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Casablanca
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Reviews & Ratings for
Casablanca More at IMDbPro »

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3 out of 4 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.

9/10
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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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Words are Sufficient

10/10
Author: Phillip Riback from United States
31 July 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"This is a beginning of a beautiful friendship" – that is how this unforgettable and everlasting movie, which talks about love, friendship, loyalty, intrigue, and survival ends. The play takes place in the city of Casablanca, and even though we are unable to see the city (because the action takes place mainly in Ricks' bar), the life of the city is present. On one side are refugees waiting to escape from the horrors of war, and on the other are those who still enjoy nights full of gambling and entertainment, or smuggling and enrichment. The love story is started in war Paris, and revived through the memories in the currently more peaceful Morocco. The fact that love is stronger and larger than any other living thing, and subordinate to world events, is show in the decisions Rick (H. Bogart) makes. Although the movie is black-and-white, it even more emphasizes time events. There is also a color version of the film, but it feels like something is missing. If you have a chance to watch it, you shouldn't miss this masterpiece. And if you have watched it... Play It Again Sam.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Classic

10/10
Author: getyourdander from United States
27 August 2006

*** 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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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

There's no way to flaw this movie

10/10
Author: TheNorthernMonkee from Manchester
27 August 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

SPOILERS Possibly contained

Ok, Casablanca can simply be described in six words "The Greatest Movie Of All Time".

In this film we get to witness Bogart & Bergman in their best performances, in one of the greatest (if not THE greatest) love stories of all time. The way the romance develops, disintegrates, develops again & finishes on a sad note, is one of the best film plots of all time. The acting is superb, the plot is majestic, the film may be in black and white (an idea which is often sadly dated in modern society, but not in this case) but it survives & by the end of this film, possibly the most famous movie scene of all time is shown, climaxing in what can be argued as the greatest line of all time.

I guess the problem with writing reviews is that it's often easy to write vast ammounts about a film you hate, but when it comes to a film you love, you embrace it to such a degree that it's almost impossible to think of anything fresh and original to write.

so, with that last statement in mind, let me say this. If you have never seen Casablanca, you must be mad. If you have seen Casablanca and dislike it, you must be even madder. This film is genius, pure, classical genius.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Incredible!

10/10
Author: miss_flowers from United States
15 October 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I watched Casablanca for a class, and, while I initially thought that I wouldn't care for it, I find myself being able to confidently say that it's actually one of my favorite movies, not just from the class but also in general. In terms of acting character and plot the movie is just superb, the best performance being, obviously, from Humphrey Bogart. Technically, the movie is one of the best that I've seen from that period of time. The camera is EXTREMELY mobile, especially in Rick's Café, moving between the tables and sweeping the expanse of the dining room. The sweeps of the streets were incredible, and the shots seemed to be getting longer, which was nice to see. The most notable thing, technically, was the sweep of the airport as Ilsa and Laszlo's plane takes off. Overall an amazing movie, something I would definitely recommend both for the storyline and for the technical elements.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

American Rick Blaine finds himself the holder of the letters of transit out of Casablanca and standing before the love of his life once again.

10/10
Author: a-choppa from United States
11 October 2012

This movie was truly amazing. I never found myself bored, not even for a second. The underlying dry humor in a lot of the scenes really made the storyline comical to the viewer (if you understood the humor). I have a whole new appreciation for old time movies and Humphrey Bogart. The dialog was perfect, the characters sucked you in so much that at times I forgot it was just a movie. I also may have been the only person who was thoroughly happy with the unusual ending that in my eyes wasn't predictable. That's the most I can say without giving it away. It had an array of comical and lovable characters that I couldn't help finding myself wishing that they'd have a happy ending. Especially Sam, the piano player, although he barely said two words throughout the film his charisma and cheerfulness in an otherwise very depressed time made him so lovable as a character. Rick Blaine was a strong character that you couldn't help feeling some sympathy for, but his character displayed selfless and humble qualities that made the movie all the better.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A magical movie for a magical night in Phnom Penh

10/10
Author: venisejb from Australia
20 September 2007

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.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

If you had to pick one scene from 'Casablanca'...

Author: Professor Bates from United States
17 February 2007

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'?

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

THE Hollywood romance itself!

9/10
Author: MacBalthus from Lucerne, Switzerland
23 December 2006

*** 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!

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Romance? Yes, But Men Will Like It, Too!

8/10
Author: robmeister from Riverside, California
18 November 2006

"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!

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