Casablanca
Year:
1942
Country:
USA
Genre:
Drama, War, Romance
IMDB rating:
8.6
Director:
Michael Curtiz
Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine
Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa Lund
Paul Henreid as Victor Laszlo
Claude Rains as Captain Renault
Conrad Veidt as Major Strasser
Sydney Greenstreet as Signor Ferrari
Peter Lorre as Ugarte
Joy Page as Annina Brandel
John Qualen as Berger
Leonid Kinskey as Sascha
Curt Bois as Pickpocket
Storyline: 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....
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Reviews
I'd Like to Think You Killed a Man, It's the Romantic in Me
It's that kind of cynicism that makes this old-time classic endearing to a modern day audience. "Casablanca" is a noirish melodrama set against the back-drop of WWII and Europeans fleeing to America by way of French Morocco. What's so refreshing about it, in spite of its classical love triangle theatrics, is that is never places romantic love on a pedestal. It realizes that in a world of uncertainty where neutrality is the biggest crime, there are more noble things than love.

This movie is sited by many critics and viewers alike as one of the top three greatest films ever made. It's easy to see why. It contains probably the greatest dialogue ever written for the screen. It stars two screen icons in their greatest roles and a superb supporting cast. It's directed by Curtiz with a complete lack of pretension. There's nothing overtly artistic about it, or any sign that anybody involved was trying too hard. Essentially this was a gathering of classy professionals who set out to accomplish one thing: make an entertaining film. In the process, they might have made the greatest. Unlike so many of the other classics of this period, you never have to view it "in context" to appreciate and enjoy it. Rock solid entertainment anchored by smart writing cleverly cast and competently directed translates well in any day and age. Play it again, Sam, and it gets even better As Time Goes By.
2003-08-16
Everything that Hollywood should be
I can't see what to write here, since so many people will be moved by this film and write something about their experience in seeing it, often time after time, "As Time Goes By". This is a freeze frame of American war propaganda at its highest point, with an array of America's greatest filmmakers collaborating at the beginning of World War II, right after the attack on Pearl Harbor. It is a work that will always be seen and be honored as the epitome of world film-art that it is. Don't take anything for granted when you watch this movie. It all has to do with time, place, and character. It's so easy to get embroiled in one or two of the character's performances that you'll miss half of the film. It's an amazing film to watch multiple times.
2003-07-04
The Greatest Film Ever
This is simply the greatest movie ever made. A flawless script,

cast., directing, art directing, Casablanca is a film that has

everything a masterpiece embodies.

Made in 1942, this film will live in the human heart as long as long

as the sun shines.
2003-02-12
A kiss is still a kiss... a sigh may be just a sigh, but MUSIC MAKES THIS FILM A FILM THAT WILL LIVE IN INFAMY
For a film that is so highly spoken of I never really was too eager to see it. I suppose it's because of what some would term as "hype" others would term as "overkill." But some would term it as "tribute." Anyway, I didn't feel like it was a must-see. I THOUGHT I knew the story. I didn't. I THOUGHT I knew the lines, I did, I THOUGHT I knew the music, and I did, but only when I see this movie over and over do I begin to appreciate Bergman's acting, Bogie's finesse, and Steiner's music. Ever since I saw "Carrotblanca," I remembered that I should really try to see this one. So at the first opportunity, I bought it, watched it that very night, and unlike Doctor Zhivago, this one actually kept me entertained and sympathized with the characters. It's an amazing story, I'm surprised people have actually thought this was a boring film... though for action-loving dudes on motorcycles in leather and gold chains might find it so.

NO ONE PLAYS IT LIKE SAM! (and Max)
2002-10-25
One word: WONDERFUL
Me and my pals were talking for a long time about hiring Casablanca. So when I saw it on the library for free, I of course took the chance to lend it!

The big day arrived - we were going to see the most classic movie of all time. And what an experience it was to se the movie. I mean, the movie was superb right from the start to the end. A MASTERPIECE! Very great performance by the actors too! A must see...

Favorite quote(s): Ilsa Lund: Play it once, Sam. For old times' sake.

Sam: I don't know what you mean, Miss Elsa.

Ilsa Lund: Play it, Sam. Play "As Time Goes By."

Sam: Oh, I can't remember it, Miss Elsa. I'm a little rusty on it.

Ilsa Lund: I'll hum it for you. Da-dy-da-dy-da-dum, da-dy-da-dee-da-dum... Sing it, Sam.

Sam: You must remember this / A kiss is still a kiss / A sigh is just a sigh / The fundamental things apply / As time goes by. / And when two lovers woo, / They still say, "I love you" / On that you can rely / No matter what the future brings---

Rick Blaine: Sam, I thought I told you never to play---

My vote: 10/10
2002-01-06
Classic
"Casablanca" (1942) is the golden standard for film even with a few minor flaws. The movie is about nightclub owner, Richard "Rick" Blaine played by Humphrey Bogart, and his vision on life as he knows it. He is faced with tough decisions that he easily overcomes or easily pushes away until his one true love, Ilsa Lund played by Ingrid Bergman, appears on his doorstep.

The scripting in this film is "cheesy" by modern day conversations standards, but is still powerful. If you watch this film, you will find yourself quoting some of these famous lines. Every shot is intentional. Michael Curtiz shoots with a purpose. If a scene is intended for you to feel an emotion, Curtiz shoots in a way to help you feel that emotion.

