Tag: Humphrey Bogart

“Casablanca”: Rick’s Letters of Transit. Signed by…Darlan?

“Casablanca”: Rick’s Letters of Transit. Signed by…Darlan?

Darlan, Vichy, the French Fleet, and a Question

A PBS doc­u­men­tary on Churchill’s destruc­tion of the French Fleet at Oran aired a decade ago.** But I still get the same ques­tion about one of its more infa­mous char­ac­ters, Admi­ral François Dar­lan, Prime Min­is­ter of Vichy France dur­ing the Oran attack. He was also PM in ear­ly Decem­ber 1941: the time frame for Casablan­ca, one of the great movies of all time.

Dar­lan was by rep­u­ta­tion wily, untrust­wor­thy and scur­rilous. Eisen­how­er made him High Com­mis­sion­er in exchange for Vichy forces stand­ing down dur­ing the Novem­ber 1942 inva­sion of North Africa.…

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Alistair Cooke: An Introduction and an Appreciation

Alistair Cooke: An Introduction and an Appreciation

My pre­vi­ous note was about Alis­tair Cooke on Churchill in 1930s. I now reprise my intro­duc­tion to his speech, and a per­son­al epi­logue. Sir Alistair’s speech, at the Mount Wash­ing­ton Hotel, Bret­ton Woods, 27 August 1988, is avail­able by email. RML

Sir Alistair Cooke KBE

When, in what we must regard as a stroke of bril­liance, we thought to invite Sir Alis­tair Cooke to talk about Win­ston Churchill, we wrote him with trep­i­da­tion. We were told he had a rep­u­ta­tion for being very hard to get. To our delight, he defied the odds. “This is the time of year when I turn down every­thing,” he wrote.…

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