Casablanca (1942)

PG   |    |  Drama, Romance, War


Casablanca (1942) Poster

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

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8.5/10
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  • Roberto Leoni in Casablanca (1942)
  • Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca (1942)
  • Humphrey Bogart and Sydney Greenstreet in Casablanca (1942)
  • Claude Rains in Casablanca (1942)
  • "Casablanca" set Railway station 1942 Warner Bros.
  • Sydney Greenstreet in Casablanca (1942)

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6 December 2001 | Snow Leopard
A Classic Worth Remembering
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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