'Casablanca' celebrates 70th birthday on the big screen

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The movie “Casablanca” turns 70 this year and you can see it on the silver screen Wednesday night.

The cable channel Turner Classic Movies is sponsoring a series of one-day screenings to mark the romantic drama’s anniversary, and more than a dozen Southland theaters are participating.

It’s still the same old story: a fight for love and glory, a case of do or die.

But L.A.’s American Film Institute ranks the Academy Award-winning “Casablanca” as one of the greatest.

It’s in the top 3 of AFI’s “100 years, 100 movies” list, sandwiched between "Citizen Kane" and "the Godfather."

The film’s set in Casablanca, Morocco at the beginning of World War II. For refugees and resistance activists, it's a dusty and dangerous limbo between Nazi prison camps and freedom.

It opened in New York City over the Thanksgiving holiday in 1942, just after the Allies invaded North Africa to push out the Nazis.

But it’s the war between love and sacrifice that film critics say makes “Casablanca” unforgettable.

Audiences across the country can relive Rick and Ilsa’s bittersweet love story on the big screen on Wednesday...

... and watch Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in a restored print of “Casablanca” as if it were the first time.

Don’t forget your tissues.

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