Casablanca (1942)

“Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine.”

Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid

Casablanca. ‘Classic’, ‘romantic’ and ‘iconic’ spring to mind immediately. Slated as one of the best films ever, Casablanca seems to be getting better and better as time ticks by.

Rick Blain (Humphrey Bogart) owns a little nightclub in Casablanca: “Rick’s Café Américain”. It’s the local hot spot for a bunch of different people, including refugees who seek to reach the USA in hopes of avoiding having to serve in World War 2.

After the killing of 2 German couriers, a petty criminal named Ugarte (Peter Lorre) turns up in Rick’s club with “letters of transit”, allowing the bearer to cross the boarders to America. With these priceless papers sitting in the walls of Rick’s club, things get a little crazy. Not only that but Rick’s world is turned completely upside down when his old flame Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman) turns up at his gin joint one evening with her husband, Czech Resistance leader Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), who has escaped from a Nazi Concentration Camp.

Initially meant as just another piece of World War 2 propaganda, Casablanca is arguably and quite ironically, one of the best love stories ever told. This film will be on most ‘best films of all time’ lists, and will probably be the one title that is frequented most often.

It’s rumoured that Bogart and Bergman hated the filming process as, a well known fact of today, the script was still unfinished when they began to shoot the film. It just shows that even in today’s society when the whole process is rushed so a film can get out in circulation, they still have the potential to amount to class, as is evident with Casablanca. After watching this film I can no longer forgive bad movies just because the people behind the scenes were in a bit of a rush.

Casablanca is a classic. Getting better with time, you’ve either already seen this film dozens of times or need to buy it immediately. It stands as the best love story, and quite simply, the best film ever made.

Star rating:  9/10

Directed by Michael Curtiz.

Running time 102 minutes.

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