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Plot: In World War II Casablanca, Rick Blaine, exiled American and former freedom fighter, runs the most popular nightspot in town. The cynical lone wolf Blaine comes into the possession of two valuable letters of transit. When Nazi Major Strasser arrives in Casablanca, the sycophantic police Captain Renault does what he can to please him, including detaining a Czechoslovak underground leader Victor Laszlo. Much to Rick's surprise, Lazslo arrives with Ilsa, Rick's one time love. Rick is very bitter towards Ilsa, who ran out on him in Paris, but when he learns she had good reason to, they plan to run off together again using the letters of transit. Well, that was their original plan.... Runtime: 102 mins Release Date: 22 Jan 1942
Victor singing at the top of HIS voice. This in turn, inspires the whole club to begin singing and the Germans are forced to surrender and sit down at their table, humbled by the crowd's dedication. This scene is a turning point in the movie, for reasons that I leave to you to discover. As I watched this movie again tonight for what must be the 100th time, I noticed there was a much smaller scene wrapped inside the bigger scene that, unless you look for it, you may never notice. Yvonne, a minor character who is hurt by Rick emotionally, falls into the company of a German soldier. In a land occupied by the Germans, but populated by the French, this is an unforgivable sin. She comes into the bar desperately seeking happiness in the club's wine, song, and gambling. Later, as the Germans begin singing we catch a glimpse of Yvonne sitting dejectedly at a table alone and in this brief glimpse, it is conveyed that she has discovered that this is not her path to fulfillment and she has no idea where to go from there. As the singing progresses, we see Yvonne slowly become inspired by Lazlo's act of defiance and by the end of the song, tears streaming down her face, she is singing at the top of her voice too. She has found her redemption. She has found something that will make her life never the same again from that point on. Basically, this is Casablanca in a nutshell. On the surface, you may see it as a romance, or as a story of intrigue, but that is only partially correct.The thing that makes Casablanca great is that it speaks to that place in each of us that seeks some kind of inspiration or redemption. On some level, every character in the story receives the same kind of catharsis and their lives are irrevocably changed. Rick's is the most obvious in that he learns to live again, instead of hiding from a lost love. He is reminded that there are things in the world more noble and important than he is and he wants to be a part of them. Louis, the scoundrel, gets his redemption by seeing the sacrifice Rick makes and is inspired to choose a side, where he had maintained careful neutrality. The stoic Lazlo gets his redemption by being shown that while thousands may need him to be a hero, there is someone he can rely upon when he needs inspiration in the form of his wife, who was ready to sacrifice her happiness for the chance that he would go on living. Even Ferrai, the local organized crime leader gets a measure of redemption by pointing Ilsa and Lazlo to Rick as a source of escape even though there is nothing in it for him. This is the beauty of this movie. Every time I see it and I have seen it a lot it never fails that I see some subtle nuance that I have never seen before. Considering that the director would put that much meaning into what is basically a throw away moment not the entire scene, but Yvonne's portion speaks bundles about the quality of the film. My wife and I watched this movie on our first date, and since that first time over 12 years ago, it has grown to be, in my mind, the greatest movie ever made.
Spoilers ahead, but then again, who isn't familiar with Casablanca, even if one hasn't seen it?I've been watching 'Casablanca' over and over again since I bought the Special Edition DVD, and is there any film out there one can watch again and again without ever being tired of it? And does any film appeal to a broader audience? Just everything about it seems to be as close to perfection as it only can be.But what exactly is so special about it? Is it its great genre mix, never equaled by another film? When we think of 'Casablanca' first, we remember it as a romantic <more>
"Casablanca" remains Hollywood's finest moment, a film that succeeds on such a vast scale not because of anything experimental or deliberately earthshaking in its design, but for the way it cohered to and reaffirmed the movie-making conventions of its day. This is the film that played by the rules while elevating the form, and remains the touchstone for those who talk about Hollywood's greatness.It's the first week in December, 1941, and in the Vichy-controlled African port city of Casablanca, American ex-pat Rick Blaine runs a gin joint he calls "Rick's Cafe <more>
