Filmsite Movie Review
Play It Again, Sam (1972)
Pages: (1) (2)
Plot Synopsis (continued)

A Romantic Dinner Date with Linda - Ending With Sex:

Later at Allan's place of work, in a projection room, Linda arrived during one of Dick's frequent business-trip absences (a flight to Cleveland for the day), and complained of an anxiety attack. He gave her some pills from his own supply, and then coyly complimented her: "I can't understand you. You're such a knockout. Why are you such a mass of symptoms?" She conversely complimented him: "I know you think I'm real nice, Allan, and I appreciate it. It's good for my ego." During a short walk in the park, since he didn't have a date, she suggested that they go out for dinner and a movie, but then Allan suggested an alternative - dinner at his house and the viewing of Bogart in the late-show in the classic film noir The Big Sleep (1946).

He was ecstatic about being alone with Linda (and imagined her passionately kissing him next to a fire), but then guiltily reminded himself that she was his off-limits best friend's wife: "This is Linda, Dick's wife." While shopping for food in the supermarket, Allan heard both Bogart and Nancy arguing and providing different scenarios about what might happen. Bogart asked: "So, you finally fell in love with her, eh?" However, Nancy warned about Dick beating him up if he tried anything: ("She'll tell Dick and he'll beat you to a pulp"). He also fantasized that Dick was jetting away after falling in love with another woman (an Eskimo) and would live with her in Alaska. He was leaving Linda, and asked Allan to take care of her.

As a tense Allan prepared a romantic dinner table for Linda's arrival, he thought to himself: "What the hell? I could test her. I could make an advance. What could possibly go wrong?" In another imagined fantasy, he feared that she might resist him and accuse him of rape: "Allan, take your hands off me! You must be crazy...I'm a married woman. Rape!" In Linda's presence, she was light-headed due to a dose of librium, and Allan was uncertain about seducing her. He insisted on going out to avoid his sexual drive, but she encouraged them to remain and watch an Ida Lupino movie. [Note: She was referring to They Drive by Night (1940)]. She gave a clue to her feelings when she asked him a crucial question - it mirrored the theme of the Lupino movie:

Do you think it is possible to love two people at once?...A wife, happily married, suddenly finds out she loves another man. Not that she doesn't love her husband, just that she loves somebody else. Do you think that's very possible?

As their gigantic faces in close-up moved toward each other, Bogart coached Allan: ("Go ahead, make your move"), but Allan turned way, not wanting to offend Linda and he missed his opportunity: (Bogart) "Well kid, you blew it." While they were drinking champagne on the sofa, Linda mentioned how she would let a rapist continue making love to her if she was enjoying it: (Allan off-handedly responded: "They say it's the secret desire of every woman"). With more coaxing by Bogart, Allan built up his courage to approach for a kiss, but was interrupted by an ill-timed phone call from Dick in Cleveland. When the call ended, Linda again explained how she would only cheat on Dick if she was in love:

Oh, I don't think I could have a casual affair....No, I don't take those things lightly. No, if I fell for another man, there'd have to be something more there than just a fling. I mean, I'd have to feel something more serious....Anyway, I'm, I'm not the type for an affair. I don't think I could take the excitement involved. Besides, I'm not glamorous enough.

When Allan built up his nerve and was finally able to kiss Linda after she admitted to having an inferiority complex, he repeatedly but apprehensively complimented her on her exceptional beauty. Bogart coached Allan to tell her: "I have met a lot of dames, but you are really something special" - and then when it worked, Allan cooed happily to Bogart: "She bought it!" But suddenly and intrusively, Allan's ex-wife appeared and shot Bogart dead, and Allan was left without anyone to advise him. Allan awkwardly lunged toward Linda on the couch with a kiss, and she became flustered and clumsily knocked over a lamp. The conflicted Linda stormed out of the apartment and rushed home, while he was professing that it was only a "platonic kiss." He worried to himself after she left and destructively berated himself:

I attacked her. I'm a vicious jungle beast. She's panicky. By the time she gets home, she'll be hysterical. What am I gonna tell Dick? She'll probably go right to police headquarters. What did I do? I'm not Bogart, I never will be Bogart. I'm a disgrace to my sex. I should get a job at an Arabian palace as a eunuch.

