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Here is a movie that has always found a way to remain in the top of the
lists when it comes to the best movies ever done.
Casablanca crosses the genre of drama and romance, the acting was top notch and the movie's screenplays were so well done, that you will be torn in two for Lily. Humphrey Bogart (Rick) was the perfect prince charming, and also a hero in all ways including love.
Done in 1942 Casablanca is based on an unproduced play named "Everybody Comes to Rick's" by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison.
The movies ending is one that I love and is something you can skip back to watch again, the dramatic scene, which showed sacrifice, love and suspense. The twist at the end is something the producers would have slipped in to catch the audience off guard, something I enjoyed.
Casablanca's lines ("Here is looking at you kid" and "This Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship") have remained on the lips of many and it has fondly been repeated in more movies than I can bet the producers would have even dreamt.
So what is this great movie about? Casablanca's plot is set during the early years of World War 2, In Casablanca (Morocco) the is a man named Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) who owns the most popular handout spot in Casablanca, he had everything under control and he even had influence on the police. Everything was fine till the past came knocking.
Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman) an old lover of Rick shows up at Rick's nightclub and sparks were sent flying in both ways, as they lost contact (Ilsa's fault) without any explanations.
Ilsa is not alone, with her is her husband Victor Laszlo (Paul Henereid) who is a renowned fugitive Czech Resistance leader.
The couple needs letters to escape to America, letters only Rick can give. So Rick is in a dilemma to help the woman he loves escape with her husband or keep her in Casablanca.
Nominated for eight (8) Academy Awards, Casablanca went home with 3, Best Picture, Best director and Best writing screenplay, Casablanca is a commercial success and has a strong cult following, which has disturbed any plans for a sequel and also the colorization of the movie.
The movie cinematography was done by the cinematographer of the movie Frankenstein (1931), who made sure that any time we get to see Bergman her eyes sparkled.
Here is a movie, AFI has ranked the 3rd greatest of all time in their AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition). I advise you get a taste of Casablanca, an iconic movie that sets the trend of what a true romantic movie should be about.
Bogart at his best with a great cast consisting of Ingrid Bergman, Paul
Henreid, Claude Rains. This is a movie classic you haven't lived till
you have watched Casablanca. So many memorable quotes and a epic song
"As time goes by" sung by Arthur "Dooley" Wilson. I remember every
detail. The Germans wore gray, you wore blue. Who could forget the
beautiful Ingrid Bergman. As CapitanRenault would say, "I was informed
that you were the most beautiful woman ever to visit Casablanca. That
was a *gross* understatement." Here's looking at you kid. 3 Academy
Awards in 1944 including the Best Picture of the year.
This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. You and Casblanca!
There's such a wonderful since of composition and lighting throughout the whole movie. It was shot with low light however there were so many wonderful shadows and subtle highlights on the actors and walls that gave for a great feel to bring the audience into Rick's. The characters all have such great depth and it makes you wonder how these people all ended up in Casablanca and whether they'll be able to escape the town. It has so many different great themes such as politics, romance and comedy. The chemistry between Rick and Isla is fantastic and believable. The movie has a few twists in it and even though it was a post code movie there are some little things that you get the hint of that might not necessarily appropriate for the code. I have to say a real American classic that everyone should see at least once in their life time.
