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What could have been another piece of dreary American propaganda for
WWII, turned out- by a strange piece of magic- to be a cinematic
masterpiece, and ultimately a legend. Was it the director, Michael
Curtiz? Was it the black and White photography, was it Dooley Wilson's
haunting voice. Was it the superb casting? Who knows? but to think of
anyone else playing the roles would have been insanity. Another Sydney
Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Conrad Veidt, Bogart or Bergman. Impossible.
About four years ago I was travelling around south-east Asia and in Phnom Penh (in Cambodia) and one night I went to the Foreign Correspondants club. It was my birthday and I was on my own so I stayed for a few drinks. I then found out that the club was showing THE ORIGINAL Casablanca. The benches the audience sat on were wooden. There were geckos running around the ceiling, no air conditioning, and it was heaven. The visa pronounced vezay, the gloved hand holding the 'aeroplane' Sydney Greenstreet swatting flies. Wonderful.
I'd have to say my favorite scene is the one in which Paul Henreid
leads the singing in Rick's. As one writer put it, "One by one, the
habitués of the bar join in the "Marseillaise." The Germans sing still
louder, but they're no match for the pro-French civilians. Drowned out,
the soldiers give up in disgust. The "Marseillaise" comes to its
stirring conclusion, and with tears in their eyes the patriots in the
bar cry out, "Vive la France!"
This scene always brings tears to my eyes which illustrates, among other things, the power of music in movies.
What is your favorite scene in 'Casablanca'?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie can compete with the most famous and timeless love stories
in history, like Romeo & Julia, the beauty and the beast, Julia Roberts
and Richard Geere.
Always remember while you watch it: 1942. Not such a nice time for the world! Not such a nice time for romance. Not such a nice time to stand up against something. It must have been quite an effort to shoot this film during such harsh times. I mean, it's quite a political movie and the scene with the Marseillaise must have been a punch in the face of every fascist.
But all the political quarrels are combined with an amazing love story that hasn't lost a single ounce of its attraction or beauty throughout the years.
But what really made a classic out of the picture is, in my opinion, Humphrey Bogart. I consider him the man of the millennium, a guy with so much masculine attitude and yet so much feeling. It's just an eye-catching experience to see him walk and talk and, most impressive, drink. Any other actor drinks quite ordinary. It's not a big deal to empty a glass of booze. But when Bogie does it, you can feel his pain. You can feel his grief and his anger. You can feel the person behind the scene. If you ask me for the man I respect the most in movie history, it has to be Humphrey Bogart.
Sure, the rest of the cast does a great job as well, Ignrid Bergmann is responsible for half of the chemistry between Rick and Ilsa but well, I can only see them in the shadow of Bogie.
This is one of those movies, you hear so much talking about and you begin to ask what's so great about a dusty old flick, but after you've watched it, you realize what everybody was talking about. At least, that's how I did.
A truly timeless tale about romance with the perfect cast and probably the most memorable quotes in history. Terrific!
"Here's looking at you, kid."
"This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship."
"I don't stick my neck out for nobody."
"Round up the usual suspects."
"I'm shocked, SHOCKED, to find that gambling is going on in here!"
"Did you abscond with the church funds?"
"We'll always have Paris."
These are just some of the lines from this movie which have made their way into our lexicon. Of course, I did save the most famous one for last: "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine."
Welcome to "Casablanca", regarded as one of the most popular movies of all time. I know, I know, everybody says that, but it's true. When people criticize movies today, Casablanca is usually one of the "go-to" films they turn to when they say "They don't make 'em like they used to."
And, they would be correct.
Ask any woman to name her top-five most romantic movies, and "Casablanca" will likely show up on her list. And when it comes to movie romances, men's eyes usually glaze over at the mere mention of them. Well, I am here to tell you there is plenty to keep a man's attention in this film and, in the end, he may actually walk away in a non-catatonic state.
First, you have Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine, owner and proprietor of Rick's Café Americain in the city of Casablanca. An expatriated American, Rick is a cynic whose establishment is just this side of illegal, yet he manages to stay in business and make a good living at it. And besides, it's Bogey!
Then there's Claude Rains as the local chief of police, Louis Renault. Captain Renault is slippery as an eel, especially when it comes to dealing with those in authority above him. He's also inquisitive, intelligent, and hypocritical.
Up next are the Nazis. Morocco was French territory in 1941, and the Germans occupied France during that time. Here, they are presented as ambitious warmongers bent on world domination (and that would be correct). With the Nazis around, there is an inbred conflict from the get-go, as Casablanca is portrayed as a hub for the French Resistance during World War II. I should also point out that this is the earliest American film I know of that not only uses the term "concentration camp" by name, but it also suggests that people have died within them.