The film is visually black and white, but mentally colorful. Rick is the man men want to be. Tough as nails with a soft spot that no one knows, but himself. If you want to know how to effectively tell an emotionally entertaining story, this is the film to watch.
2017-10-27
For all-around entertainment, the best I've ever seen
CASABLANCA is the best treatment ever of the ancient theme of the love triangle. Set in World War II Casablanca, a Moroccan city under the control of the collaborationist Vichy French government, the movie starts with a news wire that two German couriers have been murdered and their letters of transit stolen. Each letter will permit one person to leave Casablanca to a neutral country.

Enter Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine, owner of the shady but cheerful Cafe Americaine. Rick is a cynical and hard-nosed man whose motto is, "I stick my neck out for nobody." Like many a cynic, Rick is an embittered ex-idealist, still nursing his wounds from being abandoned by his lover Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman). By chance he falls into possession of the missing letters of transit.

Enter Ilsa, who comes to Casablanca on the arm of Czech Resistance leader Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), a few steps ahead of the Nazi police. We now have three people and two letters of transit. Who will reach America, and who will stay in Casablanca?

I know no other movie that so perfectly balances humor, romance, and drama. The soul of good drama lies in presenting characters with hard choices, and few choices are as hard, or as illuminating of the protagonists' makeup, as the choices in CASABLANCA. All of the characters must decide what they will give up for love, for honor, and for themselves. The scenes of Rick and Ilsa's love, years ago in Paris, are some of the finest romantic scenes in cinema. And the humor, particularly in the person of Casablanca's Prefect of Police, Louis Renault, has contributed dozens of dry witticisms to our everyday language - "I am shocked! Shocked! - "The Germans wore gray, you wore blue." - "I was misinformed." - "It would take a miracle to get you out of Casablanca, and the Germans have outlawed miracles." So perfectly blended are these three major elements that you cannot point to a single shot or scene that should have been eliminated from the movie. Never try to watch only one scene from CASABLANCA; you will inevitably be absorbed until the very end of the film. It is little short of miraculous that the chaotically mismanaged shooting of this movie resulted in such a magnificent final product; it speaks volumes for luck and for Owen Marks' and Michael Curtiz' post-production editing.

I have never encountered a movie whose supporting cast was so perfectly realized. Every minor character is a fleshed-out, realistic individual, from Sasha to Carl the headwaiter to Rick's competitor Ferrari to the self-effacing criminal Ugarte. Claude Rains' Captain Renault ("I'm only a poor corrupt official") steals scene after scene, and Dooley Wilson's Sam is a refreshingly loyal, charismatic and sympathetic conception from an era when almost all black characters were rendered as demeaning stereotypes. The only character who tastes of the cliche is the villainous Major Strasser, which can be forgiven in a wartime production.

The only film I have ever seen as tautly effective as CASABLANCA is GLORY. Although the 54th Mass.'s story is arguably superior even to CASABLANCA for sheer dramatic power and acting talent, GLORY lacks CASABLANCA's wonderful humor and romance, which causes me to give the edge to Curtiz' classic as the better-rounded movie. I have yet to see CASABLANCA surpassed.

Rating: **** out of ****.
1999-08-27
Doesn't hold up to hype
I was thoroughly excited to see this movie because of all the positive reviews I've heard about it in the past. However, this movie in no way lives up to the hype. Everyone hails it as an undisputed masterpiece, but compared to the many movies that have come out after and even before it, this movie doesn't stand strong. The acting was stale, the characters were un-relatable, and the story was drug out too long. I found myself bored throughout at least 80% of it. Please don't assume that I don't like it just because it's an older film; most movies I have scene are older films, and a lot of them are far better than this one. Believe me, I wanted to love this film, but I just couldn't. Even if it was "great" for its time, that doesn't mean that it's great for this time. However, I will say that there were a few memorable lines, and some parts that were better than the rest, but other than that a cliché filled snoozer.
2017-03-02
Outstanding...
Casablanca is the sort of film that suffers from its reputation. People walk into it expecting to see the greatest film of all time and are disappointed when it doesn't measure up to their own pet faves. But if it doesn't have the depth of some masterpieces, it is certainly among the most entertaining, with a brilliantly witty script, a superb cast and one of the most stirring scenes in all cinema, the so-called Battle Of The Anthems when Laszlo incites Rick's patrons in a recital of La Marseillaise. It also broke social ground, with Sam the pianist (Dooley Wilson) being one of the first black roles to be treated as (almost) an equal. Most of all, it's a film you can watch again and again. If you haven't yet, give it a try; it could be the start of a beautiful friendship.
2007-03-05
An 8.5, really?
How the hell does this classic masterpiece only rate an 8.5? One answer is the army of eye raped pseudo cinephiles who prefer the Fast and the Furious movies! Put down the crack pipe and broaden you cinematic horizons! 8.5, my ass! I love TCM and Fathom events and love them even more for bringing movie classics back to the BIG screen on a monthly basis. I saw "Casablanca" today for it's 75th anniversary. A truly awesome cinematic experience. Hollywood during it's early glory days, firing on all cylinders. Bogie and Bergman at their best and in their prime (You can see why they were friggin' stars!). The incredible cast, writing, direction and onslaught of memorable and most quoted lines...All there, where it should be, on the big screen and with an audience I urge anyone who loves movies to start going to these classic screening and see what real movies were all about!!! "Here's looking at you, kid"... This is unarguably a 10!!!
2017-11-15
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