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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.
I saw this movie in college 20 years ago with over seventy 18-23 year old
fellow students. And the audience reaction was like the movie just came out
yesterday. Here's a movie that assumes that the average audience has
intelligence. And the tons of laughs were all in the right places for the
right reasons. Twenty years later, I can still hear the laughter and
applause...and the cheers; especially for that now classic closing
If more black and white classics were given this kind of DVD treatment (the recent 2 disc release), then I'd own more black and white classics. Bogart's brilliant portrayal was ahead of its time and no one else but Bergman could of been Elsa. Same for Rains, Henreid, Sakall, Veidt and EVERYONE else. Perfect cast, perfect acting.
It's a shame most people will never see this with an audience because this is a crowd pleaser if ever there was one. So the next best thing is the quality and care that was put into the new DVD. Believe it or not, this makes a great "at home" date flick. And even have a few friends over...but not the 'chatty' ones. There's just too much to miss if so and so starts to "yackitty! yackitty! yackitty! during the many (& there are many) priceless and subtle moments. This movie deserves full attention. And the nice thing is...you pick up more the 2nd time seeing it (& 3rd, 4th...etc).
My favorite line (no way am I repeating it or any others) is Rick's "poor salesmanship" rejection. This one film has more great 'one liners' than some hundred movies put together. And it still seems as fresh today as when...well; when I saw it the 1st time.
It's not that "they don't make em like this anymore" applies to 'Casablanca' because most movies, for every year, in every era (since the 1920's); aren't very good. It's always the very few that rise above the heap, every year; especially when you take into account that over 100 movies are made every year. But 'Casablanca' represents a sample of damn fine storytelling for that particular era that time has proved to be...timeless.
A 'must see' for most movie lovers (but not the 'yackitty' ones).
10 out of 10!
(Can't wait for Bogart's "Treasure of the Sierra Madre"s 2 disc DVD release next month. Another sample of just how brilliant Bogart's acting is.)
Everyone, for as long as I can remember, has harped on about how good this
film is. Now I'm quite a cynical person, so for a very long time I avoided
it, not wanting to jump on the ever popular band wagon. Well, a while ago
happened across a cheap DVD version of it and thought (for some unknown
reason) why not?
We (me and the wife) put it on one Saturday night and sat down with some wine.... ....we now have 3 Bogart films and are looking out for more.
If you don't like the sound of this film, give it a try. I was shocked at how good it was! Honestly, I couldn't have been more surprised if in The Great Escape instead of digging out they ended up building sandcastles and thinking "this is jolly good fun, lets stay here instead". It really is that good!!
Roger Ebert said this about "Citizen Kane," "If I were ever stranded on a
desert island and could only watch one movie "Citizen Kane" would be the
one." I feel the same way about "Casablanca." I think it has a much
story line than "Citizen Kane" and it didn't need inovative camera shots
make it a truely unique movie experience. And, it has some of the best
dialoge ever written in a movie.
Strasser: Why did you come to Casablanca?
Rick: I came for the waters.
Strasser: This is the desert!
Rick: I was misinformed.
Score one for Rick!
They don't write them like that any more!
Simply put: the best American film of all time and I ain't kidding. I've seen it no less than one dozen times and each viewing has a bit more than the last.Simply impossible to believe that during the making of it,the original writers, the Epstein Brothers, walked out in disgust and in came Howard Koch, the author of the famous 1938 Mercury Theater Orson Welles's "War of the Worlds" based on H.G.'s masterpiece. That's right-the Epsteins said the film was going nowhere-they took a hike and Bogey and Koch sat down and together completed the script. Even Ingrid Bergman, after shooting was done, said she never wanted to be associated with such garbage again. Oh heck, I could write a million words of praise about "Casablanca" but never could I impart the true greatness of the film. It's got to be seen to be believed. The whole darn thing is engrossing, enchanting, mesmerizing,tough,tender,stirring,nationalistic,anti-Nazi and that's only the beginning. "As Time Goes By" is not only one of America's greatest love songs but just about the one song most closely associated with any film. Dooley Wilson looks like he's playing it but the truth is that the man didn't know how to play the piano. But who cares,Miss Ilsa? Want to know how good is that picture? Ever hear of anyone buying and devouring three books about it? I did. (1)"Casablanca" by Richard Anobile,(2) "Casablanca" by Howard Koch and (3)the most definitive work ever written about the film,the 402 page tome,"Round Up the Usual Suspects" by Aljean Harmetz which I read twice. Enough said.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
**Spoiler** This movie has it all; literally. The combination of several film genres in its outstanding story make this film one of the best. There are alot of visual metaphors and symbolism throughout as well. Consider the fact that Bogart's character Rick represents the social and military isolationism of the US prior to the war and how he changes to making sacrifices for the good of the cause. "The lives of 2 human beings don't add up to a hill of beans" so he gives her up for the greater good. That's Hollywood telling us that we need to sacrifice in our personal lives in order to fight for the greater good. There is so much to say about this film, especially the hidden meanings behind it. You'll be hard pressed to find a flaw with this film. Masterful direction, acting, and storytelling. *****/*****
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.
This is a movie so flawed it is in danger of falling apart. Bergman is cold, confused and remote - unconvincing as the woman who dominates the lives of the mysterious and highly respected American Rick Blaine, and the much sought after inspiration of the resistance Victor Laszlo. The Paris sequence is corny and embarrassing producing one of the worse lines in cinema history - "Was that cannon fire or is my heart pounding?" Yet this film remains my all time favourite. No matter how many times I see it I'm still moved. I get goosebumps when Laszlo encourages the staff and customers of Rick's to sing La Marseilles in response to the Germans singing. I smile at the jokes. I melt at the supreme sacrifice at the end. I nod knowingly at the references to America's neutral stance in the war. I admire the theme of commitment and sacrifice in a time of stress. And I love the colourful, quickly drawn characters given vivid life by smooth, confident actors such as Claude Rains, Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre. Why does it work so well? Is it Bogart in a white suit? Is it the impressionist tour de force opening where every character and every theme is introduced in a fluid journey through Rick's bar? Or is it the totally unpredictable and totally original story-line the conclusion of which could never be guessed, but which feels so right, so heroic, so romantic, so awesome. "Here's looking at you, kid!"
I discovered this movie about 15 years ago. I'm 33-years-old and had never really been one to go back and watch old black-and-white movies. The first movie I ever really remember going to see at the theater was Raiders of the Lost Ark. I was in love with the movies from then on. Oh, sure, I'd gone to the drive-in in rural Alabama and had seen various movies. But I had been too young and immature to really appreciate them for what they were. But when my uncle took me to see Raiders, I was hooked. For years, I considered Spielberg's masterpiece to be the best movie ever made. But then I happened to get hold of a VHS copy of Casablanca and checked it out. WOW! Moviemaking had been redefined for me. This movie has it all. Bogart is such an incredible presence. I think Harrison Ford is our modern-day answer to Bogart. The story is so straight-forward and so cool ... the backstory about the romance in Paris is great, perfectly handled. The one-liners are unforgettable, and the songs are enchanting. This is the whole package, alright. Perfect movie.
After who knows how many viewings, the scenes with Claude Rains still are the most entertaining for me. Rains would have stolen the movie, if the rest of the cast had not been so good. He has many of the really good lines. We have two love triangles in this film. The classic Rick--Ilsa--Victor one and the more interesting Rick--Ilsa--Louis. The non-traditional ending is one of the most satisfying in films. As Louie says, "Who is Rick? Why, if I were a woman, and I were not around, I should be in love with Rick". Just a beautiful friendship.
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