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A classic film from the classic Hollywood era. If you have got this far in your life without seeing Casablanca, then youÁve missed one of the most honest and touching portrayals of friendship and unrequited love in film history. Humphrey Bogarte plays Rick Blaine, a cynical American ex-pat who owns a bar in Casablanca, where he leads an easy life shaking up Singapore Slings for the regulars. The dewy eyed Ingrid Bergman stars as Ilsa, wife of a member of the Czech Resistance, a woman who Rick had a brief, but passionate affair with some years earlier in Paris. As Ilsa and her husband walk into RickÁs bar, Bogarte utters the famous line ËOf all the gin joints in all the world, she walks into mine.Ó This remark heralds the beginning of an emotional sequence of events that lead him down a very slippery path.

Amid a plot designed to boost patriotism during the 1939-45 war, and some poor special effects, the real highlight of the film is the relationship between the characters of Rick and Ilsa. The chemistry between Bogarte and Bergman make their scenes together almost electric, and the climax of the film - where Rick makes the ultimate sacrifice for the woman he loves – can’t fail to make the iciest of hearts melt. How far will a man go for the woman he loves?

So if you’re on your own this Valentine’s Day get down to your local video shop and pick up a copy of Casablanca, make yourself one of Rick Blaine’s Singapore Slings, and remember that it’s better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all. Someone pass me a tissue!

The Singapore Sling is a cocktail classic – fruity and endlessly drinkable, if you can’t decide what to have from the cocktail list, order one of these. First served in the famous Raffles Hotel – the coolest hangout in Singapore during the early part of the 20th Century – by a cocktail waiter called Ngiam Tong Boon. Famous fans of the original Raffles Hotel Singapore Sling include Ernest Hemingway and Noel Coward.
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