Pay it again, Sam

A sigh is still a sigh, as I discovered the other day while paying for the new two-disc edition of "Casablanca."

I already own a DVD (and a worn-out VHS tape) and had sworn that I wasn't going to succumb to the marketing ploy. I wasn't moved by promises of "newly discovered" deleted scenes (with no sound, as it turns out), Lauren Bacall reminiscing about Bogart, or two commentary tracks. But it had "Carrotblanca!" (I comfort myself that listening to Daffy Duck sing "Knock on Wood" was alone worth $19.96.)

So I now have spent $60 on this one movie, and am obviously in need of financial counseling.

Last year, I barely caught my brother before he made the blunder of buying the first "Lord of the Rings" DVD, instead of waiting eight weeks for the four-disc extravaganza loaded with so many goodies no one who is gainfully employed can ever hope to plow through it all. Fair warning: New Line is pulling the same trick this summer. The sort-of special version of "The Two Towers" hits stores Aug. 26. The one you really want comes out in November. Not to pick on New Line too much. At least they understand the meaning of "special edition." And it's now common for studios to issue three or four versions of a DVD, adding one more featurette in an effort to sucker fans. "Casablanca" is one thing. "There's Something a Little Bit More Special About Mary" is another.

One of my friends is wise to the ways of Hollywood (and possesses more willpower than yours truly). She's waiting until "Return of the King" comes out, figuring New Line will offer a special package of the entire trilogy, with even more extras. (Although what's left? The keys to Peter Jackson's house?)

In the meantime, is there anyone out there interested in a slightly used DVD of one of the best movies ever made? Going once....

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