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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
803 ( 44)
Top Rated Movies #50 | 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 exciting as the landing at Casablanca! (NY Premiere Poster Ad) 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

The German song drowned out by "La Marseillaise" is "Die Wacht am Rhein", whose lyrics mentions the German defeat of a French army. The song was put into use by Germany as a second national anthem after the defeat of the French army in the Franco-Prussian War. It regained popularity as a patriotic tune during WWI and again in WWII, so as the song for the German officers it adds an extra layer of symbolism: It was the soundtrack to three very bloody wars against Germany, and two humiliating defeats for France. See more »

Goofs

As Emil comes outside where Rick and Louis are sitting Rick's hand with a cigarette appears at his mouth when an instant earlier his elbows were resting on his knees. 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

As late as 1974, the references to an extra-marital affair were banned in Ireland. The Irish cut got rid of two important sequences. First, after Ilsa tells Rick that she had left him after finding out that Viktor was still alive, the embraces and dialogue that followed were cut. Second, the emotional dialogue at the end of the film from Ilsa's line "You're saying that only to make me go" to Rick's line "What I've got to do, you haven't any part of". This led to Irish audiences' being bemused by the relationship between Rick and Ilsa, and often interpreting Rick's final speech beginning "I'm no good at being noble" as a reflection on the debilitating effects of war. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Veronica Mars: A Trip to the Dentist (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Das Lied der Deutschen
(1841) (uncredited)
aka "Deutschland über Alles"
Music by Joseph Haydn (1797)
Arranged by Max Steiner
Played before and after Major Strasser orders Renault to shut down Rick's
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User Reviews

 
We'll Always Have Casablanca
29 March 2004 | by RWiggumSee all my reviews

Spoilers ahead, but then again, who isn't familiar with Casablanca, even if one hasn't seen it?

I've been watching 'Casablanca' over and over again since I bought the Special Edition DVD, and is there any film out there one can watch again and again without ever being tired of it? And does any film appeal to a broader audience? Just everything about it seems to be as close to perfection as it only can be.

But what exactly is so special about it? Is it its great genre mix, never equaled by another film? When we think of 'Casablanca' first, we remember it as a romantic film (well, most of us do). But then again, its also a drama involving terror, murder and flight. One can call it a character study, centering on Rick. And there are quite a few moments of comedic delight, just think of the pickpocket ("This place is full of vultures, vultures everywhere!") or the elderly couple on the last evening before their emigration to the US ("What watch?").

But 'Casablanca' is not only great as a whole, it still stands on top if we break it apart and look at single lines of dialog, scenes or performances alone. Is there any other film which has more quotable dialog than 'Casablanca'? 'Pulp Fiction' is on my mind here, and 'All About Eve' and 'Sunset Blvd.' come close, too, but still I think 'Casablanca' tops everything else. And not only is the dialog great, it's unforgettably delivered, especially by Humphrey Bogart ("I was misinformed.") and Claude Rains ("I am shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on here"). Many of scenes have become a part of film history; the duel of 'Die Wacht am Rhein' and 'La Marseillaise' is probably one of the greatest scenes ever shot (the only I can think of that would rival it for the #1 spot is Hynkel and the globe from Chaplin's 'The Great Dictator'), and the last scene is probably even familiar to the few people who've never seen 'Casablanca'. Am I the only one who is absolutely convinced that the film wouldn't have become what it is today if Rick and Ilsa would have ended up as the lucky couple?

About the performances: So much has been said about the uniqueness of Humphrey Bogart's and Ingrid Bergman's chemistry as Rick and Ilsa, about Claude Rains' terrific turn as Renault, about the scene-stealing performances by Peter Lorre (one of the 10 all-time greatest actors) as Ugarte and Sydney Greenstreet as Ferrari and about Dooley Wilson stopping the show as Sam. I'd love to emphasize here two other performances, one that is not mentioned quite as often and one which is blatantly overlooked: Conrad Veidt as Major Strasser had a really difficult task here, as his character is the only evil one, but still Strasser is not a one-dimensional character, and it took more than 50 years until another actor gave an equally (maybe even more) impressive performance as a Nazi, Ralph Fiennes in 'Schindler's List'. But why no one ever mentions S. K. Sakall, who plays Carl, the jolly waiter at Rick's Café Américain, is beyond me. He has definitely more screen time than Lorre, Greenstreet and Wilson, and probably about as much as Veidt, and he's a joy whenever he's on the screen. I simply love his reaction when the pickpocket ("Vultures everywhere!") accidentally bumps into him, or the reaction to the "What watch"-dialog. Or how he says he gave Strasser the best table, "being a German, he would have taken it anyway". His performance is simply criminally overlooked.

So is there a weakest link in 'Casablanca'? Every film, no matter how close to perfection, has a minor flaw or two, so one can find them in 'Casablanca', too, if one really tries hard. So yes, one might ask how much sense the entire mumbo jumbo about the letters of transit makes. One might point out that Paul Henreid, although his performance is certainly good, doesn't come close to the greatness of any of his co-stars. However, the film is so close to perfection that I'm almost ashamed that I'm so desperately trying to find less-than-perfect elements.

So whatever films will come, how many sequels will overflow the screen, and how much junk we will have to sit through, one thing is certain if we're desperate to see a great film: We'll always have Casablanca!


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Details

Official Sites:

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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:

$4,375,071
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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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