German Exile Cinema 1933-1951
Early in Warner Bros.' 1942 classic wartime romance Casablanca, the small-time crook Ugarte (Peter Lorre) asks the film's hero, Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), what he thinks of him: "You despise me, don't you?" Rick replies, "If I gave you any thought, I probably would." Although Ugarte is of negligible importance to the protagonist, and Peter Lorre's screen time in the film is minimal (he is gunned down shortly thereafter), this role has become one of the most memorable in the actor's long and varied Hollywood career. As the Hollywood Reporter noted, "Lorre is in and out of the picture in the first reel, yet the impression he makes is remembered"...
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What sparked your interest in this topic?
Were the immigrants stigmatized when they arrived in the United States?
What surprising thing did you discover in the course of your research?