present in the movie’s inspiration, Ed Gein.

    Sequences of this movie are also groundbreaking. The movie contains zero gore, yet people came out of their first viewings convinced that they’d seen saw rip flesh, meathooks pierce skin but nothing of the sort was shot. It was the first time a person was seen to have severe death spasms after a blow to the head rather than just fall to the floor. Sally was a resourceful “final girl” instead of the simpering victim so often seen in films of the time – jumping through 2 glass windows rather than get caught by her obvious antagonist. Meanwhile, the ambiguous ending implies that while she escapes physically intact, her mind may well have cracked.

    The weirdness also helps. The sight of the furniture made of human bones, lampshades of human skin and (for some reason) the large chicken in the tiny cage all gave me nightmares for their very wrongness – no gore required if it can offer something more fundamentally disturbing than ketchup. There’s also a vicious streak of black comedy – witness the fumbling attempts of the grandfather to kill Sally with the sledgehammer or the confused reaction of Leatherface after he dispatches the second set of victims.

    As I’ve said, no problem with having your own opinion – there’s certainly many films people seem to love that make me go “meh” or hate (in no particular order, a few examples: High Fidelity, Citizen Kane, Superbad, the Twilight series, Almost Famous, Boogie Nights, everything made by Shyamalan). But, I think that if you try to talk about TCM purely on the basis of gore, storyline or “originality” from a 21st century perspective then you’re missing the point.

    “I’m a behind-the-scenes junkie”

    Watch the behind the scenes documentaries on TCM. They are highly fascinating – even after the film was made, its distribution was a nightmare in itself.

    “why has no one told me I wasn’t critical enough in my evaluation of Casablanca?”

    Horror is a genre with many devotees who are used to having to defend it and explain why they like it. Wartime dramas, not so much.

  13. Bill Graham says:

    Fascinating discussion here. I immediately “got” CASABLANCA, even though I watched it in one of the least ideal situations. It was late at night, after work, in the bed with two of my friends, with one passed out in the middle. I was in college and had lots to do the next day, and they had to keep the volume low in their parents’ house. Oh, and it was on Netflix instant watch, which can muck with the visual quality of a film like CASABLANCA.

    Yet, when I left and drove home, the film kept with me. I had heard about the film from so many people, and heard those same quotes you mention. Yet, I loved it from the start. I also was surprised by how damn short the film was. I was expecting a similarly epic film like GONE WITH THE WIND (which I had watched the summer before), yet I got a similar result from roughly half the time.

    Paul, what an outstanding breakdown of TCM. And Derek, while I’m not paid just yet, I am a film critic and it is a tough choice to balance what you feel and how you might be perceived. The last thing you want it to feel off-base or out of touch with your audience, but sometimes you just don’t LOVE the same films everyone else does.

    I had a similar reaction to CITIZEN KANE. I feel the film is beloved for all the innovations and uniqueness, but when watched out of the context of time, I think it loses a lot of its edge. Certainly a quality film, but I’ll rank a number of films ahead of it in terms of my feeling.

  14. Paul,

    Your remarks are an excellent distillation of the pro-“TCM” camp. I won’t go point-by-point, but I do want to address a few comments.

    “Well, what did you expect? We’re not talking about a movie that’s built around nuance of plot. We’re talking about dread, terror, the existence of unspeakable evil lurking behind the facade of normality.”

    There seems to be a confusion here that, because I elected to contrast the film with “Casablanca,” I am uninterested in a base story built entirely around escalating dread and fear. That is not the case at all. Take, for instance, “The Virgin Spring,” which predates “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” by a good decade. It’s pretty straightforward: a medieval girl is savagely attacked in the forest, and her killers unwittingly take refuge at her family’s home. It’s based on a 13th Century ballad, and you might recognize the premise from “The Last House on the Left.”

    Its plot is just as obvious as is “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre,” but it actually evokes genuine terror because the film bothered to craft actual characters. We know what’s coming, and we’re powerless to do anything but watch as it happens. That’s the same position that “Massacre” sought to put us in, but it didn’t faze me in the least. I didn’t *care* what happened to these people, because they existed for me as a viewer on the same level they existed within the film: as little more than fodder.

