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/director 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):

  • during the film's opening credits, 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"; he was a self-professed, depressed "aspirin junkie" and neurotic individual: ("Next thing, I'll be boiling the cotton at the top of the bottle to get the extra")
  • the flashbacked scene of the breakup of SF film critic Allan with his wife Nancy (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") and when she said she'd contact his lawyer, he responded: "I don't have a lawyer. Want to call my doctor?"
  • the cheesy, hard-boiled romantic advice given to recently-divorced, shy, insecure and neurotic loser Allan by the trench-coated ghost of Humphrey Bogart (flawlessly impersonated by Jerry Lacy): ("Tell her your life has changed since you met her"), who counseled Allan about being a desirable and virile man
  • Allan's Bogart-like words to himself, standing in front of a mirror before his blind date with Sharon Lake (Jennifer Salt): ("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")
  • during a Chinese restaurant double-date with friends Linda (Diane Keaton) and Dick (Tony Roberts), the over-anxious Allan tried to impress Sharon by demonstrating how to shovel rice into his mouth with chopsticks - and 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," but she soon excused herself from the date due to a headache
  • the physical comedy of all of nerdy Allan's disastrous and fumbling blind date scenes and rejections - when he was preparing for the date with Sharon and splashed on too much Canoe lotion and wrestled with his hair dryer, and especially how he failed to impress her by attempting to be "cool" by being pretentious ("I love the rain. It washes memories off the sidewalk of life"), and then 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
Wrestling with Hair Dryer
Nervously Greeting Sharon with a Grunt and a Wave
Swinging Arm with Record Album
  • there was another failed pickup 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!
  • the continuing joke of Allan's friend Dick leaving phone messages about his location (i.e., "This is Mr. Christie, I'm at The Hong Fat Noodle Company...")
  • the scene of a blonde Discotheque Girl (Susanne Zenor) on the dance floor, who rejected him with: "Get lost, worm!"
  • the love scene of Bogart advising Allan to tell Linda: "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, she stormed out of the apartment and rushed home, as 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."
  • later, their apres-sex scene when he described how he 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!"; although 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."
Allan with Linda, Dick's Wife, Interrupted by Nancy
Bogart Providing Advice
"She bought it"
Ex-Wife Nancy Appearing with Gun
  • the scene of the over-active imagination of Allan envisioning how badly Dick would receive the news of Allan's affair with his wife Linda, and then retaliate against him: "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"
  • the clever re-enactment and reprise of the airport scene from Casablanca (between Rick and Ilsa) in the film's final moments when Allan gave up his beloved Linda, 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 or tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life...It's from Casablanca. I waited my whole life to say it"), and his added Bogart-like excuse to Dick for getting 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."
Casablanca-like Ending at Airport
Bogart to Allan: "Here's looking at you, kid!"
  • in the film's final moments, Allan bid farewell to Bogart after realizing he didn't need him anymore; 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 Imagining Receiving Advice From Bogart 'Ghost'

Continuous Coaching from Dick (Tony Roberts) Via Phone

Failed Date with Sharon

Conversation with Museum Girl

Apres-Sex Baseball Thoughts with Linda

Contemplating Telling Dick About Their Affair on a SF Cablecar

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


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