Peter Lorre 
Peter Lorre (1904-1964).

Blawgletter never tires of watching Casablanca (1942).  It has all you could want — gorgeous movie stars (Ingrid Bergman and Peter Lorre), lovely music ("As Time Goes By" and "La Marseillaise"), a noirish look (in black and white), a passionate romance (between Bergman's Ilsa and Bogart's Rick), and a surprise ending – in which love gives way to a higher cause (beating the Nazis). 

We also like the lines, which include:

  • Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.
  • Round up the usual suspects.
  • I am shocked, shocked to find out that gambling is going on in here.
  • Play it, Sam.
  • Here's looking at you, kid.
  • We'll always have Paris.

This last came to mind on Monday, when we ran across a Ninth Circuit case that concerned another Paris — the one with Hilton as her last name.  Ms. Hilton sued Hallmark for using her image and exploiting her fame on a greeting card.  Circuit Judge Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain set the scene:

The front cover of the card contains a picture above a caption that reads, "Paris's First Day as a Waitress."  The picture depicts a cartoon waitress, complete with apron, serving a plate of food to a restaurant patron.  An oversized photograph of Hilton's head is super-imposed on the cartoon waitress's body.  Hilton says to the customer, "Don't touch that, it's hot."  The customer asks, "what's hot?"  Hilton replies, "That's hot."  The inside of the card reads, "Have a smokin' hot birthday."

Hilton v. Hallmark Cards, No. 08-55443, slip op. at 12116 (9th Cir. Aug. 31, 2009).  His Honor further explains:

Hilton's basic contention is that Hallmark lifted the entire scene on the card from the "Simple Life" episode, "Sonic Burger Shenanigans."  The conceit behind the program was to place Hilton and her friend Nicole Ritchie into the life of an average person, including working for a living.  In the episode, the women work at a drive-through fast-food restaurant.  They cruise up to customers' cars on roller skates and serve them their orders.  True to form, Hilton occasionally remarks that a person, thing, or event is "hot."

Id. at 12136.

The law part strikes us as dull but quite good.  Judge O'Scannlain — Diarmuid! — gamely takes us through questions about court of appeals jurisdiction; California's anti-SLAPP law, which aims to combat lawsuits that attack free speech and such; and (at last) whether Ms. Hilton has a more-than-futile claim.  The answers:  the court has jurisdiction over some of the appeal; the anti-SLAPP law applies; and Ms. Hilton does have a non-bogus claim and thus gets by the anti-SLAPP hurdle.

We sort of knew the last part after we read what Ms. Hilton claimed.  Kudos to the author for holding our interest to the end.

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