    “‘the killer’? Did you somehow forget that it was a *family* of cannibals?”

    I didn’t wish to spoil that part of the plot for anyone who had not yet seen the film, and it’s ultimately unimportant in the context of my original argument–which is not about the specific plot or historical context of “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre,” but rather about how one reconciles not responding enthusiastically to a film the rest of the world worships.

    “But, I think that if you try to talk about TCM purely on the basis of gore, storyline or “originality” from a 21st century perspective then you’re missing the point.”

    Omit the gore; that’s irrelevant to me. But if a film–any film–cannot stand on the strength of its story and/or lacks originality, then I’m afraid I have to ask what point there is to miss. If we’re not to evaluate a film based on what it sets out to tell us–and how successful it may be about telling us whatever that may be–then on what possible level *can* we discuss a film, or any other work of art?

    “Horror is a genre with many devotees who are used to having to defend it and explain why they like it. Wartime dramas, not so much.”

    I’m not sure I would characterize “Casablanca” as a “wartime drama,” though it certainly fits. The war is really more of a setting than part of the plot, and while it is a drama, at its heart it’s a Romance. There are romantic comedies and romantic dramas churned out every other week, it seems, but few have ever been made with the enduring appeal of “Casablanca.” Why?

    And why is it that among film critics and fans, it’s expected that someone should have to defend a Horror production, but hold few–if any–other genres to such scrutiny?

  15. Just to defend Travis, I think the point of this piece is not whether he should or should not like TCM. In fact, the very intensity of the discussion of why or why not the movie is good is actually kind of making his point for him: that people expect you to like or not like certain things, and that it’s difficult to not “get” the movie precisely because you know you will encounter such feedback from others. Granted, I know that a new discussion has developed in the wake of Travis’ initial thesis, but let’s not forget that he didn’t come here to debate the merits of the movie per se — he wanted to discuss the very relatable phenomenon of “what’s wrong with you” if you don’t like a certain classic. And what a discussion it’s been!

  16. Derek,

    Thank you for recognizing the relationship between the spun-off discussion and my initial thesis. So far, I’ve been thrilled by this conversation–though I’ve been meaning to come back to, and pin down, the distinction between one’s “opinion” and “getting” a film. It’s not merely a matter of a “like-dislike” continuum, where one end of the spectrum is in the “get” range. “Getting” a film is independent of liking it or having a favorable opinion of the film.

    That’s as far as I’ve gotten with this part of the argument. Perhaps someone has a question that might help me refine it further? Or maybe someone else would like to try to expound upon the point?

  17. KingofPain says:

    Like I was saying, the only definition of “getting” a movie that makes sense is being able identify what actually happens in it. But, just because you see the same things as everyone else, it doesn’t mean you’ll enjoy them. A person can try to explain to you why those things are good, but it’s kind of like explaining a joke to someone: Explaining why it’s funny doesn’t necessarily make it funny. A Casablanca fan might praise the movie as a great love story, but it doesn’t mean someone else will be impressed.

    I remember a guy who explained the plot details of Phantom Menace to me because I told him I hated the movie. He felt that explaining the intricacies of the plot to me would somehow make me hate it less. However, I understood what happened in the movie, but the way it was all presented sucked. He felt that I didn’t “get” it, and that’s why I hated it. I got it, but I just didn’t want it.

    But “getting” a movie in the sense that the article presents it doesn’t really exist. It implies that a person is wrong somehow for not appreciating a movie.

  18. I think you’ve helped me here: it’s not just comprehending the film, but having a sense that you identify with the majority sentiment about the film. Ergo, by hating “The Phantom Menace,” you “get” it” because you understand what’s happening, and your reaction is in line with the majority of viewers (or at least, those who haven’t drunk the Lucas Kool-Aid). It’s strange to use a negative reaction to demonstrate the concept, but I hope this helps clarify.

  19. Personally, I think we may be overcomplicating the issue. “Get it” is loosely translated as “get what others see in it.” I don’t think anyone would argue that the events in Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Casablanca or The Phantom Menace are so hard to follow that you would actually need someone to explain it to you. Now, something like Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain, on the other hand … then a different definition of “get it” would come into play.

