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Casablanca
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Reviews & Ratings for
Casablanca More at IMDbPro »

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Greatest war propaganda movie ever made

10/10
Author: Robert Kurtz (cr3@tentacle.net) from Berkeley, CA
22 March 2000

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.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Decades have gone by, but this one remains a classic!

10/10
Author: Electrified_Voltage from Guelph, Ontario, Canada
3 August 2007

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 viewings!

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!

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Casablanca

8/10
Author: Raj Doctor from Amsterdam, Netherlands
28 July 2007

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)

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Outstanding...

10/10
Author: Tony Camel from United States
5 March 2007

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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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

One of the two greatest American films

10/10
Author: lafdragon from United States
10 February 2007

"Casablanca" is unquestionably one of the two greatest American films. Everything about it (except possibly the special effects) is either perfect or so close it doesn't even matter. I'm writing this having just gone to see it with my sweetie at a packed-house Valentine's Day showing in a restored classic movie palace. If you ever have the chance to see a beautiful print of this film on a really big screen in such a venue, with an audience totally in love with it, DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT pass up the opportunity! When people used to refer to the "silver screen," it's this movie and a few others that they were talking about--it literally shimmers like finely wrought silver.

Oh yes, the other greatest American film? "Citizen Kane," and for many of the same reasons. Interesting that these two films were made almost at the same time, "CK" being released in 1941 and "Casablanca" in 1942.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Here's looking at cinema-perfection, kid…

10/10
Author: Coventry from the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls
16 February 2004

Out of all the films that are considered classic milestones in cinema…how many fully deserve that status?? Not that many, let me tell you…but Casablanca absolutely does! Casablanca has become history itself, a legendary production that'll live on forever. And it should! This film is essential viewing for everyone who ever showed interest in cinema. Every sequence in Casablanca is brilliant, every character is intriguing and every setting is breath taking. Especially when you're watching it for the first time…you'll be surprised how much you actually know about it already. Multiple ideas, lines and sequences were so influential and important to cinema, that they have been used numberless times afterwards. You might even say that cinema would have looked completely different if it wasn't for Casablanca. It's a brilliant love-story with irresistible film-noir and comedy aspects. The entire script - line by line - is pure nostalgic and some of the dialogues originally shown here grew out to become pure historical art. This intelligent movie also depends a lot on its superb cast, of course. Bogart portrays a terrific character here…a performance that yet has to find its equal. His brute and heartless portrayal of Rick is fascinating, especially because you soon find out that he is in fact just a hurt romanticist, heart-broken by a girl who's about to show up again. This girl (the stunning Ingrid Bergman) is practically the most marvelous lady who ever appeared on the big screen. Thanks to her natural charm and beauty, Bergman makes the most out of Ilsa. Film-noir stars Claude Rains and Peter Lorre supply the film with terrific supporting characters and a right amount of humor and parody. It's amazing how this film combines so many different genres successfully. The cruelty and drama of the war and the rise of the 'Third Empire' is mixed with comedy and romance in a unique way. It cannot be denied…Casablanca is pure perfection and everyone should appreciate it. This film isn't to be missed by anyone, whether you're young, middle-aged or retired…this film will move you.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

the problems of two little people ...

9/10
Author: didi-5 from United Kingdom
11 July 2003

Everyone remembers 'As Time Goes By' (the song that only stayed in the film, so popular culture has it, because Bergman had cut her hair for 'Joan of Arc', and couldn't retake scenes using another tune) but there is much more to this world-weary romance.

Bogart, of course, was hardly the usual romantic movie hero. Which is possibly what makes him so perfect for Rick, in his Casablanca nightspot, on nobody's side. He spars with Claude Rains (the crooked police captain) and Sidney Greenstreet (a rival bar owner) like a trooper, has a quiet contempt for Paul Henreid (a freedom fighter) and Peter Lorre (a thief), gives Conrad Veidt (the Nazi Major) as good as he gets, is on the level with employees Dooley Wilson and Cuddles Sakall.

Through all this, truly loves Ingrid Bergman (the beautiful Ilse, the love of his life). It is their story, but not the story you might expect. This is the secret, I think, of 'Casablanca' and its lasting success. From the moment we see the map and the film title to the 'beautiful friendship' line at the end, we're hooked. Every performance is a lasting joy.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

The best of a kind

9/10
Author: Spleen from Canberra, Australia
16 April 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Spoilers ahead.

I didn't understand the film properly until I read Danny Peary's essay on it in the first of his three "Cult Movies" books (which, by the way, you MUST read, although you should be aware that Peary's complaints about "The Red Shoes" aren't even near the mark). The key (and, in retrospect, obvious) insight is this: all along, Captain Renault WANTED Rick to become a hero again. As long as Rick was content to adopt a cynical, self-serving attitude, Renault, a man made of lesser material, had an excuse to do the same - and he wanted that excuse to be denied him. When it WAS denied him he was delighted. THAT'S he joined the side of the angels, without even hesitating. (It's also why he spent so much time earlier poking fun of Rick's former idealism, in an attempt to get Rick to defend it.) This probably strikes many people as obvious; I regret to say I had to have it pointed out to me.

I don't have to argue that this is a great film. We all know it is. Peary calls it the ONLY film that's everything the old-style studio films were trying to be, and he's probably right. This doesn't, of course, mean that it's the BEST film of the 1940s; better still are the bolder, more ambitious productions made by more inspired directors: "Citizen Kane", "The Red Shoes", "Fantasia", and so forth. But "Casablanca" is probably as high as it is possible to fly without making a Philistine studio executive reach for his heart tablets. This is higher praise than it sounds. And if you think it IS the best film of the 1940s, after all ... well, I can see your point of view.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Exceptional, Outstanding, Wonderful, Dominant, a Total Triumph

Author: tfrizzell from United States
26 January 2001

If all films were made like "Casablanca" it would be a perfect world. Very rarely does a film move its audience the way that this film does. The movie deals with a romance that just cannot be because of numerous circumstances. World War II is quickly turning the planet upside down and many Europeans are making their way to Casablanca to get visas to escape the Nazi regime. Paul Henreid and wife Ingrid Bergman are among the many who have made the odyssey. However, trouble springs up when they must go through Bergman's old flame (Humphrey Bogart, Oscar-nominated). More trouble arises with French military official Claude Rains (Oscar-nominated) and his strained relations with the Nazis. It is a heartwrenching film that dominates because of an outstanding screenplay, amazing direction by Michael Curtiz, and superb performances by all involved. A great movie. 5 stars out of 5.

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Perfection

10/10
Author: AKHIL AGGARWAL from United States
21 July 2007

Casablanca (1942), pretty close to perfection. A movie that brings out the best script from both heart n brain, a tough combination. Does a perfect job in blending the political scenario of that time (World War 2) and the ever pervasive love matters. Just 102 minutes movie but each second is entertaining. The clever-stylish dialogues keep it alive throughout. The chemistry between Bogart and Bergman from their very 1st shot together, looks very natural. I wonder why they don't make such well developed movies today. Before watching the movie I did some other viewer comments saying it is all so boring but one thing they might be missing is that these were the movies from which directors used stuff again and again and that is why they look boring to us. But I guess we should at least respect them for this. A keeper, 10/10.

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