Well, thank Heavens! Someone has finally labeled Casablanca what it has always been: puerile war propaganda (“Restless Natives,” March). I wish I could say that I recognized this film for what it was when I was a young schoolboy in the 1940’s. Then, I endlessly pestered my parents to “sign” so I could run off to the palm-fringed Pacific islands and “fight Japs!” (They never signed.) But I do remember disliking the film because it was a mushy love story. And what about Bogart? Casting him as a former “American idealist” was a stretch. Bogie had only two modes of character: he was tough and cynical, and tougher and more cynical. For this guy to be crying in his beer over being stood up by Ingrid was overly Hollywoody—even for 1940’s Hollywood. Any war-intoxicated schoolboy who lost his own share of “true loves” could see how unmanly that was.
But even today Hollywood (oops!), I mean the Turner p.r. machine, goes on hyping the un-hypable. Great American classic, indeed! “Restless Natives” was right on target, and a good read.
Port St. Lucie, FL
On Samuel Francis
I interrupt my work to express great praise for Samuel Francis’s article, “The Other Face of Multiculturalism” (April). In a word, it is superb. As an intellectual analysis, it has a clarity that knows no equal, and it is truly a work of art. Would that we could persuade every congressman and school administrator to read it in the quiet of their studies. (If they have such!)
Santa Barbara, CA
On Errors and Bishops
Paul Gottfried’s “Fascism and Anti-Fascism” (March) was a fine piece, but gremlins attack even the best. The primas Galliae is the archbishop of Lyons, not Paris.
—Duane L.C.M. Calks
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