Suddenly, she rang his door buzzer and reappeared - to profess her love: ("Did you say you loved me?"), and to wildly and ecstatically kiss and embrace him, accompanied by the Casablanca theme music "As Love Goes By" (and black and white archival footage of Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) kissing his lover Lisa Lund (Ingrid Bergman)). Later the next morning at 7 am, after their evening's love-making scene (in Allan's bedroom under a giant poster for Bogart's Across the Pacific (1942)), she described how she felt: ("I think the Pepto-Bismol helped"). Linda asked him what he was thinking about, and he claimed he had been thinking about baseball during intercourse:

Linda: "What were you thinking about while we were doing it?"
Allan: "Willie Mays."
Linda: "Do you always think of baseball players when you're making love?"
Allan: "It keeps me going."
Linda: "Yeah, I couldn't figure out why you kept yelling Slide!"

Dilemma Re: Allan's and Linda's Affair and Its Effect on Linda's Marriage to Dick:

They segued into a serious discussion about how to break the news to Dick. Although feeling guilty and emotionally in turmoil, Allan told her that they should probably reveal their love affair to her husband, and that ultimately, she should be the one to tell him:

It could happen and it happened, that's all. It's not your fault. It's not my fault. You felt like a woman last night and I felt like a man. And that's what those kind of people do.... You know, you've gotta be honest with him. You just have to tell him that, you know, the two of you have grown apart and you and I have fallen in love. That's if you love me....Then we have to tell him the truth....Tell him that the two of us are right for each other and that maybe you oughta think about getting your stuff and moving out or maybe moving in with me for a while and give it a try. As long as we handle this in a mature way. As long as I'm mature about it, you're mature about it, both of us are mature, we can achieve a certain maturation that guarantees maturiosity....I think the key to wiseness is maturiositude.

He accompanied her to her doorstep and suggested "Lean on me, baby," but then stumbled into a potted plant. After a goodbye kiss, Allan forecast what he would be doing: "If you want me, I'll be at home on the floor having an anxiety attack." However, on his walk home, Allan expressed how proud and cocky he was about of his sexual potency - he claimed it was an "up-day." He stopped into an antique store to buy Linda a music box, where he had been followed by Nancy who claimed he didn't hear her on account of his daydreaming. She announced plans to again move back to New York. Allan felt reassured by how "cool" he had been with Nancy after they parted.

Three Options for the Betrayed Husband Dick:

In a scene demonstrating Allan's fanciful and over-active imagination, he envisioned three different possibilities of how a betrayed Dick would receive the news of the affair:

  1. He would be completely understanding: as two sophisticates over drinks of Scotch, Dick told Allan that he didn't mind that Allan had fallen in love with Linda - he had just seen his doctor and had only two months left to live
  2. He would commit suicide by self-drowning (as in the movie A Star is Born (1954)) due to being so distraught
  3. He would retaliate and kill Allan: "Dick is an emotional guy. He's liable to - God knows what? Kill himself or something. Kill himself? Do you ever think of what he might do to you? You've heard of the unwritten law. You take a guy's wife, you humiliate him. You've seen enough ltalian movies. And Dick's got a temper." As in an Italian movie, in a bakery, Dick assaulted Allan with lumps of bread dough and stabbed Allan to death with a long sharp knife

As Allan walked home, he discovered that Dick had returned early from Cleveland, and was waiting outside his apartment. Distressed, he expressed fears that Linda was having an affair, but didn't suspect Allan. Choosing the second and third options as Allan had feared, the overly-emotional Dick had become suicidal over his lost love: ("I love her, Allan. If she leaves me, I'll kill myself"), and he also threatened: "If I find out who the guy is, Allan, I'll kill him, I swear."

Allan suddenly realized that Dick really loved Linda ("He's crazy about her. I never realized how much. He never realized how much"), and that she belonged with him. Dick vowed to find Linda, stop her affair, beg for her forgiveness before it was too late, and have her return on the plane to Cleveland with him. Dick arrived home in a taxi, just as Allan was dialing Linda on the phone to tell her to remain with Dick. However, she was already in the midst of telling Dick that their marriage was over. After multiple calls, Allan tried to beg her to not break up, but it was already too late.

