Really, consider my argument. It's intriguing. What I find most odd about this is that I thought of this the FIRST TIME I viewed Casablanca. Consider this line early in the movie: UGARTE "Rick, I hope you are more impressed with me now, huh? If you'll forgive me, I'll share my good luck with your roulette wheel." RICK "Yes, you're right, Ugarte. I am a little more impressed with you." OK, now that's just a bit silly, but now we're getting into the real meat and potatoes. Consider the scene not long after when Rick walks to the bar. ]Rick saunters over and leans on the bar, next to Yvonne. He pays no attention to her. She looks at him bitterly, without saying a word. YVONNE Where were you last night? RICK That's so long ago, I don't remember. YVONNE Will I see you tonight? RICK (matter-of-factly) I never make plans that far ahead. And later on.... YVONNE Who do you think you are, pushing me around? What a fool I was to fall for a man like you. Rick and Yvonne approach the waiting cab. RICK (to Sacha) You'd better go with her, Sacha, to be sure she gets home. SACHA Yes, boss. RICK And come right back. Rick then sits down for a scene with Monsieur Renalt. This will not be the first time Rick tosses aside a woman and ends up with a man. Later on, we have this little exchange: RENAULT Rick is completely neutral about everything. And that takes in the field of women, too. STRASSER You weren't always so carefully neutral. We have a complete dossier on you. And it's pretty hard to pass this up without smirking: RENAULT (smiling) Mademoiselle, you are in Rick's and Rick is -- ILSA -- Is what? RENAULT Well, Mademoiselle, he's the kind of a man that, well, if I were a woman and I... (taps his chest) were not around, I should be in love with Rick. And more... SAM Oh, he never... well... (desperately) he's got a girl up at the Blue Parrot. He goes up there all the time. ILSA You used to be a much better liar, Sam. And now, of course, there is this scene: RICK Where is she? Have you seen her? SAM No, Mr. Richard. I can't find her. She checked out of the hotel. But this note came just after you left. Sam pulls an envelope from his pocket. Rick grabs it, opens it, and stares down at the letter. Richard, I cannot go with you or ever see you again. You must not ask why. Just believe that I love you. Go, my darling, and God bless you. Ilsa Raindrops pour down the letter, smudging the writing. SAM That's the last call, Mr. Richard, do you hear me? Come on, Mr. Richard. Let's get out of here. Come on, Mr. Richard, come on. Sam pulls a stunned, reluctant Rick to the train. The train starts to move just as he boards. From the steps he looks off into the distance, then crumbles the letter and tosses it away as the steam from the engine clouds over him. Yes, folks, this is the second time in the film that Rick Blaine leaves a woman to be with a man. The same man he is with right before this flashback. Now, let us consider another incident. Annina, a Bulgarian woman, approaches Rick and asks to speak. RICK How did you get in here? You're under age. ANNINA I came with Captain Renault. RICK (cynically) I should have known. ANNINA My husband is with me, too. RICK He is? Well, Captain Renault's getting broadminded. Sit down. Will you have a drink? Yes, only when she mentions HER HUSBAND does Blaine ask her to have a drink. And of course, another reference to Captain Renault's homosexuality. And then this... ANNINA Monsieur Rick, what kind of man is Captain Renault? RICK Oh, he's just like any other man, only more so. :hmmm: Rick then gets back to the subject of her husband. He asks here where he is, how long they've been married (not long)...and then excuses himself. Where does he go? Right to Annina's husband, who has the curiously gender neutral name JAN. Yes, this is the THIRD time Rick has left a woman and gone straight to a man. And of course, does a huge favor for him. But WAIT. THERE'S MORE!!!!!!! Later on, this line. RENAULT There's still something about this business I don't quite understand. Miss Lund, she's very beautiful, yes, but you were never interested in any woman. And finally, the piece de resistance. Rick gives the letters of transit to Lazlo and Ilsa, convinces Ilsa to leave, leaving just Rick Blaine...and Captain Renault. The very GAY Captain Renault. RENAULT It might be a good idea for you to disappear from Casablanca for a while. There's a Free French garrison over at Brazzaville. I could be induced to arrange a passage. RICK My letter of transit? I could use a trip. But it doesn't make any difference about our bet. You still owe me ten thousand francs. RENAULT And that ten thousand francs should pay our expenses. RICK Our expenses? RENAULT Uh huh. RICK Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Yes, for the fourth time in the film, Rick Blaine leaves a woman, and ends up with a man. Just look at that limp wrist, folks. And no, I have nothing against Gay people.