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Pre-cult: Casablanca, radio adaptation, and transmedia in the 1940s

Autor: Barbara Klinger
Revista: New Review of Film and Television Studies Nº 13 (1)
Link: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17400309.2014.982900#.VUjtE_ntlHw

In cult film studies, there is a tendency to perceive a ‘disconnect’ between the period in which a film is first released and that which marks its cult ascendancy. In this paper, I reconsider this notion, by examining what I call the ‘pre-cult’ phase of a film's life cycle and the nature of its continuities with cult formation.

For my case study, I turn to Casablanca, one of the oldest and most influential classical cult films, and to its star, Humphrey Bogart; both film and star became cult in the 1950s when repertory houses began to screen Bogart retrospectives. Putting radio and sound studies into conversation with cult film studies, I argue that the film's frequent adaptation on radio and Bogart's radio presence in the 1940s produced a soundscape of transmediated voices and dialogue that influenced the practice of audience quotation a decade later and that remains today a hallmark of Casablanca's cult identity.