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Casablanca
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Reviews & Ratings for
Casablanca More at IMDbPro »

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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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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Still the greatest movie of all time!!!

10/10
Author: TheInvisibleCar from United States
21 June 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Casablanca is still the greatest movie of all time! Its stars shine, there are memorable lines, quite a few which have been repeated elsewhere or even become the titles of movies themselves, there is superbly artistic and notable cinematography, heartfelt romance, inspiring and touching music, heroes, swelling feelings of sentiment and patriotism, and it is in no way too long, too weird or different. Just an all around great movie, and even for the few of those who can't agree that Casablanca is the all-around greatest movie of all time, they perhaps would at least agree that it has all the elements and plenty enough of what it takes to be putting up an honorable fight to claim that top spot, and most definitely should be on any critic's short list of greatest movies, if they expect to really be taken seriously. .

Time seems to date some movies badly, while it has worked greatly in favor of some movies, like Casablanca. It was made in the day when color was rare, yet, used black in white so well that it seems to be a great example of a movie that should have been filmed in black and white, even if doing such were to have cost more than color. The false looking backgrounds in its Paris automobile scenes in particular, although perhaps not so intended, has actually been used as a purposeful technique of dreamy recollection and such, in a few more modern day films. And again, even though perhaps not intended at the time, and even though the entire movie was made in studio, the fact that the Paris scenes are the ones that look so particularly fake is appropriate, since, at that very time, those scenes had to be fake, as Paris wasn't available, because it was under German occupation. There is no understating that this movie was a part of the arsenal of democracy itself, its story, themes and passion are set in the very center of what was then the raging battle for the world in what would become the single most defining event of the 20th Century, World War II. Every actor in the film, the director, the producer, and anybody and everybody working on the film or in any way involved with its making, were, in fact, at war with Nazi Germany.

There is no need for a learned critic or professor to explain this or anything about the movie, anything about its producers having used some new technique, some new technology, or any particularly notable new style of cinematography to just enjoy Casablanca. It's very touching in its story of human relationships and it is so noted for its black and white cinematography that some of its most ardent fans consider any colorizations of it sacrilege, even among those of us not generally opposed to the idea of colorization. And, it is the story of its times. Its depiction of challenged French patriotism brings tears the eyes of many a repeat viewer time and time again, when The Marseilles is sung. There are lines that people repeat, songs that even today people sing and whistle. In terms of just all around sheer entertainment, the movie is petty much as good as it gets. It is not only difficult to come up with a suggestion of what movies of the 20th century could be considered as good, it's impossible to find any movie that has anywhere near as many people thinking of it as the greatest movie of the 20th century. It's as if a clear majority think it the greatest movie of all time, and as for what other movie is even a contender to Casablanca's claim to the title, well, there is no clear single contender. I doubt fans of Casablanca could even form a majority as to what the second greatest movie of all time is. Even if all those who have another movie in mind could have a run-off to determine their party's candidate, it wouldn't matter, as Casablanca already has 65% of the general electorate locked-up. Although all-time is far from over, it's safe to say that Casablanca is now the for-all-time greatest movie of the 20th Century. Its as if Indiana Jones was involved in some battle, in the middle of some war, that we were actually passionately involved in at the time, with our entire economy geared towards the goal of winning that war, against actual Nazis soldiers, rather than the theatrical Nazi-ish soldiers that Indiana Jones was having problems with. Except Casablanca's actors are legendary movie icons. The dialogue is superior. The musical score is among the best of movies, as memorable as even the best of musicals, only Casablanca isn't a musical. Just as the main song of the movie is about a fight for love and glory, exactly what the entire free western and allied world was engaged in at that time, so the viewer feels where they stand in their heart of hearts. The viewer relates to the characters, and anybody familiar with history who believes in freedom and democracy isn't just cheering for our characters in the end, we truly feel as if we are on their side! Had the allied battle been lost, Casablanca may very well have quickly become a controlled, discarded and forgotten piece of illicit war propaganda. But as things turned out, it's Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, along with Dooley Wilson, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains and many others, starring in the greatest roles of their careers in what clearly still seems to be the greatest movie of all time. Casablanca's being part of the patriotic effort itself, is perhaps one of its greatest advantages in cementing its claim as the greatest movie of all time, and this is a concrete advantage that will only continue to strengthen and harden, "As Time Goes By."

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

BORING and ARTIFICIAL. The emperor has no clothes.

1/10
Author: eliz_balaur from Colchester, England
24 March 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is the only movie review I have ever written on IMDb.

I watched Casablanca witch high hopes. I KNEW I was going to love this movie after hearing for years how it's "the best" and what an amazing, moving, love story it portrays. I was very excited and ready to be swept off my rear end by this classic everyone adores.

Casablanca is one of the movies I disliked the most. Actually I think it's my number one most disliked movie. It's not that I don't like old movies or I have a short attention span. I've seen Gone with the wind multiple times and love it. One of my favorite movies is a *1951 Indian, BLACK AND WHITE, ROMANCE* (!!!) movie, I've also seen that numerous times. Casablanca is as boring and plain as a movie can get. It's 102 minutes of nothing interesting happening AT ALL. Gone with the wind is a slow movie that needs patience to watch but lots of interesting things happen, there is a traceable story line and the characters are not plain and one-dimensional like in Casablanca. What happens in this movie? Is there anything interesting happening at all that anybody can point out to? I don't think so.

