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Reviews & Ratings for
Casablanca More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Superb setting

Author: Mustaveli from United States
18 October 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

So far, this movie has the best lighting I've ever seen. Everything worked so well that I don't think I'd have to see the movie in color. My favorite thing about it was how the lights outside of the club worked so well. Nothing was too saturated, and you could tell what was what, and who was who. Even characters who were darker than others were seen well, and that's something big with me.

Sure, the movie was a little cheesy but I honestly liked it. Rick's character is probably my favorite, and both he and Lund were extremely good looking throughout the whole thing. It was a bit disappointing that they didn't get together in the end, especially with how their previous relationship affected Rick to become the cold man he was at the beginning of the movie. His development was interesting, and pretty good. The one thing I could say that I didn't like was how everything moved a little too fast for me. Though that in itself is great, a perfectly re-watchable movie. Casablanca had a wonderful setting, a well selected cast and I still can't get over the perfect lighting.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

"Of all the whiskey bars in all of Northwest Africa she decides to visit my establishment"

Author: john-hogan23 from Albany, New York
15 October 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Casablanca is the story of an American man in WWII era Morocco and his struggle in choosing between "love and virtue". Confronted by the woman he once loved and her new husband, a Czech resistance leader and important figure in the fight against the Nazis, the film focuses on Rick's internal conflict over deciding between his desires or the good of many others.

Casablanca is a testament to what you can accomplish with a spectacular cast and a beautiful, thoughtfully made set. The vast majority of the film takes place in Rick's Cafe Americain and focuses on a handful of characters, but even with it's relatively crowded story it never fails to feel well rounded and entirely better off than if were to use a wider array of characters and locations.

Humphrey Bogart stars as Rick Blaine, the owner of Rick's Cafe Americain. Bogart gives the film a career defining performance and makes his character the most compelling male lead I've ever seen in a love story. When dealing with the politics brought into the Cafe Americain he's cool, calm, and composed in his efforts to remain neutral in all matters, but when we see him alone after hours in his office he becomes very convincingly distraught over his love interest Ilsa. He is shown on multiple occasions alone in his office shrouded by the complete darkness of a Casablancan night, with only a thin ray of light shining through a window to illuminate his face. He drinks from a tall bottle of booze with a grim, haunted expression that gave me a real empathy for the toll his endeavors were taking on him. The rest of the cast performed well enough that there were no noticeable weak links, but there was really no way for them to escape the shadow cast by Bogart's performance.

My favorite thing about the film was Rick's Cafe Americain. The Cafe itself was just a series of sets constructed in Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank California, but it was so fitting and perfect for the film it left the same kind of impression that would be made by a well made fantasy location. Its stone walls were decorated in the shadows left by ornate lamps and intricate patterns made to shine light in from the outside. It was so packed full of extras during all of the scenes taking place there that it always created the atmosphere of a real bar. These things were vital to the film because so much of it was contained within these walls, and it was so great that I loved every moment of the scenes there.

Casablanca is a real classic. It's the sort of movie that feels like an experience and makes you glad you've seen it. It was all so excellent that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone who loves movies. When you see some of these scenes for yourself you immediately understand how they've had such a lasting influence to this day.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Casablanca- the Patriotic story

Author: joem294 from United States
14 April 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

One of the greatest films of the 40's and one of the best American films of all times. This film gives you the view of WWII no body else can. From the little city in Morroco the story of Rick the bartender gives you the best story of life outside the U.S during the early years of WWII. I'm talking about WWII, but once you start watching this film you wouldn't be so sure if it really is about a war, a relationship, or fight within a war. This film can't be put in as just one genre because there is just so much different events happening nobody could put just one genre on this film.

This classic film gives the viewers everything you can want in a film. The film is mainly filmed at night meaning there is a need for lighting that is practically done perfect for every scene. The acting shows great chemistry between the main couple that really only has chemistry in flashbacks. The photography is done so well for dark scenes and even give you scenes from France that make you feel like your in France while the war is only miles away you feel like your there. This film was done as an A film and I agree that it is and found no problems with the editing or any other part of the film.