Americaine." Everybody comes to Rick's, including thieves, spies, Nazis, partisans, and refugees trying to make their way to Lisbon and, eventually, America. Rick is a tough, sour kind of guy, but he's still taken for a loop when fate hands him two sudden twists: A pair of unchallengeable exit visas, and a woman named Ilsa who left him broken-hearted in Paris and now needs him to help her and her resistance-leader husband escape.Humphrey Bogart is Rick and Ingrid Bergman is Ilsa, in roles that are archetypes in film lore. They are great parts besides, very multilayered and resistant to stereotype, and both actors give career performances in what were great careers. He's mad at her for walking out on him, while she wants him to understand her cause, but there's a lot going on underneath with both, and it all spills out in a scene in Rick's apartment that is one of many legendary moments."Casablanca" is a great romance, not only for being so supremely entertaining with its humor and realistic-though-exotic wartime excitement, but because it's not the least bit mushy. Take the way Rick's face literally breaks when he first sees Ilsa in his bar, or how he recalls the last time he saw her in Paris: "The Germans wore gray, you wore blue." There's a real human dimension to these people that makes us care for them and relate to them in a way that belies the passage of years.For me, and many, the most interesting relationship in the movie is Rick and Capt. Renault, the police prefect in Casablanca who is played by Claude Rains with a wonderful subtlety that builds as the film progresses. Theirs is a relationship of almost perfect cynicism, one-liners and professions of neutrality that provide much humor, as well as give a necessary display of Rick's darker side before and after Ilsa's arrival.But there's so much to grab onto with a film like this. You can talk about the music, or the way the setting becomes a living character with its floodlights and Moorish traceries. Paul Henreid is often looked at as a bit of a third wheel playing the role of Ilsa's husband, but he manages to create a moral center around which the rest of the film operates, and his enigmatic relationship with Rick and especially Ilsa, a woman who obviously admires her husband but can't somehow ever bring herself to say she loves him, is something to wonder at.My favorite bit is when Rick finds himself the target of an entreaty by a Bulgarian refugee who just wants Rick's assurance that Capt. Renault is "trustworthy," and that, if she does "a bad thing" to secure her husband's happiness, it would be forgivable. Rick flashes on Ilsa, suppresses a grimace, tries to buy the woman off with a one-liner "Go back to Bulgaria" , then finally does a marvelous thing that sets the whole second half of the film in motion without much calling attention to itself.It's not fashionable to discuss movie directors after Chaplin and before Welles, but surely something should be said about Michael Curtiz, who not only directed this film but other great features like "Captain Blood" and "Angels With Dirty Faces." For my money, his "Adventures Of Robin Hood" was every bit "Casablanca's" equal, and he even found time the same year he made "Casablanca" to make "Yankee Doodle Dandy." When you watch a film like this, you aren't so much aware of the director, but that's really a testament to Curtiz's artistry. "Casablanca" is not only exceptionally well-paced but incredibly well-shot, every frame feeling well-thought-out and legendary without distracting from the overall story.Curtiz was a product of the studio system, not a maverick like Welles or Chaplin, but he found greatness just as often, and "Casablanca," also a product of the studio system, is the best example. It's a film that reminds us why we go back to Hollywood again and again when we want to refresh our imaginations, and why we call it "the dream factory." As the hawker of linens tells Ilsa at the bazaar, "You won't find a treasure like this in all Morocco." Nor, for that matter, in all the world.
While there's not anything new to be said about "Casablanca", it's good to see one of the classics still getting some attention. By most standards it is at least very good, and there are good reasons why so many still remember it so fondly. Not everyone who watches it today shares the opinion that it is a classic, but it's still good to see fans of modern movies giving it a try for themselves.The cast is one of its main strengths, not just Bogart and Bergman but also the fine supporting cast. Rains, Greenstreet, Lorre, and the others are indispensable to the atmosphere <more>
and the story, and each has some very good moments. It does have its imperfections, but it was not expected to be a classic or blockbuster - everything you read about the production suggests that it was made in a rather slap-dash fashion, under constraints that would have wrecked most other films. It's not hard to see the little ways that this affected the finished product, such as the times when the plot strains credibility a bit, or the characters seem to behave somewhat oddly. In particular, it might have been even more satisfying if Bergman's character had been a little stronger - Ilsa is charming, but that's entirely thanks to what Bergman does with her; the character herself as written seems somewhat shallow. But it turned out anyway to be an excellent combination of actors, characters, and story, a combination that more than makes up for everything else. Different viewers probably remember and enjoy "Casablanca" for different reasons, because it seemingly has a little of everything. While perhaps not perfect, it is well worth remembering and watching.
Most teenagers don't watch classics I know. But after they've seen this one, there's no turning back! This is the classic to end all classics That and Gone With The Wind which rocked! but the ending was a bit unusual. I had been an Ingrid Bergman fan after watching Gaslight with my drama class. It was great because I love a good mystery type thing. Casablanca was a bit confusing at first, but I found out in the end that it has just the right blend of romance, drama, and comedy. Plus, my dad instilled in me a love for all things World War II related.I would recommend this movie <more>
for children 15 and older, not because there's anything bad, but simply because I don't think younger children would understand it. You guys my age, this is a great Sit-down-and-watch-with-your-girl-on-a-rainy-afternoon type movie, and parents already love it, so everyone's happy.I always say when I write these things that, even though I liked it, you might not. CHeck it out for yourself and form your own opinion.
