Short idea (3): "Everybody is a moon, with a dark side never to be seen by others." — Mark Twain. This was true when Mark Twain was alive, but now psychology gives us ways of seeing the dark sides of ourselves and others — if and when we want to.
Short idea (6): The way humans are built we can not see the back of our heads directly, no matter what we do. We can get around this, if we want, by setting up a few mirrors or by asking others to look and tell us what they see. We also can't see the "back sides" of our own personalities. If we want to get around this we can look at our dreams (which reflect the sides of ourselves we can't see) or ask people how we look to them.
The Silence of the Lambs: A Psychological Review
Psychologists are not trained to evaluate the artistic merits of a film, but we may try to analyze a film very much as we analyze other products of the human psyche such as dreams or myths. In fact, a film, in so far as it "grips" people, is a myth in action, and to comment on a film that fascinates its audience is to comment on a living myth, a snap-shot of the American psyche.
Short idea (94): Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, according to Lord Acton. In our day, with our microscopic focus on human motivation, we might look at it even more cynically. Human nature is already corrupt, but most humans don't have the power to act it out. Fear keeps most of us in check. Give us power, and we let go. Give us absolute power, and look out. — On the other hand, we know there are other, more positive forces working in us, and, in some of us, they hold sway no matter what.
Short idea (106): Everyone has two sides to one degree or another. There is the normal, sane side and the wild, crazy side. People feel good when they manage to let out the wild, crazy side in a normal, sane way. They feel bad if they never are able to let it out or if it bursts out in a wild and crazy way.
Short idea (148): We all have good tendencies, and we all have bad tendencies. We all have saintly tendencies, and we all have evil tendencies. We all even have godly tendencies, and we all even have demonic tendencies. A tendency we have that isn't always good and can be evil or even demonic is to think we are being good or saintly or even godly when we are being bad or evil or even demonic.
A Psychological Question about the Film Casablanca
My question is: Why was Humphrey Bogart chosen to play Rick in the film, Casablanca? There must have been commercial reasons involved in the producer, Hal Wallis' choice of Bogart, but, as a psychologist, I can not help but search for deeper reasons he might have had. Why was Humphrey Bogart chosen, a man who was known for his gangster roles — such as Duke Mantee in the Petrified Forest (see above photo) and Roy "Mad Dog" Earl in High Sierra? When movie goers of the day thought of Bogart, they thought of a desperate, selfish killer, but in Casablanca his role was to inspire men to leave home and go to war. Bogart seems about the least likely choice for this kind of role.
Each reader will have his or her own answer to this question. My goal is to present the question, and, in what follows, to express a few psychological observations on the subject.
Read more: Film & Stage: A Psychological Question about the Film, "Casablanca"