Monday, August 15, 2011

Can One Word Make a Difference?

A few weeks ago our children gave us tickets to Wolf Trap, an outdoor theater in Virginia. The program was a showing of “Casablanca” on an enormous screen with the Washington Symphony Orchestra playing the score (with the exception of “As Time Goes By, which Sam plays as usual.) A fantastic experience! The place was packed with people of all ages, who had one thing in common — a love for this movie. It was encouraging to see so many young people clapping after those classic lines, such as, “I’m shocked, shocked to find gambling here!” and, “We’ll always have Paris,” and everyone weeping during the Marseillaise. One old gentleman had to be helped to his feet, when the audience rose with one accord to sing.

The master of ceremonies gave some background on the making of the film. Among other things, he said that the script called for Bogart to say, “Here’s luck to you kid!” But the irrepressible actor adlibbed with, “Here’s lookin’ at you kid!” and the line became immortal.

Writers, take heed, one word can make a difference.

Robin Hathaway


  1. I love this movie!!! And I'm always looking for that best word, too!!! Some days I wonder just where those words are hiding!!! Sounds like a great evening!!

  2. Excellent blog. What a difference one word makes. Suppose they'd chnaged ... in the beginning... thelma