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Film / Play It Again, Sam

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Play It Again, Sam is a 1972 comedy movie directed by Herbert Ross and adapted from the Broadway play by Woody Allen, who also stars in it.

It follows the romantic trials and life of San Francisco movie buff and film critic Allan Felix, who is neurotic, shy, fanatical about films, and obsessed with the film Casablanca. Allan tries to model his behavior after the personality of its tough-guy actor Humphrey Bogart.


This film includes examples of:

  • Adaptational Nice Guy: In the original play Nancy is nothing but spiteful, with Allan's journey being that he stops letting her memory dominate his life. In the film they meet in person and part on good terms.
  • Bookends: The movie begins with Allan watching the final scene of Casablanca. It ends with Allan reenacting that scene, with himself in the Rick role and Linda and Dick as Ilsa and Victor
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: A single sip of scotch puts Allan into a cartoonish flailing fit and a dead faint.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Allan, about his analyst:
    Allan: Even if I could reach him, what's the point? He'd just say it was a sexual problem. How could it be a sexual problem? [My ex-wife and I] weren't even having relations.
  • Gratuitous Italian: In one of Allan's fantasies about telling Dick he's in love with Linda, he imagines them in an Italian movie, complete with Italian dialogue (mostly cursing, in Dick's case.)
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  • Imaginary Friend: Allan begins to imagine that he's getting advice from Humphrey Bogart.
  • I Always Wanted to Say That: In the final scene.
    Allan: If that plane leaves the ground, and you're not on it with him, you'll regret it - maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of your life.
    Linda: That's beautiful!
    Allan: It's from Casablanca. I waited my whole life to say it.
  • Matchmaker Crush: Inverted, as Allan falls in love with Linda, his matchmaker. Played straight, in that she falls in love with him too.
  • The Movie Buff: Allan, naturally.
  • Running Gag: Dick calling people to tell them the phone number at which he can be reached. Also a case of Technology Marches On, as these days, Dick would be one of those guys who never gets off his cell phone.
  • Shout-Out: Allan is a huge Humphrey Bogart fan, so there are multiple references to Bogart movies, particularly the final scene, which is almost identical to the final scene of Casablanca. Most of Allan's dialogue is identical to Bogart's dialogue in that scene.
  • Spit Take: Two of them, once when Allan drinks bourbon and another one when the biker grabs Allan's 7up.

Alternative Title(s): Play It Again Sam


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