The Russian-Ukrainian drama: Gazprom a capitalist, not an energy gangster

WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- As Europeans shiver amid the Gazprom-Ukrainian natural gas dispute, pundits bloviating on the nefarious designs of the Kremlin are overlooking one simple truth about the altercation -- the world's largest gas company is simply behaving the way that hordes of American advisory teams have urged the Kremlin to do since 1991: as free market capitalists, albeit nearly two decades late. Stripped of rhetoric, after 17 years of a tempestuous relationship, Gazprom has finally decided to insist that Ukraine pay near European market prices for its natural gas imports.
JOHN C.K. DALY, UPI International Correspondent

Vegas man plans 'Casablanca' prequel

LAS VEGAS, Calif., Aug. 8 (UPI) -- An 84-year-old Las Vegas man says he has a blockbuster prequel in mind to the 1942 hit movie, "Casablanca" and all he needs is a crack scriptwriter.

Analysis: Reagan in Hollywood

LOS ANGELES, June 10 (UPI) -- Although he never achieved major stardom in Hollywood, Ronald Reagan nevertheless left his impression on the entertainment industry as a two-time president of t
PAT NASON, UPI Hollywood Reporter

Timeless 'Casablanca' turns 60 with DVD

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- The new 60th anniversary DVD edition of "Casablanca" is loaded with bonus material, but the movie itself remains the primary attraction.
PAT NASON, UPI Hollywood Reporter

The Peter Principles: Heroes and villains

WASHINGTON, June 5 (UPI) -- The Peter Principles: Films and television programs are among the United States' leading exports. For good or bad they are a major influence on people living in other countries in the development of their ideas about the United States.
PETER ROFF, United Press International

Feature: Good Vs. Evil in Hollywood

LOS ANGELES, June 3 (UPI) -- The American Film Institute's latest TV special, "AFI's 100 Years ... 100 Heroes & Villains," looks at Hollywood's best good guys and worst bad guys.
PAT NASON, UPI Hollywood Reporter

Commentary: Bush learned from 'Casablanca'

WASHINGTON, July 11 (UPI) -- This week's events have finally revealed who taught President George W. Bush business ethics at the Harvard Business School. It was Capt. Louis Renault in the movie "Casablanca."
MARTIN SIEFF, UPI Senior News Analyst

Casablanca (1942) is an American romantic drama film directed by Michael Curtiz, starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid and featuring Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre. Set during World War II, it focuses on a man torn between, in the words of one character, love and virtue. He must choose between his love for a woman and helping her and her Resistance leader husband escape from the Vichy-controlled Moroccan city of Casablanca to continue his fight against the Nazis.

Although it was an A-list movie, with established stars and first-rate writers—Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein and Howard Koch received credit for the screenplay—no one involved with its production expected Casablanca to be anything out of the ordinary; it was just one of dozens of pictures being churned out by Hollywood every year. The film was a solid, if unspectacular, success in its initial run, rushed into release to take advantage of the publicity from the Allied invasion of North Africa a few weeks earlier. Yet, despite a changing assortment of screenwriters frantically adapting an unstaged play and barely keeping ahead of production, and Bogart attempting his first romantic lead role, Casablanca won three Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Its characters, dialogue, and music have become iconic, and Casablanca has grown in popularity to the point that it now consistently ranks near the top of lists of the greatest films of all time.

Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) is a bitter, cynical American expatriate in Casablanca. He owns and runs "Rick's Café Américain", an upscale nightclub and gambling den that attracts a mixed clientèle of Vichy French and Nazi officials, refugees and thieves. Although Rick professes to be neutral in all matters, it is later revealed that he had run guns to Ethiopia to combat the 1935 Italian invasion, and fought on the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War against Francisco Franco's Nationalists.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Rick Blaine."
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