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Casablanca (1942)

Trailer
2:10 | Trailer
A cynical American expatriate struggles to decide whether or not he should help his former lover and her fugitive husband escape French Morocco.

Director:

Michael Curtiz

Writers:

Julius J. Epstein (screenplay), Philip G. Epstein (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Popularity
735 ( 242)
Top Rated Movies #49 | Won 3 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Humphrey Bogart ... Rick Blaine
Ingrid Bergman ... Ilsa Lund
Paul Henreid ... Victor Laszlo
Claude Rains ... Captain Louis Renault
Conrad Veidt ... Major Heinrich Strasser
Sydney Greenstreet ... Signor Ferrari
Peter Lorre ... Ugarte
S.Z. Sakall ... Carl (as S.K. Sakall)
Madeleine Lebeau ... Yvonne (as Madeleine LeBeau)
Dooley Wilson ... Sam
Joy Page ... Annina Brandel
John Qualen ... Berger
Leonid Kinskey ... Sascha
Curt Bois ... Pickpocket
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Storyline

The story of Rick Blaine, a cynical world-weary ex-patriate who runs a nightclub in Casablanca, Morocco during the early stages of WWII. Despite the pressure he constantly receives from the local authorities, Rick's cafe has become a kind of haven for refugees seeking to obtain illicit letters that will help them escape to America. But when Ilsa, a former lover of Rick's, and her husband, show up to his cafe one day, Rick faces a tough challenge which will bring up unforeseen complications, heartbreak and ultimately an excruciating decision to make. Written by Kyle Perez

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

As big and timely a picture as ever you've seen! You can tell by the cast it's important! gripping! big! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

High school teacher Murray Burnett co-authored the play while on summer vacation. See more »

Goofs

In the La Belle Aurore scene, when Rick and Ilsa hear the German loudspeaker outside, Rick picks up the champagne bottle and walks toward the window leaving his glass and the bottle of champagne on a table. As he puts the bottle on the table, it ends up with the label non-visible facing away from the camera. Upon returning to the table five shots later, the bottle has turned 180 degrees so that the label faces the camera - and a champagne cooler with another bottle has disappeared. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: With the coming of the Second World War, many eyes in imprisoned Europe turned hopefully, or desperately, toward the freedom of the Americas. Lisbon became the great embarkation point. But, not everybody could get to Lisbon directly, and so a tortuous, roundabout refugee trail sprang up - Paris to Marseilles... across the Mediterranean to Oran... then by train, or auto, or foot across the rim of Africa, to Casablanca in French Morocco. Here, the fortunate ones through money, or ...
[...]
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Alternate Versions

At the time of release, the film was banned in Germany because the story was considered to be anti-Nazi propaganda by the wartime censors. After the end of World War II, the picture was finally released in Germany but with around 20 minutes of footage cut (all scenes with Major Strasser and all references to Nazism). Other scenes were dubbed so that they had a totally different meaning (Victor Laszlo became Victor Larsen, an atomic physicist). In the 70s the film was redubbed by the ZDF, this time in its uncut form. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bogart - As Time Goes By (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Crazy Rhythm
(1928) (uncredited)
Music by Joseph Meyer and Roger Wolfe Kahn
Played when Rick turns the man away and then talks to Ugarte
(originally from the 1928 Broadway musical "Here's Howe!")
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User Reviews

 
A masterwork for all time...
10 November 2004 | by kdryanSee all my reviews

There is a scene about halfway through the movie Casablanca that has become commonly known as 'The Battle of the Anthems' throughout the film's long history. A group of German soldiers has come into Rick's Café American and are drunkenly singing the German National Anthem at the top of their voice. Victor Lazlo, the leader of the French Resistance, cannot stand this act and while the rest of the club stares appalled at the Germans, Lazlo orders the band to play 'Le Marseilles (sic?)' the French National Anthem. With a nod from Rick, the band begins playing, with Victor singing at the top of HIS voice. This in turn, inspires the whole club to begin singing and the Germans are forced to surrender and sit down at their table, humbled by the crowd's dedication. This scene is a turning point in the movie, for reasons that I leave to you to discover.

As I watched this movie again tonight for what must be the 100th time, I noticed there was a much smaller scene wrapped inside the bigger scene that, unless you look for it, you may never notice. Yvonne, a minor character who is hurt by Rick emotionally, falls into the company of a German soldier. In a land occupied by the Germans, but populated by the French, this is an unforgivable sin. She comes into the bar desperately seeking happiness in the club's wine, song, and gambling. Later, as the Germans begin singing we catch a glimpse of Yvonne sitting dejectedly at a table alone and in this brief glimpse, it is conveyed that she has discovered that this is not her path to fulfillment and she has no idea where to go from there. As the singing progresses, we see Yvonne slowly become inspired by Lazlo's act of defiance and by the end of the song, tears streaming down her face, she is singing at the top of her voice too. She has found her redemption. She has found something that will make her life never the same again from that point on.

Basically, this is Casablanca in a nutshell. On the surface, you may see it as a romance, or as a story of intrigue, but that is only partially correct.

The thing that makes Casablanca great is that it speaks to that place in each of us that seeks some kind of inspiration or redemption. On some level, every character in the story receives the same kind of catharsis and their lives are irrevocably changed. Rick's is the most obvious in that he learns to live again, instead of hiding from a lost love. He is reminded that there are things in the world more noble and important than he is and he wants to be a part of them. Louis, the scoundrel, gets his redemption by seeing the sacrifice Rick makes and is inspired to choose a side, where he had maintained careful neutrality. The stoic Lazlo gets his redemption by being shown that while thousands may need him to be a hero, there is someone he can rely upon when he needs inspiration in the form of his wife, who was ready to sacrifice her happiness for the chance that he would go on living. Even Ferrai, the local organized crime leader gets a measure of redemption by pointing Ilsa and Lazlo to Rick as a source of escape even though there is nothing in it for him.

This is the beauty of this movie. Every time I see it (and I have seen it a lot) it never fails that I see some subtle nuance that I have never seen before. Considering that the director would put that much meaning into what is basically a throw away moment (not the entire scene, but Yvonne's portion) speaks bundles about the quality of the film. My wife and I watched this movie on our first date, and since that first time over 12 years ago, it has grown to be, in my mind, the greatest movie ever made.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | German | Italian

Release Date:

23 January 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Everybody Comes to Rick's See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$950,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$181,494, 12 April 1992

Gross USA:

$4,108,411

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,374,761
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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