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Au Revoir, Madeleine Lebeau

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HM-E2H1ChJM?rel=0&w=480&h=360]

Madeleine Lebeau has died. She was the last surviving cast member of Casablanca, and she had an iconic role in what for me is the greatest scene of all cinema. See above. She’s the character you see crying while singing “La Marseillaise”. From the story:

It was for her third American film however that she is most remembered. Signed to a Warner Bros contract in 1942, she was quickly cast in Casablanca as Yvonne. Introduced as yet another spurned conquest by main character Rick Blaine, she is next seen as a collaborator on the arm of a German soldier. However, during the iconic cast performance of “La Marseillaise,” Yvonne tears up as she sings along and then shouts “Viva la France!”. Like many of the film’s cast who were also refugees from Nazi terror, Lebeau’s tears, and her shout, were absolutely genuine.

Madeleine Lebeau was a Jewish refugee. May her memory be eternal, and may her memory be a blessing.

And: Vive la France!

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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