Throw in a murder or two, and you have the makings of a good film-noir. Okay, so "film-noir" officially sprang up after World War II, but it still feels like one. The camera angles, shot composition, lighting, use of shadow, a brooding leading man (Bogart), and a tormented femme fatale (Ingrid Bergman) all add up toward the formula.
All of this is capped off with sardonic wit and tight drama, signs of a well-written script (which, interestingly enough, was cobbled together right up to the very end of filming). Also, the timing of this movie is what made it such a hit. It ranks right up there with "On the Waterfront" (1954), "The China Syndrome" (1979), "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" (1967), "In the Heat of the Night" (1967), and "The Deer Hunter" (1978) in terms of topicality within the society of the day.
So, you men out there, when your woman suggests watching "Casablanca", throw some popcorn in the microwave. Trust me, you'll be able to sit through this one!
For years when I was younger I thought I had seen Casablanca, but it
wasn't until I was 17 that I actually SAW the entire thing from start
to finish. Before that, I had seen some of the most indelible scenes
from the picture (I don't remember them all, but one had Peter Lorre,
another was when Bogie is drunk in the bar after the bar is closed and
Bergman's Isla goes to him and he tells her off, another was, of
course, the last scene). It's when one sees all of the story put
together and all of those really terrfic scenes in the club that it
really does gell as being a classic. It might not be up there for me
with the very great films ever like Citizen Kane or One Flew Over the
Cuckoo's Nest, but there's never a minute, a line, or a performance in
Casablanca that turns out to be dull or un-watchable. It's by turns
very funny in a few spurts even though it's a romantic drama of the
highest Hollywood order. For some on the level of movies dealing with
loves lost and found and lost again it's no wonder that this takes the
cake. Even the last scene, the lines of which have been parodied God
knows how many times now, still has that ring of emotion in the
greatest escapist sense. It's a must-see-once kind of movie, even if
you find that you don't like the movie.
And the cast is probably one of the best reasons to see it. It's really got the best crop of stars and character actors from Warner brothers and beyond. Bogart and Bergman have their spotlight on them here at full blast and they each deliver impeccable performances in roles that aren't too unexpected, but never less than stylish and dramatic. Then there's Peter Lorre, Peter Greenstreet, and of course Claude Raines who probably gives if not his most memorable performance one of his most striking. It's rare that an actor is given such a part that really fits him and still keeps a hold on the viewer so many years later. From the story intrigue and deception and danger involving the Nazis, the heroism and sacrifice that gets involved, and at the core of it- after the club which Bogie owns- is the love triangle that gets resolved in a somber way that makes for a sensational ending. In fact, it's main goal is to be sensational, and for the most part it's truly successful, from its 'a kiss is just a kiss' song to the sweet one-liners.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Who thinks 'Casablanca' is the number one movie of all time?" That is
a game many play, but I refuse to play it, because I don't think it
matters. I have seen many movies over the past five decades, and
'Casablanca' is one of my all time favorites. It is set in a mysterious
place at a very mysterious time, and has many mysterious figures
running through the story. It has war, it has friendship, it has love,
it has sacrifice. All the elements combine to form an entertaining but
gripping film that always seems as fresh as the first time you viewed
This is perhaps my favorite Humphrey Bogart role, as Rick Blaine the exiled American who owns and operates his own gin joint. We know he isn't totally a good man, but we also sense that inside he is not a bad man at all. Mostly he just wants to do his job and be left alone. But danger lurks at the turn of every page of script.
Most SPOILERS follow. The crux of the story involves Rick, Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) and Victor (Paul Henreid). Rick and Ilsa have a history, they parted under suspicious circumstances when she failed to meet him at the train leaving town. Now she shows up with a husband that Rick never knew she had. Victor and Ilsa want safe passage to America, and Rick holds the papers that can get them there. Still in love with Ilsa, he realizes that true love will give her what she needs, and he does. Safe passage for her and her husband.
Casablanca has quite a good ensemble cast, with stars in their own rights Claude Rains as Capt. Louis Renault, Conrad Veidt as Maj. Heinrich Strasser, Sydney Greenstreet as Signor Ferrari, and Peter Lorre as the shady Guillermo Ugarte.
The DVD is superb!!
Every thing positive everyone has ever said about this movie is true. Still
compelling after all these years, one of my top ten movies, I can go back
and watch every few years.
This movie works on every level, drama, love story, suspense, but most of all it is a war propaganda movie. Pro war, pro allies, anti Nazi, even a little anti French, this movie was made smack in the middle of WWII when the outcome was still in doubt and designed get the public behind the war effort. It sure was more fun then those 'Victory gardens, paper drives and gas rationing' and other techniques to get public support. It is impossible for a film made for this purpose to stand the test of time, but Casablanca has, and that's why it is such an incredible film.