This film was intended to be a patriotic film, but today people who haven't seen would not know just by knowing the name of the film. This film takes the audience to the safe areas of the war and shows them how everyone in the film is affected by the war. The famous scene done with the two anthems being sung at the same time was done to predict the outcome of the war. In Ricks bar the German soldiers begin singing their anthem, but Rick gets Victor a man that was from France began to sing the French anthem and got the entire bar to sing along and got the band to get even louder, in which overpower the few German soldiers. As the film continues the German soldiers around the bar become more aggressive and show Rick that even though he is neutral they aren't afraid to stop him, but when Rick allowed Victor to sing the anthem really showed that Rick had picked a side and was going by it.

This film was put out in theaters before the war ended and became a very Patriotic film for just Americans and anyone else supporting it. This film was seen as a normal film to the creators but the viewers saw the film as one of a kind and really was in a way propaganda against the Germans in WWII.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:


Author: ewright228 from United States
28 March 2014

Casablanca was a great movie out of the 1940's. Scratch that of all time. Humphrey Bogarts is an absolutely outstanding actor. He plays this part just amazing. I thought the acting overall was phenomenal all around. This movie is also a romantic movie, just look at Rick's face when he first sees her in the bar. And every time there after for a matter of fact. I could watch this movie over and over again unlike most movies I have watched for my Cinema class, as I really enjoyed this film. I would recommend this movie to everyone not only because of how great a film it is but because it really is on of the best movies in all of American Cinema and thats not only my opinion.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Casablanca (1942)

Author: westersnows from United States
26 March 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have always loved this film, and I will continue to love it indefinitely. There's nothing that I have a problem with, which is really unusual. The story is great, the atmosphere is great, and the photography is SPECTACULAR (I love the shadows and the lamps). And Bogart and Bergman are perfect. There's just enough mystery to keep it going at a steady pace. The dialogue is good too- - entertaining and witty, but it's not out of this world.

I also like that the ending differs from the expected, leaving the audience intentionally disappointed that Rick doesn't go with Ilsa (in a good and necessary way, I think). Okay, I lied; there is one little thing that bothers me. I appreciate this film more from an aesthetic standpoint —I don't get much emotional connection to it.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The movie that sort of saved my life

Author: Eqbal Ahmed (EqbalAnwari) from Afghanistan
29 January 2014

The purpose of writing this commentary is to solely state that the Writer in no way intends to compare Casablanca to any other movie in the history of motion picture; for the work is not only the pinnacle of Michael Curtiz career but also stands as a magical masterpiece in Twentieth Century Cinema.

I hope I have the criterion to write a justifiable and unbiased review because this Movie is very special to me and I try not to become emotional when writing about this iconic monumental work.

Considering the fact that there's nothing new to be said about Casablanca, I wonder where to start; probably from Rick's (Humphrey Bogart) philanthropy, Ilsa's (Ingrid Bergman) reciprocation—well reasoned and timely— her grace and heroism, the Battle of Anthems (German National Anthem vs French National Anthem), friendship, love, sacrifice, gallantry, patriotism, or plethora of amazing supporting actors such as Paul Henreid, Dooley Wilson, Claude Rains etc.

Michael Curtiz surpasses in telling his story masterfully, directing every single actor in brilliant and indelible performance of a life time, illustrating principles and inspiring his audience to think. The writers and the Director truly outshine themselves with the phenomenal multidisciplinary story of humankind.

There's so much to grab onto with a remarkable film like this; say the soothing music for example--as time goes by--or the memorable dialogue:

We'll always have Paris. We lost it until you came to Casablanca. We got it back last night. When I said I would never leave you. Here's looking at you kid. Are you one of those people who cannot imagine the Germans in their beloved Paris? It's not particularly my beloved Paris. Can you imagine us in London? When you get there, ask me! I wasn't sure you were the same. Let's see, the last time we met... Was La Belle Aurore. How nice, you remembered. But of course, that was the day the Germans marched into Paris. Not an easy day to forget. No. I remember every detail. The Germans wore gray, you wore blue. Play it, Sam. Play "As Time Goes By." Oh, I can't remember it, Miss Ilsa. I'm a little rusty on it. I'll hum it for you. Da dy da dy da dumb, da dy da dee da dumb... The best movies are ones that touch the soul. It takes a movie like Casablanca to touch the soul. The only other movie I have ever seen that influences me as strongly is The Shawshank Redemption. Both movies leave me feeling influenced for having watched them; they have the power to inspire people and therefore I certainly say both pictures are neatly perfect organism.

