2/22/12: Casablanca

I’m shocked, shocked to find that Casablanca is being blogged in here!!

Hi Readers. I’m Paulie Marino & I’m thrilled to review the 1942 classic, Michael Curtiz’s Casablanca, starring Humphrey Bogart & the greatest Ingrid Bergman, a tale of politics, patriotism, war & corruption. But mostly, it’s a ROMANCE. Casablanca, the classic romance between Rick & Ilsa is what endears the movie for all these years to audiences everywhere. It’s said that greatness is measured over time, and this timeless romance certainly passes that ultimate test. It only gets better As Time Goes By.

The cast includes Claude Rains as the lovable but corrupt Vichy Police Captain Renault; Paul Henreid plays the fictitious celebrated Nazi resistor, Victor Laszlo; and the brief but important role of Ugarte is played marvelously by Peter Lorre. The film is based on Murray Burnett & Joan Alison’s unpublished play “Everybody Comes to Rick’s”. Listen for Claude Rains’ quote of the title early on in the film. The setting is Casablanca, French Morocco before the US joined the Allied Forces. The city, part of unoccupied France, is a stopover point for Europeans attempting to obtain exit visas to escape the war to America through Lisbon. The visas are very hard to come by and mainly only obtainable by bribing government bureaucrats like Renault. Two such visas are the open-ended “Letters of Transit” signed by General De Gaulle which were stolen by Ugarte and cannot be rescinded. They only need to be dated & designated to get the users out of Casablanca. The Letters of Transit are the catalyst for the plot.

Casablanca received Oscars for Best Picture, Director, and Screenplay at the 16th Academy Awards. In addition, it was Nominated for 5 others including Bogart & Rains, and Best Score for a Comedy or Drama. The music in this film is fantastic. The soundtrack includes As Time Goes By, It Had to Be You, Knock on Wood, Baby Face, and You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby.

There are many memorable lines from this film, but perhaps the most famous, “Play it again, Sam” was not in it. It’s such a famous quote that Woody Allen wrote a Broadway play and subsequent film w/ that title about a man obsessed w/ the Bogey’s characterization of Rick.

So if you haven’t seen it, or even if you have, run out and rent Michael Curtiz’s Casablanca tonight!!!


3 thoughts on “2/22/12: Casablanca

  1. You’re killing me! I guess when I return the library copy of Moonstruck tonight, I will be rounding up the usual suspects and checking out Casablanca. It’s hard to pick a favorite scene or line. But I am always moved when Rick gives the ok for the band to play “La Marseillaise” and everyone joins in (much to the chagrin of Strasser and company). The little details are so well done too (like when Renault tosses the bottle of Vichy water in the trash at the end).

  2. I agree. La Marseillaise is one of the most powerful scenes in all of film. I’ve often thought that the climax at the end of Paths of Glory, where Stanley’s soon-to-be-wife Christine sings the German patriotic lament to the French infantry who are threatening to gang rape her, albeit unspoken, was inspired by La Marseillaise. Thank you for your continued support of my words. They’re all I have 🙂

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