Casablanca is an absolutely amazing movie, the acting was top notch, the plot kept the movie interesting the entire time. The style of witty comedy and its political hints were great. Humphrey Bogart played his role very well.The plot of the movie was amazing there were points throughout the film where you might think that you know how the movie is going to end but it goes in another direction which makes you want to keep watching to see what actually happens. The high point in this film came at the end of the movie at the airport, it was something that you wanted to happen and it did so it made it that much better to see the outcome of it all. This movie is a must see for anyone who loves an amazing movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
What can you say about Casablanca? I'm serious. What can be said about it? It's one of the greatest films of all time and everybody already knows it. This movie is so perfect, that it actually brings tears to my eyes. The acting, the characters, the story, the quotes, the humor, the drama, the atmosphere; everything is just perfect. This is what classics are made of. Picking my favorite thing about this movie is almost impossible because everything goes together hand in hand. But if I had to pick 2 things that make this movie great, it would have to be the two main characters, and the world the movie transports you to. First of all, the two leads. Humphrey Bogart is the man. He's always the man. I've never seen a movie where he wasn't the man. Why is he considered the "Greatest Actor of All Time"? Because he's Humphrey Bogart, that's why. I think Humphrey Bogart perfected the concept of an "imperfect hero". From the very beginning, you see that people would die for him, but he wouldn't do the same. He claims to be neutral, but you're never sure which side he's really on. He's so calm and mysterious, but his decisions are based mostly on his unpredictable emotions. He has such a presence to him, but you're constantly wondering if he'll do the right thing in the end. Ingrid Bergman is also amazing playing opposite of Humphrey Bogart. Just like Bogart, she is very mysterious, and you want to know more about her. She also goes above and beyond the typical 1940s female performance. She gets so into the role, it may actually be the most emotional performance I've ever seen from this time period. These two are just perfect together. I love how most of the movie, we're left in the dark about their relationship. All we know is that these two knew each other at one point, and that they once had something. I love how most of the backstory can be seen in the faces of the two main actors. The movie doesn't even need that flashback scene, because you can see how important these two are to each other just by looking at their faces. The flashback scene is great, but I think it would've been cooler if the whole movie, we didn't know their history together. The last thing that I love about this movie is the world. This movie is classic Hollywood fantasy world, and it sure knows how to suck you right in. This isn't real life, it's the movie world; and that's what makes this movie so classic. Even though it has that 1940s acting, and many of the clichés of the time, it still remains timeless. It's all fun, from beginning to end. You may feel like you're watching a movie, but that's just because you are. This is what movies are all about. They're not about showing us what life is really like; they're about letting us escape to a world where life is more interesting. Like I said, this movie just defines "classic". The characters are unforgettable, the scenes are so memorized, and the quotes are so recognizable (it's no wonder this film may be the most referenced/spoofed/quoted film of all time). This film is so perfect, it gets better and better each time I see it. It's so classic; it kind of hurts. So bottom line .it's alright.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
To mark my 1100th review for IMDb I turn to another of my favourite
films. And not just one of mine. Its regular appearance on lists of the
greatest films of all time suggest that "Casablanca" is also one of the
world's favourite films. It has given the English language more
well-known quotations than virtually any other film- "Here's looking at
you, kid", "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful
friendship", "Round up the usual suspects", "We'll always have Paris",
"Play it again, Sam" (yes, I know that one's a misquote) and "Of all
the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine"
(also often misquoted, generally as "Of all the bars
Yet at the time it was made, it was just one of many wartime propaganda films made by Hollywood. It was based upon an obscure play which had never been performed professionally. (It still hasn't in America, although it was produced briefly in London's West End in 1991). It starred an actor best known at that date for gangster pictures, and an actress whose early Hollywood films, apart from "Intermezzo", had not been wildly successful. Few would have predicted, therefore, that "Casablanca" would not only win the "Best Picture" Oscar for 1943 but would also go on to enjoy such lasting popularity.
I don't intend to set out the plot, which is already well-known, in detail, but rather to discuss what makes it such a favourite of mine. One feature is what might be called its moral complexity, something it shares with the film noir style of which Humphrey Bogart was such a noted exponent. I would not, however, classify "Casablanca" as noir, largely because it does not, except perhaps in the airport scene at the end, use the sort of expressionistic photography which characterised the genre.
I do not mean that the film is morally ambiguous politically. Its politics are quite clear; the Nazis are evil and the Allied cause is just. (For this reason, I always wish Michael Curtiz had been allowed to use the "Horst Wessel Lied" in the song-duel with "La Marseillaise". The producers, however, refused, on the bizarre grounds that the Nazi anthem was protected by copyright, so Curtiz had to substitute "Die Wacht am Rhein", a 19thcentury patriotic song with no Nazi connotations).