Spoilers herein.Bloom said of Shakespeare that he invented humanity. Films will always have less depth than poetry, but they can have a similar, profound effect on popular culture. Movies are seldom about life, but life is often about film, the few films that find the groove.This film invented -- to a substantial degree -- what it meant to be a post-war American. It is not so much that it was perfect, but that we have remolded ourselves around it, as part of the victor's healing.I recently saw some other Bogart films like `Treasure' , and they amazed me in how poorly they worked. How <more>
mannered his acting seemed.We have beautiful faces in other films, even this face which we still have in Isabella . But nothing seems to compete for the certain archetype of passionate commitment, of pathetic yearning, of immature desire, of refugee desperation.The interior sets -- and how they are photographed -- show a definite post `Citizen Kane' influence. In fact, one can see much of the Mercury Player flavor in these characters, particularly Greenstreet.But you know, this film has so melded with dreams that you don't need to screen it.
"Casablanca" is definitely not the best film of all time. It is actually overrated. It's a nice story, with a good script, has fair acting, and at times is very moving. After all these years it is still enjoyable and captures the audiences attention like all great films do. This is all it is, another great film.8 out of 10
Casablanca (by jboothmillard)
I have seen this enough times to have the same opinion every time, it could be a little better, nevertheless I did see this film featured in the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, from Oscar winning director Michael Curtiz The Adventures of Robin Hood, Mildred Pierce . Basically, set in World War II, many Europeans are trying to get into America to escape the threat of the Germans, but to do that they have to go to Casablanca, Morocco and get a visa. A hot spot in the town is Rick's Cafem run by American exile Rick Blaine Oscar nominated Humphrey Bogart , who is shocked to <more>
see his past lover Ilsa Lund Ingrib Bergman walk into his place. He has a flashback about what he and Ilsa used to get up to when they were in love, and now she is married after running away to Paris. He has other problems however, Ugarte Peter Lorre has given him important transit letters, Nazi officer Major Strasser Conrad Veidt is snooping around, and police Captain Renault Claude Rains tries to make the Nazi happy detaining Czech underground leader Victor Laszlo Paul Henreid . In the end, to save her husband's life, Rick forces Ilsa to board a plane leaving the country, the letters are given to the right people, and when Rick looked like he was going to be in trouble he was saved by his new friend. Also starring Sydney Greenstreet as Signor Ferrari, S.Z. Sakall as Carl, Madeleine Lebeau as Yvonne and Dooley Wilson as Sam. I personally think that this film is a little overrated, Bogart is really good, Bergman is beautiful and the supporting cast all do good too, and the score is great. My concern is that the only thing I will ever remember are the memorable catchphrases and little love story in amongst everything else which I find a little confusing and too political, but it's not a bad film at all, it is a classic wartime romantic drama to see. It won the Oscars for Best Writing, Screenplay and Best Picture, and it was nominated for Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing and Best Music for Max Steiner. It was on 100 Years, 100 Quotes at number 67 "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine." , number 43 "We've always got Paris." , number 32 "Round up all the suspects." , number 28 "Play it, Sam. Play 'As Time Goes By.'" , number 20 "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship." , and number 5 "Here's looking at you kid." , "As Time Goes By" was number 2 on 100 Years, 100 Songs, Ingrid Bergman was number 68, and Humpherey Bogart number 36 on The 100 Greatest Movie Stars, Bogart was also number 1 on 100 Years, 100 Stars - Men, Bergman was also number 4 on 100 Years, 100 Stars - Women, Rick Blaine was number 4 on 100 Years, 100 Heroes & Villains, "As Time Goes By" was number 2 on 100 Years, 100 Songs, the film was number 35 on The 100 Greatest Tearjerkers, it was number 37 on 100 Years, 100 Thrills, it was number 30 on The 100 Greatest War Films, it was number 1 on 100 Years, 100 Passions, it was number 32 on 100 Years, 100 Cheers, it was number 2 on 100 Years, 100 Movies, and it was number 16 on The 100 Greatest Films. Very good!
Of all the films in all the world... (by Howlin Wolf)
... this must be the one where the romance of everything appeals to me the most. You have the passionate but doomed re-acquaintance, set against a time when to even look a day into the future was uncertain. Best of all, the guy I'm supposed to relate to from this couple is the boozing, sarcastic incarnation of Humphrey Bogart! Part of me feels like you haven't suffered unless you're someone who's destined for the gutter and bitter at how the world has turned out. An attitude that comes from reading too much pre-18th century poetry, no doubt... Further insight may also be <more>
found in my review of "The Libertine". Anyway, all of the most important details within the story seem to have been collected especially for my benefit, although I guess I'm not the only one, since the film continues to be popular right up to the present day. Truth is, this is a movie for anyone who inwardly looks upon themselves as a cynic with a heart of gold.The question I ask myself though is: Would I be brave and selfless enough to give up my one true love for the sake of humanity in general? I don't think so, although I still cling to memories of a faded love, I have no pretensions of being so noble about it. That is why we have indelible movie-stars and characters, though - Heroes who do the things we wish we could do, and are strong enough to take the consequences of the hardest choices. Rick Blaine and "Casablanca" are monuments to the notion of 'doing the decent thing', and it is this quality that makes the script and performances come alive. Watching it should be a magical experience.