The Rush to the Airport:

Dick left for the airport, and Linda and Allan (in separate cabs) rushed after him. During his cab trip, Allan mumbled to himself about his dilemma and how he would solve it:

I'll tell her it's over, that's all. It was fun but, uh, we lost our heads, and - what if it's too late? What if Linda's really hooked on me? Once a woman's been made love to by somebody who can really do it great. I was incredible last night in bed. I never once had to sit up and consult the manual. Love is very different for a woman, it's a complicated phenomenon. I don't know what to expect. I've never broken off with a girl before.

As he hysterically imagined the worst scenario at the airport, Allan fantasized that his cab driver was a resurrected Bogart, who advised him to calm down, and pointed out how he had actually succeeded with a classy dame (Linda) when he wasn't being phony:

Pull yourself together, kid. You're hysterical. You should feel encouraged. When you weren't coming on phony, you got a pretty good dame to fall for you. You thought you couldn't make it with dames.

Bogart enacted how it wouldn't be difficult to part ways with Linda by letting her go with two simple words: "It's over." When Linda pulled a gun on him to protest, he slapped her twice, grabbed her weapon, and asserted how she was too deadly for him: "You play too rough for me." He turned her over to arriving police: "Now, let's go. You're taking the fall." [Note: In The Maltese Falcon (1941), Bogart used the same words as he turned in femme fatale Brigid O'Shaunessey (Mary Astor).] Bogart then complimented Allan for selflessly releasing Linda back to Dick: "You're passing up a real tomato because you don't want to hurt a guy....Listen, kid, there's other things in life besides dames. One of 'em is to know you did the right thing for a pal. Think it over."

Conclusion: Casablanca Airport Farewell Scene Reenactment

The film was now perfectly set up to duplicate the parting scene on the fog-shrouded runway in the film Casablanca. The final scene at the SF airport was masterfully intercut with b/w clips, as Allan delivered his version of the classic farewell ending when he sacrificially gave up Linda.

The three arrived at Gate 15 at about the same time. Allan caught up to Linda on the tarmac, where he told her that he had already decided to call off the affair ("We have to call it quits") - he nobly gave up his beloved Linda. She had also come to the same realization that she must remain with her husband:

Suddenly everything became very clear. And when I asked myself, 'Do I really wante to break off my marriage?', the answer was no. I love Dick. And although someone as wonderful as you is very tempting, I can't imagine my life without him...He needs me, Allan. In some unexplainable way, I need him....Unless we stop it now, I'll become too deeply involved to be able to go back to him. Oh, I don't regret a moment of what's happened because what it's done for me is to reaffirm my feelings for Dick.

He truly understood her longings to reaffirm her marriage, and urged her to get on the plane to Cleveland with Dick, rather than remain with him. He was able to spout lines from his favorite film - when Rick told Ilsa that he had no regrets having her follow her dedicated husband Victor Laszlo onto the plane for Lisbon:

Inside of us, we both know you belong to Dick. You're part of his work. The thing that keeps him going. If that plane leaves the ground and you're not on it with him, you'll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life...It's from Casablanca. I waited my whole life to say it.

As in the 1942 movie, when Dick arrived, Allan reassured him that although he had tried to seduce Linda, she had rebuffed him: ("Over the past weeks, I've fallen in love with her. I hoped she felt the same way. I tried everything, but all she could talk about was you").

In the film's emotional conclusion, Dick and a tearful Linda walked off into the foggy distance toward their plane after one final glance. Bogart joined Allan and complimented him on his new "style" and admired his newfound ability to attract women: ("I guess you won't be needing me any more. There's nothing I can tell you now that you don't already know"). Allan would no longer need Bogart for advice and could succeed on his own ("I guess the secret's not being you, it's being me"). Bogart ended the film, bidding farewell with a tip of his hat to Allan, with his most famous phrase: "Here's looking at you, kid." The theme song "As Time Goes By" accompanied their departure and the end credits.

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