The film's ambiguity arises at a personal rather than political level. The only character who is unambiguously heroic is the noble and idealistic Victor. Rick Blaine starts off as a disillusioned cynic, cynical both about personal relationships and about politics, and unwilling to "stick his neck out" for anyone. He has a murky past, operates a gambling operation of dubious legitimacy and, for unexplained reasons, is unable to return to America. Ilsa is somewhat sanitised compared to Lois, the equivalent character in the original play, and explanations are provided for some of her more questionable actions, but the fact remains that she is in love with a man other than her husband, and would be prepared to desert her husband for that man. Louis Renault, the Chief of Police, is quite openly corrupt, accepting bribes to issue the vital "exit visas" which will enable refugees to leave Casablanca; if the refugee in question is an attractive woman he is prepared to accept payment in the form of sexual favours rather than cash.
By the end of the film, however, all three have achieved redemption. Renault, who has no love for the Vichy regime he serves or their German masters, resolves to serve his country's interests rather than his own. Ilsa recognises that her place is by her husband's side and her duty to support him in his struggle. Rick not only recovers his lost political idealism but also, like Ilsa, sacrifices his own personal happiness and puts duty before love. Rick is the only major character who is an American, and can be seen as symbolising America's own journey from neutrality to wholehearted participation in the anti-Fascist struggle. It is significant that the action takes place in early December 1941, in the last few days before Pearl Harbor.
The complexity of these three characters demands acting of a high standard, and Bogart, Bergman and Claude Rains are all excellent. Bogart is particularly good; this is the finest of all his performances that I have seen, better even than "The African Queen" for which he won his only Oscar. (Not having seen Paul Lukas in"Watch on the Rhine" I cannot say whether Bogart deserved to win in 1943). There are several other good performances; those that stand out most come from Sydney Greenstreet as Rick's business rival Ferrari and Conrad Veidt as the main Nazi Major Strasser.
Paul Henreid as Victor is sometimes regarded as the acting "weak link", and he is certainly less than charismatic, but I felt this was necessary to emphasise the contrast between his character and Rick's. Rick may have a dubious past, but Bogart also makes him fascinating and charming enough to win and retain Ilsa's love, even though she is married to a man of great nobility whom she deeply admires. Henreid, by contrast, makes Victor the sort of man who can inspire admiration but who does not perhaps have enough warmth on a personal level to retain the wholehearted love of his wife.
Another notable feature is the musical score, making reference to the French and German national anthems, and the songs, especially "As Time Goes By", originally written in 1931 but since 1943 always associated with this film.
There is not sufficient space here to do justice to all the many aspects of this wonderful film. I will therefore just close my review by saying that as a combination of war, adventure and romance, and for its perfect marriage of script, direction, acting and music, "Casablanca" cannot be beaten. It gets better as time goes by. 10/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Most films about WWII made during WWII are so rah-rah over the top that
at midpoint you want to stand up and say "OK, I get it already, the
Nazis are eeeeeevil." This one is different. There are bad guys -
Conrad Veidt's Major Strasser who practically slithers on his belly and
hisses like a snake he is so vile, guys that are so good that their
teeth sparkle in the sunlight - Heinreid's Victor Lazlo, and a whole
bunch of gray characters just trying to get by - the kind of guys who
vote for who they think the winner is going to be in a Presidential
election. Maybe these gray characters are truly out for themselves and
see it as a game or a matter of survival - Claude Rains's Captain
Renault, or maybe they were fighters for the good fight at one time and
when karma dealt them a bad blow they became cynical - Bogart's Rick
You've got a great supporting cast - Greenstreet, Lorre, Sakall, and Dooley Wilson as Sam, a guy with a rare level head who looks out for Rick and seems to see Rick's cynicism as an illness he has to be nursed through while tickling those ivories - a rare humanizing role for an African American in 1942.
Plus this thing defies all laws of synergy - it works on a grand scale as an entire work of art, but you can break out individual scenes and enjoy them divorced from the rest of the film, and there are great individual lines suitable for framing "I stick my neck out for no man" and " I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here" says Captain Renault as he closes down Rick's and stuffs gambling winnings into his pocket - this last line has almost become a metaphor for American politics and politicians.
