A few weeks ago I saw for the first time that American classic, Casablanca. I've heard my entire life that this is one of the greatest films in American history, a milestone of filmmaking whose catchphrase, "play it again, Sam" will forever be etched on the walls of film lore. Yet, I didn't think the movie lived up to the hype. It is clearly a good movie, but I didn't feel that it was a great movie. It drags at times, the plot is more complex than it needs to be, and the movie swings between romance, comedy, and serious drama. I feel like we never get to the heart of Humphrey Bogart's Rick, and that should be central to the story.
This is the second such great American movie I haven't been super-impressed by (I didn't like Dr. Strangelove at all) and I would chalk it up to excess hype, but then I loved Citizen Kane which is a mega-hyped film.
I also recently saw Touch Of Evil and that was kick-ass. Maybe I'm an Orson Welles fanboy.