My Sequel to Casablanca, "The Last Train To Paris" cinematic moments. These memorable moments move the story forward in interesting ways.
GREAT TENTPOLE MOMENTS
“The Last Train to Paris….whatever happened to Rick and Ilsa”?
Midway through the story, standing with Louie at an airplane ramp, Rick pauses, sets his suitcase down and says,
“I can’t leave Paris until I see her grave.”
Opens: Hitler with his officers and the ground shakes. He commits suicide.
We meet Victor and Ilsa in Prague, hiding beneath a stage in a theatre in a secret room, with a Nazi officer searching them out in the building.
A boy rushes in with news that Hitler is dead. They celebrate then Victor and Ilsa leave out the back way to confirm the report. The Nazi officer pulls out his weapon and moves toward the stage.
Outside, hiding in the shadows, Victor and Ilsa duck into a dark entryway to avoid a Russian troop carrier. Ilsa says,
“Take me back to America. We were happy there. I’m tired, Victor, of all this fighting. Tired of hiding in doorways…tired of being afraid. Let’s get a fresh start together, enjoy life for a change…go to the theater, dancing, have a family.” He answers, “God knows that if anyone deserves such happiness it is you…however. She interrupts, “ For god’s sake, Victor, let someone else be the hero of the next war.”
In that same conversation Ilsa says, “ You can’t keep missing the bullets forever, Victor. If we stay, you’ll make me a widow.”
As Rick and Louie are about to blow up a platoon of German soldiers then learn the war has just ended, Louie tells Rick to stop but he goes to blow them up anyway. Louie bets Rick they’ll surrender. Rick answers,
“You always lose our bets, Louie…besides that plunger will probably slide down on it’s own and kill them anyway.” He stands up on the rock, looks below and yells, “Surrender your weapons or die.” They do to his surprise. He turns to Louie, “Will you take a check?”
Louie tells an American solder, “ The Germans blew up half of France and then Rick blew up the other half.”
Back in Prague, the German officer has broke into the hidden headquarters and is looking for the conspirators who murdered his brother in Casablanca, He mistakes another couple as them and pushes them to admit it.
“I will execute everyone in this room, starting with this boy, until the parties in question step forward”
Grace and her husband step forward as martyrs. He marks their graves as Ilsa Lund and Victor Laszlo.
Back in Paris, Rick receives a pardon from the President of the United States and it’s presented to him by three American officers in a saloon. He’s speechless as all there, stand up and cheer his work in the resistance.
While receiving medals from the French in the town square, Rick, drunk, sees every woman’s face in the crowd turn into Ilsa’s. ( The music in his head: “As Time Goes By”)
Later, in the saloon Rick is drunk. Louie scolds him. “
“Four years we’re been fighting together and I’ve never seen you drunk like this.” Rick answers, “I got drunk in secret. Besides, killing Germans kept me happy.”
When Louie shoves Rick into a car to take him to his parent’s villa, they’re followed by a German on a motorcycle.
When Rick wakes in the back of the car the next day, sees they are being followed, he rolls from the car and shoots at the German following them. He turns and rides away. Rick yells at him, “And stay out of Dodge you varmint.”
At Ilsa’s grave where Grace is buried, Ilsa says,
“My god, Victor! It should have been us! I feel so...awful inside...so terribly guilty. It's so horrible... our best friends, my best friend who was like a sister to me, killed in my place. Why would such a thing happen?
When Ilsa learns that Louie and Rick are being hunted down to be murdered, she confronts Victor, “ My god, Victor, they saved our lives. We have to warn them. Victor answers,
“I know! Do you think I have no soul? I've already tried, Ilsa, but we have no idea of their whereabouts or even if they are alive or dead.” Ilsa goes on,
“No, Victor, I will not take "no" for an answer. This is crazy! These people are crazy, Victor...they are crazy in their revenge. We must get away or everyone I've ever loved will be dead! Victor answers,
“You mean Rick?”
