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
Rick's Cafe was one of the few original sets built for the film, the rest were all recycled from other Warner Brothers productions due to wartime restrictions on building supplies. See more »
Captain Renault boasts that "I was with them [the Americans] when they blundered into Berlin in 1918." The "Great War's" (WWI) Armistice - that which ceased hostilities, was effective November 1918 but it did not end the war. It did however reestablish the borders back to those at the moment just before the outbreak of war. In other words, the Armistice caused the Germans to retreat from France but never ceded any part of Germany to be occupied by "foreign troops." Sometime later - almost 8-months - the peace was concluded among all but the Americans. The US Congress rejected the Treaty of Versailles and actually the USA didn't conclude a separate peace with Germany (The Central Powers) until the start of 1923 - over 4-years later. While the US may have maintained a 'handful' of troops on the continent after the Armistice, there is no record of them singularly or in concert with their allies ever marching through the streets of Berlin - until 1945 that is. See more »
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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Das Lied der Deutschen
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 See more »
While there's not anything new to be said about "Casablanca", it's good to see one of the classics still getting some attention. By most standards it is at least very good, and there are good reasons why so many still remember it so fondly. Not everyone who watches it today shares the opinion that it is a classic, but it's still good to see fans of modern movies giving it a try for themselves.
The cast is one of its main strengths, not just Bogart and Bergman but also the fine supporting cast. Rains, Greenstreet, Lorre, and the others are indispensable to the atmosphere and the story, and each has some very good moments. It does have its imperfections, but it was not expected to be a classic or blockbuster - everything you read about the production suggests that it was made in a rather slap-dash fashion, under constraints that would have wrecked most other films. It's not hard to see the little ways that this affected the finished product, such as the times when the plot strains credibility a bit, or the characters seem to behave somewhat oddly. (In particular, it might have been even more satisfying if Bergman's character had been a little stronger - Ilsa is charming, but that's entirely thanks to what Bergman does with her; the character herself as written seems somewhat shallow.)
But it turned out anyway to be an excellent combination of actors, characters, and story, a combination that more than makes up for everything else. Different viewers probably remember and enjoy "Casablanca" for different reasons, because it seemingly has a little of everything. While perhaps not perfect, it is well worth remembering and watching.
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