I first became aware of this film's existence back when I was around
nine years old, but never actually saw it. At the time, I highly doubt
that was a great loss for me, as if I did see "Casablanca" when I was
that young, there probably wouldn't have been many words for me to use
to describe what I thought of it, other than "boring." However, I
finally watched it for the first time about eleven years later, earlier
this year, and was very impressed, even though I wouldn't have given it
a 10/10 at the time. Since then, for me, it has improved with more
The film is set during World War II in Casablanca, Morocco, where many European refugees, fleeing from the Nazis, had to come in order to have any hope of getting to Lisbon, then to America. Rick Blaine is an American in exile who runs a nightclub in the Moroccan city. He is very cynical and "sticks his neck out for nobody." After it is announced that two German couriers have been murdered, Ugarte, the murderer, comes to Rick's club and asks him to hold on to two letters of transit for a while. Shortly afterwards, Ugarte is arrested, so Rick is stuck with these letters. The nightclub owner is then informed that Victor Laszlo, the European Resistance leader, is coming to Casablanca, and Major Strasser of the Gestapo tells him to make sure Victor doesn't escape from the city. Victor comes to Casablanca with Ilsa Lund, Rick's former love who left him in Paris! At first, Rick is not pleased to see Ilsa again. Ilsa and Victor have come for the two letters, but convincing Rick to give them to the couple won't be easy!
It has been 65 years since "Casablanca" was first shown to the public, and since then, many people from generation after generation have seen it and have been blown away! With its poignancy, suspense, strong dialogue, romance, etc., this 1942 motion picture is a work of genius, and there's nothing surprising about its wide appeal! So, if you want to see a stunning love story, set and made during WWII, and movies don't require a whole ton of action to impress you, I would say "Casablanca" is a must-see! If you don't love it right away, maybe you never will, or maybe it will grow on you with a second or third viewing!
Here is looking at you kid
, these words are written by my current boss
Bernhard Drumel in his skype. I never knew that they are from
Casablanca, until I saw the movie.
This is a love story during the world war second based in Casablanca, Morocco, North West Africa a port where refugee Europeans came to depart for USA. Old time lovers - Rick (Humphrey Bogart) and Lisa (Ingrid Bergman), meet after many years in Casablanca and remember their love in France. Lisa was and is wife of Victor (Paul Henreid) and the couple is planning to run away to America through Casablanca. Rick - now the owner of the most popular club in Casablanca is well connected among corrupt military and government machinery - sacrifices his love and helps the couple duo to go to America.
It is the not the story in itself, but the way it is told that makes it a very interesting viewing. The pace is fast and engrossing. The story slowly unfolds and never lets the viewers guess the next till the very end. There is a sense of mystery and suspense. The backbone of the movie is a love story that has gone wrong. It connects with every audience. The misery and cynicism of Rick is so real that every man may feel a close resemblance to the feeling Rick is having. Though many, there are well itched characters that define the intent and purpose of their words and actions. The characters mostly representing different European countries and give an universal appeal to western audiences, and so I understand its relevance in people's mind and popularity.
The character of Rick is brilliantly played by the chain smoking king Bogart. This was my first movie of Bogart and he impressed me the most. Like all olden days actors who each one of them had their unique style and so delight to watch; Bogart has his own. Ingrid looks and acts beautifully to say and hide her secrets with her eyes and body language. Paul Henreid was good, but not brilliant. Special mention of the local French Captain Renault, played by Claude Rains who plays the most engrossing characters with black and white, shrewd and sober shades a delight to watch him.
Each and every dialogue of the movie is perfect and catchy. The lines are worth repeating even today and written with so conviction that they are ever-green. The one that I personally liked the most was when the German commander asks Rick which nationality he belongs to; and Rick with his usual cynicism replies I am a drunkard. There are so many such quotable lines almost unforgettable in the movie.
This was Director Martin Curtiz's 132 movie production as director. It took him almost 20 years of making movie to come out with this gem. Martin kept on making movies till the last year 1961; he died in 1962. Great music, fantastic choreography of people, and definite acting by most crew! The only thing I disliked about the movie was that most of it was shot indoors on the sets, and that in itself did not give the movie the epic proportions that normally one would expect from such classics.
There are many hate reviews about this movie, and I read a few of them. I found this movie to be very good made in 1942, it was much ahead of its time in terms of scripting, dialogue, pace and screenplay. Now a days we see so many movies but to think of the rave Casablanca would have created during world war second times, would have been enormous.
My salute to Martin Curtiz and Humphrey Bogart! Now I know and understand what does my boss mean when he writes and says Here is looking at you kid ! (Stars 8 out of 10)
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.
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