But just suffice to say that in addition to watching Casablanca habitually, I also tend to watch it on the following occasions: When I see or hear cruelty or crises anywhere in this—according to the movie, crazy—world. When I decide to travel to places not being recommended by my family or friends. On the eve of Eid and New Year's Day. Every-time when I am down or empty, or whatever they call it.

Finally, this timeless classic deserved not only three Academy Awards but definitely the remaining five nominations that it lost unjustifiably.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Of all the review joints, in all the towns, in all the world, you walks into mine. Here's to you, Kid. Casablanca is iconic! Play it again, Sam.

Author: ironhorse_iv from United States
3 August 2013

*** 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.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Curtiz's Magnum Opus

Author: donuthaters12
2 July 2013

A film that is regarded as a classic from most but does it hold up for me? Definitely. Michael Curtiz is the director of Casablanca, who has done a mountain full of films including The Adventures of Robin Hood and Mildred Pierce. I came into this with high expectations, even in my subsequent viewings, as it has an established cast, a well known composer, a prominent director and an experienced cinematographer. The film is definitely excellent but some elements, due to nitpicking, sinks this film a little.

The screenplay is developed by the Epstein brothers who had a reputation at their time, and with this project they seem to be in the top of their game. The film's story is packed, exploring a love story, a rebellion and the life of a citizens or immigrants in Casablanca. The film is generally well known for its love story but that wasn't the area that hooked me as I felt it was dragged by it's melodrama. The shifty and uneasy life in this desert city is what kept me hook and it dominates the first half of the film. It is from the start that the film establishes the importance of the city as a character along with the leading actors. The first and start of the second act is dominated with humor as a break from the main storyline which held my interest. I do not hate the love story but I just feel it doesn't hold up with me as compared to the more later love stories in Hollywood, Annie Hall, Vertigo and Beauty and the Beast. Then again, this is a product of its time and I can't frown upon it too much just because of that.

This is the only film I have seen of Curtiz's work but it isn't the only one I am aware of. He is an underrated director and one of the hardest working. With Casablanca, he just got hold of a fantastic script which got the general public to really notice him. Curtiz wanted this film to move quickly but also giving key moments in exploring the relationship between Bogart and Bergman's characters.

The year before Casablanca, Arthur Edeson did the cinematography for The Maltese Falcon and in that film, Edeson used shadows well and using lighting to create the mood of the scene. He brings it back here but more. This film is dark, for the most part as most of the intimate scenes took place indoors and at night. Shadow casts on scenes with Bogart and Bergman but at the same time not overshadowing the actors, especially Bergman's beautiful face as her beauty and vulnerability expressed by her face as both are important components of Ilsa. Edeson and Curtiz always have the camera moving, whether it is inside Rick's club or outside in the streets of Casablanca. It keeps the film at a pace that doesn't feel stationary and gives us a sense of exploration of the setting. This pace is also supported by great editing. In intimate moments, Curtiz really wants Edeson to have the camera get close on the actor's faces to not only have us focus on it but to create that sense of intimacy and closeness. Casablanca still has great photography, even in this day and age, and is an important piece in making it an iconic film.

Max Steiner was nominated in 1939 for his iconic work in Gone With The Wind and he was also nominated a few years later for score in Casablanca. His work here in Casablanca is definitely something to be remembered by fan when remembering this film. This should have been an area where it definitely should have won the academy award but sadly it lost to The Song of Bernadette.