At Louie’s chateau in France, in a bag of mail, is a letter from Rick’s bar. Inside is another letter sent to Rick from Ilsa. It’s two years old when Rick sees it for the first time. The letter confirms her love for Rick. After he reads it he tells Louie’s mother,
“It’s a disease, Mom! A cancer way down deep. It needs to be cut out and thrown away.”
When Major Strasser’s brother corners Louie at his villa, ready to shoot him down for the murder of his brother at the Casablanca airport, Rick catches him by surprise and says,
“I killed your brother in a fair fight, and I’ll kill you the same way.” He adds,
“Before I kill you, I want to tell you what a sick bastard you are...in fact...you come from a family of sick Nazi bastards.
After he shoots Strasser he bends over him and says,
“Your brother missed too.”
Then the soon to be famous scene with Rick and Louie at the airport. Rick, about to board a plane, sets his suitcase down and says,
“I can’t leave Paris until I see her grave.”
Louie answers, “You’re a sentimental fool but I wouldn’t miss this for the world.”
In Prague at Ilsa’s grave Rick spreads Ilsa’s letter he had got from her atop her gravestone and says,
“I got suckered into hoping.”
“Like I said, Louie, I've had enough of Europe...I don't want to end up with everything in my gut hating the world.”
Ilsa finds her LETTER atop her gravestone and faints. Victor finds her on the ground and yells out her name. He rushes to her, finds the letter in her hand, reads it, and places it back into her hand. The Russian officer who suspects them of being the real Rick and Ilsa steps from the shadows and says, “I knew it.” He arrests them both.
Victor, knowing Rick is in town, tricks the Russians into parading them around town in an open troop carrier.
Rick and Louie come from a bar just as the truck of Russian troops stops outside. They catch eyes- in that same way they did in Casablanca at the end, Victor then yells out,
“Freedom! Freedom for Czechoslovakia!” Rick turns to Louie and says, “ This is it, Louie. Laszlo’s making his move.” Rick yells out, “Freedom from Communism!” Victor smiles at him.
Rick attacks the troop carrier, single handedly, then the towns people join in as they sweep through the troops, steal the troop carrier, and drive away with Rick, Victor and Ilsa in the back. Louie is driving.
As they stare at one another, Victor says, “Thanks for coming to our aid.” Rick answers, “It’s not what you think.” Victor says,
“My wife is going to Paris. I cannot go with her. I must stay here and lead ¬the resistance...I need someone to accompany her to Paris....then perhaps to America where she can start a new life... Rick answers, “We’ll talk about it later.”
As the Russians give chase, firing at them. This is a high action scene, where Rick fires back at the Russians with weapons found on the troop carrier.
“Got any miracles, Laszlo? We'll never make the border...even if we did...they'll be waitin'.” Victor answers, “Escaping our enemies is something we've grown accustomed to...By the way, I heard quite a few impressive reports about you and Captain Renault through the underground...about your work in France and elsewhere against the Germans. I was right about you, Rick.”
Rick answers, “I’m not so sure. For starters, I’m in love with your wife.”
A moment later Laszlo says, “You’re not going to the border and neither is Ilsa.” Rick answers,
“Let me tell you something, Laszlo, this story has an ending...see...and the story ends this way...the girl comes with me.”
Victor turns to Ilsa and says,
“I love you, Ilsa, but now I realize my passion for freedom cannot be compromised by being in second place in my life...you deserve better than that...no man could have had a better life than I have had with you.”
Ilsa responds, “On, Victor, you know I love you.” He answers,
“I know you do in a special way...but you haven't been the same since we left Casablanca.”
At a river crossing, Victor has Louie turn to the riverbank and stop. He jumps into the water, wades out to a tree truck, and blows up the bridge with a hidden detonator.
The Russian troop carrier giving chase barely stops in time. The Russian officer runs to look down when Victor instructs Rick to shoot him down.
Rick gets it, fires and misses as Victor pretends to die. He floats downstream as if dead.
The last scene. A train station in Prague, the last train out to Paris. Victor and Ilsa part. Victor explains he is to slip behind the iron curtain to spy for the west. They kiss goodbye.
On the train, Ilsa stops Rick from talking, lifts her glass of champagne, and steals Rick’s famous line.