  20. KingofPain says:

    Maybe if everyone saw exactly the same thing in every movie it would be possible to “get” what they saw in it. But the whole issue is whether it actually matters if you get what others see in it or not. I don’t think it does matter, because no one should care about what others see in a movie when it comes to determining their own perspective. Everybody is different.

    Maybe some movies have a more complex or deeper “meaning” than others, but liking or disliking a movie is about the presentation. Who cares what a movie means if the presentation is crap? Some people do think getting the meaning of the movie is more important than appreciating the presentation. Not me. Meaning is secondary, and open to interpretation. It’s possible to like The Fountain without making sense of it just because it’s cool visually. Maybe having a deeper understanding increases the enjoyment of watching it, but not all people will understand it the same way. And they shouldn’t be required to. The guy who explained Phantom Menace to me felt that it had lots of meaning.

    I can’t prove that Phantom Menace is impossible to be legitimately enjoyed, and so all I can say is that I saw a lot of the same crap in it that other people did, but very little of the good. Which means people who liked it “got” it differently.

  21. EquityDiversity says:

    Ah, so many things I want to say (most having to do with the follow-up discussion). I’ll try to keep it simple here friends.

    1. I myself have never seen TCM, so I have no opinion on it. However, I agree with the camp who have stated the only way to “get” a film is by understanding what happens on the screen. However, there is “getting” a film, and “really getting” a film.

    For example, Danny Boyle’s “Sunshine”. *SPOILERS*
    I have introduced my family and a number of friends to this film. At the end of the movie I always throw them a nugget of information, wether or not they really liked it. All the deaths in “Sunshine” are foreshadowed and blatantly by Danny Boyle. Usually when I point this out to people, they like the movie eve more as they realize what they missed. You see, these people “got” the movie. You don’t have to realize these deaths are foreshadowed to understand the movie. However, by understanding elements of the film which are not important to “getting” the film, you can “really get” the film. Maybe I am making no sense, maybe I am?

    BTW, I think everyone has at least one “benchmark” movie they don’t really care for … mine is “Gone With the Wind”.

    2. I was going to write a big response about The Godfather to Travis and John. However, it got so long and so off topic about the article, I think I’ll submit for the blog. Anyway, I’ll just say that yes, being from a Catholic family and being Half-Sicilian has an impact on how I view and feel about The Godfather and The Godfather Part II.

    There are always certain things about films which make us love it more. A question I was once asked was “Bull Durham or Field of Dreams” (this was before flickchart). It was a hard choice. Kevin Costner at his best in both films … the cast of both films, spot on. So I tried to figure out what was better. Durham, a movie set around baseball, or Field of Dreams … a movie about baseball. Then I had made up my mind in a second. “Field of Dreams.” “Why Field of Dreams?” “I never got to play catch with my dad.” So you can see how certain scenes or parts of films can connect with you so closely, they instantly rocket up your list. Because I never got to play catch with my dad, “Field of Dreams” holds a significant impact with me more than it may with others. Getting it.

  22. I’ve given it some more thought over the last few days, and I’ve decided that I reject the definition that comprehension = getting a film, on the basis that we have the word “comprehend” for discussion that level of processing what’s happening.

    I liken it to the difference between possessing the rudimentary level of literacy needed to see characters and process that they stand for letters, and responding to the actual meaning of the printed words.

    In any event, I thank you for your contribution to the ongoing discussion and I look forward to your “Godfather” blog. As someone with mostly Scotch/Irish heritage and a Protestant background, I look forward to your insights into a film that has long seemed just out of reach for me.

  23. Clemontine says:

    Everyone has these moments. I have been underwhelmed by so many “classics” its embarrassing. There are so many factors involved in why someone would enjoy a film, let alone the additional factors when it is a classic. But I am proud to say Casablanca was not one of those films for me. I had watched a series of bad movies last year and decided I didnt want it to happen again. I was determined that the next movie I was going to watch was going to be great. What movie has such a good reputation that there is no way it can disappoint me? Casablanca. So I went for it, and it was the right choice. Its at #200 on my Flickchart now.