For a film focused on the love story and is this intimate requires actors that bring that chemistry in order to create a memorable performance. Bogart and Bergman definitely work well together but I felt that Bogart is a little too old for Bergman. I would rather have the age of Bergman's character be nearly level with Bogart's and replace her with an older actress, but would the film still be regarded as a classic if the casting choices were different? I think so and I am only nitpicking. Both Bogart and Bergman bring it their all, even if the script is a little melodramatic they make it work for the most part. I definitely enjoyed Bogart's embodiment as this stoic and tortured character who distances himself from letting people in. Bergman has the more overly dramatic lines but she still delivers by showing emotion and care for Bogart's character. As soon as she was introduced in the film and meets Sam (Dooley Wilson), you can see that pain and sorrow rising to the surface. The supporting cast are fine and are either used for plot tools or comedic relief. The actors giving comic relief, especially Claude Reins, had me smiling every time they say something witty.

A film that definitely still holds a strong place in this day and age and is regarded as one of the greatest films ever made. It is a fascinating story of a love story and an interesting take on the life of Casablanca during the second world war. It has its flaws but it's overshadowed by its strengths. Casablanca is definitely worth your time and demands repeated viewings.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Possibly the Greatest Romance Movie of All-Time

Author: phbasketball6 from United States
5 May 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

One of the best romance movies of all-time. Casablanca made Humphrey Bogart a top star in Hollywood and Ingrid Bergman a respectable actress. Claude Rains is also great in the movie and is an important character. Michael Curtiz, who I believe is one of the greatest directors of all-time, directs this the same year as Yankee Doodle Dandy. Curtiz direction was flawless and the close-ups mainly on Bergmann shown the emotions were great. The cinematography was astounding which makes the viewer seem like they're in the room. Despite the screenplay not being 100% realistic and believable, I don't think anyone cares because of how well and effective the movie is. The dialog is one of the best in cinema history which contains many famous quotes. This movie shows how important romance, friendship, and politics could be.

The beginning introduces Rick (Bogart) who owns "Rick's Café Américain" which is a nightclub and a place for gambling located in Casablanca which is in Northern Africa.. Usually the Vichy French, Italian, and Nazi officials go there. Rick looks like a professional businessman but seems depress for a reason we do not know.

Ugarte (Peter Lorre), a petty criminal, arrives in Rick's club with "letters of transit" obtained through the murder of two German couriers. The papers allow the person to travel freely around German-controlled Europe and to neutral Portugal, and from there to America. Ugarte plans to make his money by selling them to the highest bidder. However that does not work out according to plan and Rick ends up with the letters.

Eventually Ilsa (Bergman) comes in with a man and Sam (Dooley Wilson) notices this and is not thrilled. She asks if Rick is there and Sam doesn't her to see Rick. She tells Sam to play "As Time Goes By." Sam seeming like he doesn't want to plays it anyway which angers Rick. Rick then realizes Ilsa is there and seems upset and happy at the same time. It is realized that the man with her was her husband Victor Laszlo (Henreid). Laszlo is refugee that is trying to go to America.

Later that night Rick seems really upset about seeing her again and Sam tries to comfort him. While they are talking flashbacks are shown about Rick and Ilsa as lovers in Paris. While in Paris Rick had to flee and Ilsa plans to go with him however the minute that he leaves Sam gives him the letter from her saying she won't.

Ilsa basically broke Rick's heart but now needs help along with her husband. Many viewers question who is going to get Ilsa, Rick or Victor? Is Rick going to help Ilsa after what she did to him?

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The perfect movie

Author: Victoria Colarusso ( from United States
4 May 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Casablanca is a classic that defines film at its greatest. This has pretty much become common knowledge. The film has many dimensions inside its story. The romance between Rick and Ilsa is unique and fantastic, but this film is much more than a love story. It's a story of redemption, glory, and enlightenment. The social implications in the film are very relevant for the time period its in. The script is one of the best parts of the film by far. The dialog is beautiful and poetic. As much as auteur directors are well-respected and usually more liked than directors with no distinct flare, Michael Curtiz directed some wonderful films without the audience being aware of his direction.

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