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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:

a classic that's known to people long before they actually see the movie

10/10
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States
26 August 2006

For years when I was younger I thought I had seen Casablanca, but it wasn't until I was 17 that I actually SAW the entire thing from start to finish. Before that, I had seen some of the most indelible scenes from the picture (I don't remember them all, but one had Peter Lorre, another was when Bogie is drunk in the bar after the bar is closed and Bergman's Isla goes to him and he tells her off, another was, of course, the last scene). It's when one sees all of the story put together and all of those really terrfic scenes in the club that it really does gell as being a classic. It might not be up there for me with the very great films ever like Citizen Kane or One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, but there's never a minute, a line, or a performance in Casablanca that turns out to be dull or un-watchable. It's by turns very funny in a few spurts even though it's a romantic drama of the highest Hollywood order. For some on the level of movies dealing with loves lost and found and lost again it's no wonder that this takes the cake. Even the last scene, the lines of which have been parodied God knows how many times now, still has that ring of emotion in the greatest escapist sense. It's a must-see-once kind of movie, even if you find that you don't like the movie.

And the cast is probably one of the best reasons to see it. It's really got the best crop of stars and character actors from Warner brothers and beyond. Bogart and Bergman have their spotlight on them here at full blast and they each deliver impeccable performances in roles that aren't too unexpected, but never less than stylish and dramatic. Then there's Peter Lorre, Peter Greenstreet, and of course Claude Raines who probably gives if not his most memorable performance one of his most striking. It's rare that an actor is given such a part that really fits him and still keeps a hold on the viewer so many years later. From the story intrigue and deception and danger involving the Nazis, the heroism and sacrifice that gets involved, and at the core of it- after the club which Bogie owns- is the love triangle that gets resolved in a somber way that makes for a sensational ending. In fact, it's main goal is to be sensational, and for the most part it's truly successful, from its 'a kiss is just a kiss' song to the sweet one-liners.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Simply, one of the classic movies and still superb after all these years.

Author: TxMike from Houston, Tx, USA, Earth
17 September 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Who thinks 'Casablanca' is the number one movie of all time?" That is a game many play, but I refuse to play it, because I don't think it matters. I have seen many movies over the past five decades, and 'Casablanca' is one of my all time favorites. It is set in a mysterious place at a very mysterious time, and has many mysterious figures running through the story. It has war, it has friendship, it has love, it has sacrifice. All the elements combine to form an entertaining but gripping film that always seems as fresh as the first time you viewed it.

This is perhaps my favorite Humphrey Bogart role, as Rick Blaine the exiled American who owns and operates his own gin joint. We know he isn't totally a good man, but we also sense that inside he is not a bad man at all. Mostly he just wants to do his job and be left alone. But danger lurks at the turn of every page of script.

Most SPOILERS follow. The crux of the story involves Rick, Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) and Victor (Paul Henreid). Rick and Ilsa have a history, they parted under suspicious circumstances when she failed to meet him at the train leaving town. Now she shows up with a husband that Rick never knew she had. Victor and Ilsa want safe passage to America, and Rick holds the papers that can get them there. Still in love with Ilsa, he realizes that true love will give her what she needs, and he does. Safe passage for her and her husband.

Casablanca has quite a good ensemble cast, with stars in their own rights Claude Rains as Capt. Louis Renault, Conrad Veidt as Maj. Heinrich Strasser, Sydney Greenstreet as Signor Ferrari, and Peter Lorre as the shady Guillermo Ugarte.

The DVD is superb!!

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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:

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:

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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2 out of 2 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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