Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Play It Again, Sam (1972)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Play It Again, Sam (1972)

In actor Woody Allen's funny classic about a recently-divorced SF film critic who began dating again while being coached by a ghost-like Humphrey Bogart (from the film Casablanca) - Allen wrote the original screenplay for the Broadway play, and then atypically had Herbert Ross direct the film:

  • during the film's opening credits, SF film magazine critic Allan Felix (Woody Allen) watched a theatrical screening of Casablanca (1942) with his mouth agape during the famed airport farewell conclusion sequence, and then remarked (in voice-over) as he walked out: "Who am I kidding? I'm not like that. I never was, I never will be. That's strictly the movies"
  • lying on his bed under a poster for Casablanca, he was introduced as a self-professed, insecure, depressed "aspirin junkie" and neurotic individual: ("Next thing, I'll be boiling the cotton at the top of the bottle to get the extra")
  • in a flashbacked scene, Allan (very depressed and with low self-esteem) recalled how he broke-up with his wife Nancy Felix (Susan Anspach) after two years of marriage because she was an active 'doer' and he was a passive 'watcher', and he was also sexually inadequate for her - ("I can't stand the marriage. I don't find you any fun. I feel you suffocate me. I don't feel any rapport with you and I don't dig you physically. Oh, for God's sake, Allan, don't take it personal"); when she proposed contacting his lawyer, he responded: "I don't have a lawyer. Have him call my doctor"
  • as he sat in his room, the recently-divorced, shy, insecure and neurotic loser Allan was counseled about being a tough, self-confident, desirable and virile man, about how to treat dames, and was also given cheesy, hard-boiled romantic advice by the trench-coated ghost of Humphrey Bogart (flawlessly interpreted by Jerry Lacy)
  • his best friends were workaholic and obsessed businessman Dick Christie (Tony Roberts) (the running joke was that he often called his office and left messages to report his whereabouts, i.e., "This is Mr. Christie, I'm at The Hong Fat Noodle Company...") and his neurotic wife Linda (Diane Keaton), a model, who both wanted Allan to succeed in dating women; the nerdy Allan was about to experience many disastrous and fumbling blind date scenes and rejections
  • an 8 pm double-dinner-date was arranged for him with Linda's photographer's assistant Sharon Lake (Jennifer Salt), who had starred in a "very arty" 16 mm underground film that was titled "Gang Bang"
  • the excitedly-worried Allan delivered Bogart-like words to himself to bolster his confidence, as he stood in front of a mirror before his blind date with Sharon and imagined himself as a macho-man: ("They say that dames are simple. I never met one who didn't understand a slap in the mouth or a slug from a .45. Come here, Sharon")
  • while he was preparing for his double-date with his friends and Sharon, Allan doused himself with too much Canoe lotion and wrestled with his hair dryer
  • to impress his date before she arrived at his place, he had conspicuously placed books half-open in his living room, and displayed his purchased $20 dollar 100-yard track medal; when Allan actually met Sharon, he was so anxious that he nervously greeted her with a grunt and a wave; he then failed to impress her by attempting to be "cool" and by making pretentious statements: ("I love the rain. It washes memories off the sidewalk of life")
  • he ended up swinging his arm wildly - gesturing and sending an Oscar Peterson record out of its album cover to crash against the wall, and as he leaned over a chair, he clumsily tipped it over
Examples of Allan's Awkwardness

Wrestling with Hair Dryer

Nervously Greeting Sharon with a Grunt and a Wave

Swinging Arm with Record Album
  • later that evening during his Chinese restaurant (Hong Fat Noodle Co.) double-date with his friends, the over-anxious Allan made an embarrassing attempt to be excessively macho to impress Sharon, but ended up appearing bizarre when he demonstrated how to shovel rice into his mouth with chopsticks - he then thought to himself: "She likes me...I can read women. She wants me to come on with her. She digs me. She's playing it very cool. I'm gonna come on with her later"; however, she soon excused herself from the date due to a sinus headache and shut her apartment door on him
  • there was another failed pickup for Allan at an art gallery when he asked Museum Girl (Diana Davila) about her interpretation of a Jackson Pollock painting: ("It restates the negativeness of the universe. The hideous lonely emptiness of existence. Nothingness. The predicament of Man forced to live in a barren, Godless eternity like a tiny flame flickering in an immense void with nothing but waste, horror and degradation, forming a useless bleak straitjacket in a black absurd cosmos"), and then when he asked what she was doing on Saturday night, she responded: "Committing suicide" - then undeterred, he asked about Friday night instead!
  • over time, with the increased amount of time Allan spent being advised by Linda, the two began to fall in love; during a romantic dinner date with Linda in his apartment, 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, Allan's ex-wife appeared and shot Bogart dead, and Allan was left without anyone to advise him; after he awkwardly tried to further force himself upon Linda on the couch and she became flustered, she knocked over a lamp as she stormed out of the apartment and rushed home, while he professed that it was only a "platonic kiss"; he worried to himself after she left: "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."
Allan with Linda, Dick's Wife, Interrupted by Nancy

Bogart Providing Advice

"She bought it"

Ex-Wife Nancy Appearing with Gun
  • 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; later, in their apres-sex scene at 7 am the next morning in bed together, she described how she felt afterwards: ("I think the Pepto-Bismol helped"); during love-making, he claimed he thought about baseball: (Linda: "What were you thinking about while we were doing it?" Allan: "Willie Mays...It keeps me going." Linda: "Yeah, I couldn't figure out why you kept yelling Slide!")
  • feeling guilty, he told her that they should probably reveal their love affair to her husband Dick: "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.... 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....The key to wiseness is maturiositude."
  • in a scene demonstrating Allan's fanciful and over-active imagination, he envisioned three different possibilities or scenarios of how badly the betrayed Dick would receive the news of his affair with his wife Linda
  • he thought of how Dick might be completely understanding, but also might commit suicide by self-drowning (as in the movie A Star is Born (1954); he also theorized that Dick might possibly retaliate against him (as in an Italian movie): "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"
  • in the film's final moments, Dick, Linda, and Allan were brought together to cleverly re-enact and reprise the airport scene from Casablanca (between Rick and Ilsa); Allan realized Linda still truly loved her husband; he decided to give up his beloved Linda and urge her to get on a plane to Cleveland with Dick; he was able to spout lines from his favorite film: ("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")
  • he offered Dick a Bogart-like excuse for why he got involved with Linda - he claimed he tried to seduce her, but she rebuffed him: "She came over to babysit with me because I was lonely. Isn't that right, Linda? 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")

Bogart to Allan: "Here's looking at you, kid!"
Casablanca-like Ending at Airport
  • 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; Allan bid farewell to Bogart when he realized he didn't need him anymore and could succeed with women on his own; Bogart complimented Allan for his newly-acquired "style" and ended the film with a salute and admiring, oft-quoted words: "Here's looking at you, kid"

Opening Credits

Allan's Depression and Neurosis

Allan's Breakup with Wife Nancy (Susan Anspach)

Allan's Friends Dick Christie and Linda

Allan Receiving Advice From the 'Ghost' of Bogart

Allan Receiving Continuous Coaching from Dick (Tony Roberts) Via Phone

Allan's Failed Date with Sharon - Stuffing His Mouth with Rice

Allan's Conversation with Museum Girl

Allan's Apres-Sex Baseball Thoughts with Linda

Allan Contemplating Telling Dick About Their Affair on a SF Cablecar

Allan Imagining Dick's Reaction to Their Affair - As in an Italian Movie


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