Bottom line - Rick Blaine is Han Solo. Both characters were vital to the success of the films in which they starred. People always love a romance/adventure involving a talented cynical loner who ultimately joins or rejoins the good fight for the right reasons, a guy who is a bit too good to be true, and a woman who is torn between actually loving the first kind of man and feeling like she should really love the second kind of man. That is Casablanca and that is Star Wars, but Star Wars does not have Captain Renault and Casablanca does! Wow, I've always been afraid of reviewing Casablanca because I didn't know where to start, and it looks like I just did.
I consider myself an old film buff. There are plenty of pictures from the Golden Era which I appreciate; which satisfy me; which I can stand back and really marvel at. Casablanca is too close to my heart for that. This film is too special. Films like Casablanca or It's a Wonderful Life, the emotion is so red hot that they're still alive today. They make you believe. You could say watching Casablanca is like wrapping yourself in a comfortable blanket, but blankets wear out. It's really like actually spending 102 minutes at Rick's café with the people you care about, whom you grow fonder of with each visit. That's Casablanca to me.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Play it again Sam". "We'll always have Paris". "Here's lookin' at you
kid". "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world she
walks into mine".
These famous lines are just a few amongst the many memorable lines in the 1942 blockbuster Casablanca that was re-released Wednesday, March 21st to commemorate the monster classic's 70th anniversary. I was not about to wait for Casablanca's 100th Anniversary screening to see the hit movie on the big screen so I purchased a ticket to enter a silver screen time portal to view the film the way it was meant to be seen .on the big screen. Unfortunately, the prices of the ticket, the popcorn and the soda did not go back in time but if there is a movie that is worth every cent of admission and snacks it is Casablanca.
For the very few of you who are not familiar with the plot of Casablanca here is a very brief synopsis of the classic. It is WWII and Casablanca is a haven for refugees who are escaping the stronghold of the Nazi military in eastern Europe. Escapees are willing to do whatever it takes to Get from Eastern Europe to Casablanca, Morocco to Lisbon, Portugal and finally, to absolute freedom in America. Rick's Americain Cafe is a hotbed of political corruption and refugee deal making in the tumultuous city of Casablanca. As interesting and complex the goings ons at Rick's may be it really just serves as a sub-plot to one of the most famous love affairs in movie history between the beautiful Ilsa Lund played by Ingrid Bergman and the timeless, cool, calm and collected Rick Blaine who owns Rick's Americain Cafe played by, of course, Humphrey Bogart.
I am not going to waste your time by going any further with the plot summary of this movie but I will say that with each time I see this phenomenon of a movie I am more and more amazed by the screen writing of Philip and Julius Epstein with Howard Koch. Incredible as the performances that are given by Peter Lorre(Ugarte), Claude Rains (Capt. Renault), Paul Henried (Victor Laszlo), Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman the ingenious screen writing of the Epsteins and Koch cannot be overlooked. To write a screenplay that embodies the beautiful complexities of love and the heinous complexities of WW2 politics is truly a feat of artistic genius displayed by the Epstein's and Koch. As the old saying goes, they don't make movies like this anymore.
Unfortunately time portals are not yet a reality but a movie theater is a great place to escape to another time, especially if you are seeing a classic like Casablanca. For those of you who have not seen Casablanca on the big screen please do not miss the next chance you have to do so. Here's to Casablanca being played again Sam.
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Let's not rehash the old accolades of Bogie & Bergman which still ring true. I watch this over and over because it represents a type of commitment and honor that I believe we all wish we were capable of. The dialog is full of the utmost courtesy, while the humor can bob and weave into the script that still manages to pull the romance through the end. The side characters are very strong, if not stereotypically played out, but ultimately memorable, none the less. Of all the quotes that echo, it is Ricks' heartbreak and bitterness wrapped up in his replying if he remembered Ilsa, "The Germans wore gray, you wore blue." War, romance, humor and dignity and all in seven words, that's class!
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