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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.
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
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
Yes! Yes! I agree! Casablanca is an excellent movie. Action, adventure,
romance, patriotism--"Play La Marseillaise. Play it", Nazi villains,
idealism, and yes comedy--"I'm shocked, shocked to find gambling going on
this place. Your winnings sir." It is indeed one of the most quotable
ever. It seems everyone has a line worth repeating, however Bogey has the
But what about the music? It was Max Steiner at his best!
PS Besides "As Time Goes By" and "La Marseillaise" name at least one other song either played or sung during the movie. No fair going to the video.
What can I say about this movie that hasn't already been said? It is one of the best films I've ever seen. Usually when I see a movie that is as highly regarded as this, I perversely try to not like it. This one, however, is impossible to dislike. Peter Lorre gives one of the most memorable performances of his career, even though his screen time is roughly four minutes. Claude Rains is at his unflappable best, and has many of the most memorable lines in this film. Humphrey Bogart plays the type of character he does best, the bitter drunk. Ingrid Bergman is absolutely breath-taking, and not in an ugly baby way. I would recommend this to anybody.
Casablanca has an essence that I cannot quite put my finger on.
All of the characters are captivating and the story is fresh every time I see it. The plot is dated, but that does not seem to matter. This movie is worth seeing time and time again
Casablanca is the best movie ever made. It has the best love story ever put in a movie. The chemistry between Bogart and Bergman made them two of my favorite actors to date.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
From 1942, comes a romantic historic drama directed by Michael Curtiz movie based on the stage play Everybody Comes to Rick's by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison. It's early Dec. 1941, American expatriate Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) is the owner of an upscale nightclub in Casablanca, Morocco that attracts everybody from Vichy French, Italian, and German officials; to refugees desperate to reach the still neutral United States; and those who prey on them. Rick stands as an allegory to U.S polities at the time trying to stay neutral and not involves himself into the war affairs. I also think it's cool to point out that Humphrey Bogart himself was a decorated war veteran, and this is reflected in his performance. It wasn't until a former lover Norwegian Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman) and her Czech Resistance leader husband Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid) came into the bar looking for a way to escape Europe, where he states to question his beliefs. While most people know Casablanca as the exploration of the universal themes of love and sacrifice, people that look more into it viewed it as a political allegory about World War II. Ilsa can be seen as the wealthier of Europe who were able to escape due to their wealth, but whose warnings and pleas were dismissed in the late '30s and early '40s. Victor represents the poorer people of Europe who weren't able to escape and whose discovery prompted the change in attitude. When he appears, Rick finally grasps the true nature of what Ilsa is asking him. The film is set in Dec. 1941, the month in which the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. That attack changed the course of American history, awakening the nation from political neutrality and thrusting it into the midst of World War II. By Illsa showing up, Rick become a symbol for America to take a stronger stand against the Axis Powers. The film also tells the story of another transformation, that of the local French commander of Casablanca, Captain Louis Renault (Claude Rains). Claude Rains is the second best actor in the film besides Bogart. He plays the role so well. Louis begins the film as a pro-Vichy Nazi-appeaser but winds up a committed partisan of free France. Scenes such as Captain Renault throwing away the Vichy bottle it was meant to shown a rejection of Petain's puppet government. Even the great line near the end, 'I think this is a start of a beautiful friendship' stands for United States becoming allies with the French into stopping the Nazis. There is a great scene in the middle worth checking out, where the Germans start singing and, to combat it, the other patrons start singing the French national anthem was a truly moving part. The use of shadows and lighting makes this movie into one of the greatest film noirs. The use of the spotlight that shines from a tall tower and lights up the city of Casablanca reminds people that they are always being watched. It was a great use of light to represent fear and a threat. The music by Max Steiner was just amazing. The song "As Time Goes By" by Herman Hupfeld had been part of the story from the original play; Steiner wanted to replace it, but Bergman had already cut her hair short for her next role and could not re-shoot the scenes which incorporated the song, so Steiner based the entire score on it. So, without Bergman cutting her hair. We wouldn't have that theme. The theme of Sam's piano is the symbolic heart and soul of Rick's Café. All the guests want to sit beside it, because they want to forget their worries by listening. The piano suggests purity, which may be why Louis doesn't even think to look there for the letters of transit. I love the smart dialogue. The exchange between Rick and Louis were funny and brilliant. There is a few criticizes that need to be address. The usual conspiracy-theory gang likes to say that this movie was just propaganda. I didn't care if it's pro-Allied propaganda, it was a good movie. Some people think its basically a rip-off of a previous 1938 movie called Algiers. The writers took the character of Rick from the unproduced play, the theme "As Time Goes By" from a failed early 1930s musical and even parts of the dialogue were cannibalized from other unproduced scripts. It's doesn't bug me because it was mixed so well. I honestly don't see how the line 'Round up the usual suspect' is famous. It seems very not important from the rest of the best one liners. I believe Ingrid Berman delivering lines acting was mediocre at best. Her eyes did most of the work. Paul Henreid was indeed a stiff. Henreid did not get on well with his fellow actors and it shows. His character seem plain compare to the others. I didn't like how the movie treat the German actors in the film. The German actors had to keep curfew, as they were classified by the US as enemy aliens and under restrictions. They were frequently cast as Nazis in war films even with the fact that there weren't any uniformed German troops in Casablanca during WWII. Then there is the colorization controversy. Don't see it in color, its work best in Black and White. Trust me. Overall: The story itself is straightforward a realistic romantic movie with political allegory. The film's lasting enchantment is due to its dramatic conclusion and the theme of the inescapable past. The plane theme works because it was the escape of such memories. If you don't get onboard and see Casablanca. You might regard it. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There is no term to describe this other than classic, but not the type
of classic that a film like THE WIZARD OF OZ or GONE WITH THE WIND are.
That is because when this film was being made, it was just another
assembly line production from it's studio (Warner). When you see it
today, the cast appears so great that you would think it was something
special, but this supporting cast, great as it is, worked together
often. What this has in common with the WIZARD is a great script.
The writers of CASABLANCA came up with a script that tops all other films in classic moments of quotes that have become a part of Americana. So many quotes from this film are used in other films & media that they have become cliché almost. Even miss-quotes like "Play It Again, Sam" from this film have become American folk-lore. "Round up the Usual Suspects" has become it's own film later. "You & Me, Kid"- the list goes on & on.Other than the Great Oz, these quotes just flow from this film to 100's of other works since this film was made.
What makes this film really special is the unfulfilled love between Bogart & Bergman's character that is left hanging at the end. In an era, where love always had to have a happy ending, this movie gloriously leaves us with people in love who are forced away from each other by circumstances beyond either of their control.
This theme is closer to real life than most Hollywood products of any era. Almost everybody can identify with it because haven't we all had a love in our life who we yearned for very much, but due to circumstances beyond us, we never had a chance to fulfill? That is too me what makes this film stand above all others.
This is a film that has action, but not much of it. This film has comedy, but only enough to make the film great. It has subtle patriotic themes that carry the film along. Most importantly, this film has the heart of every viewer who ever watches it because the film, by accident, touches themes that many films aspire to reach, but never achieve.
Ironically, this all happened by the greatest of chance & rarely has any movie ever come close to what this film is. If I were a filmmaker, actor, or had a career in this industry, this would be the film I wish I had worked on. Nothing gets better than this one.
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