It's just 102 minutes of random boring people talking about random boring stuff. When I read good reviews of Casablanca I have never seen or heard anyone point out to anything interesting actually happening in this movie. Just how pretty Ingrid was, how cool Bogart was, how well done the movie is, how impeccable the acting is, silly meaningless quotes like "here's looking at you kid" and just that it's a "timeless classic". I just think this whole Casablanca thing is a gimmick and a case of "the emperor's clothes". There is nothing to be well acted or well done because there is nothing happening during the whole movie. I think it would be way more interesting to just film random conversations between random people in bars.

And the love story between the two main protagonists has to be the least believable I've ever seen. I enjoy and get emotionally moved very much by a love story, it doesn't even need to be very good. I cry when I read Hans Christian Andersen's "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" for eff's sake. There is absolutely zero chemistry between the two main actors. Their "love story" is completely artificial, superficial and there is zero emotion portrayed. They seem to be acquaintances at best, not even friends, not to mention lovers. I've seen better simulated "attraction" or "love" in porn dialogues than in Casablanca. No, forget that, I can detect more love and attraction when two butterflies dance together or I see rabbits mating. I'm not even kidding or exaggerating.

This movie made me feel nothing at all, absolutely nothing except boredom. It's unique in this particularity. There is no other movie I can remember that made me feel NOTHING AT ALL. Bad movies at least amuse me. Casablanca is completely devoid of any emotion. Casablanca is the cinematic equivalent of a mouthful of sand. There was no character I could empathize with in the slightest way as there were no real, humane characters to empathize with. Just artificiality.

I'm completely mesmerized about how can people adore this movie so much. It's boring, plain, bone-dry, story-less and features the least believable love stories I have ever seen.

Excuse me, I'm not a connoisseur like you Casablanca lovers, but I have common sense. And common sense tells me a movie doesn't have to be necessarily very "entertaining" but it needs to be ENJOYABLE, reasonably ENGAGING and just in the least to have some INTERESTING things happening. Casablanca has none of this things in the slightest.

Please leave aside your love for this movie, imagine for one minute you don't know who Ingrid and Bogart were and this movie was completely unknown. You've never heard a thing about this movie your entire life and you just watch it not knowing anything about it or the actors. Would you enjoy it? I guarantee you would be bored out of your mind. That is why it is not a "TIMELESS" classic. Here's two movies I would consider timeless classics: Papillon and The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. Not this bore fest.

I would give Casablanca a negative rating if I could.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Timeless - a Hollywood classic!

10/10
Author: brchthethird from United States
14 November 2014

This was yet another classic film to which I've been a "Johnny-come-lately." Still, I can see why it has attained its status as one of the Hollywood greats. Put simply, it deals with timeless themes in a matter-of-fact way, enhanced by the excellent performances, flawless and elegant cinematography and an emotionally stirring soundtrack and score. There's not a single minute wasted, and its impossible not to get caught up in the story of love, longing and triumph over adversity. Any self-respecting film lover owes it to themselves to see this, and preferably more than once. At least now I can check it off my cinematic bucket list.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

"I stick my head out for nobody."

9/10
Author: Emillion from United States
13 November 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Michael Curtiz's masterpiece, Casablanca, is easily one of my favorite movies of all time. The plot brilliantly demonstrates self sacrifice and ever- lasting love in a way that is untraditional and completely original. Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman have amazing chemistry that really brings the story to life. The lighting is perfect and natural, despite being filmed in a studio, the dialog has a good rhythm, and the composition was spot on. The image appeared to be very crisp and clear with no imperfections. The sets and prop designs were beautiful with a truly authentic Moroccan style. The flashbacks were very well shot and utilized effectively, there were a few comparison shots that were well thought out. Overall Casablanca is a movie far beyond its time that will be forever loved and respected.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A Classic

10/10
Author: Jacob Frydman from United States
29 October 2014

One of my favorite movies of all time. "Waters? What Waters? We're in the desert." I think this has to be one of the most quotable movies of all time. Think about all the great lines! "We'll always have Paris." "Here's looking at you kid." "Play it again Sam. Play 'As Time Goes By. "Every line is better than the last. One of the most surprising things about Casablanca is that it is truly timeless. I still smile when I hear Rick tell the band to "Play La Marseillaise. Play it!" I often wonder if this movie would be popular today? There's no great car chases or big stunts- it's just a great story that is beautifully acted.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A certified classic

10/10
Author: MovieLord23 from San Antonio
26 October 2014

Ah Casablanca. What can I say that hasn't already been said millions and millions of times before. It's a certified classic that has stood the test of time just because of how we can relate and just how well acted and directed even through all the advancements we have made. It's a cliché, but it is a justified one because Casablanca is one of the best movies ever made.

Good: Well, first off I gotta say the romance angle here is excellent. Bogart and Bergman are excellent together and bring such fantastic chemistry when they are on screen. You believe their love and want them to succeed. I also love how it all comes to a close in a way that we don't see in romance movies even today and it works so well. Casablanca is also a great war film with no fighting involved, but the story involving Nazi occupation is interesting and brings a dynamic of suspense into the mix. It is also a very funny movie mostly thanks to the dialogue from Bogart.

Overall, it is indeed one of the great if not the greatest romance film of all time and one of the surefire classics.

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