Can you see George Raft as Rick? Jack Warner did, but producer Hal Wallis wanted Bogart. Considered by many to be the best film ever made and one of the most quoted movies of all time, it rocketed Bogart from gangster roles to romantic leads as he and Bergman (who never looked lovelier) sizzle on screen. Bogart runs a gin joint in Morocco during the Nazi occupation, and meets up with Bergman, an old flame, but romance and politics do not mix, especially in Nazi-occupied French Morocco. Greenstreet, Lorre, and Rains all create memorable characters, as does Wilson, the piano player to whom Bergman says the oft-misquoted, "Play it, Sam." Without a doubt, the best closing scene ever written; it was scripted on the fly during the end of shooting, and actually shot several ways. Written from an unproduced play. See it in the original black and white. 50th Anniversary Edition contains a restored and remastered print, the original 1942 theatrical trailer, a film documentary narrated by Lauren Bacall, and a booklet.
Casablanca was a 1942 American romantic drama film directed by Michael Curtiz, starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid, and featuring Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre and Dooley Wilson. Set during World War 2 , it focuses on a man torn between, in the words of one character, love and virtue. He must choose between his love for a woman and helping her and her Czech Resistance leader husband escape from the Vichy-controlled Moroccan city of Casablanca to continue his fight against the Nazis.
Although it was an A-list film, with established stars and first-rate writers—Julius J Epstein, Philip G Epstein and Howard Koch received credit for the screenplay—no one involved with its production expected Casablanca to be anything out of the ordinary; it was just one of dozens of pictures produced by Hollywood every year. The film was a solid, if unspectacular, success in its initial run, rushed into release to take advantage of the publicity from the Allied Invasion of North Africa a few weeks earlier. Despite a changing assortment of screenwriters frantically adapting an unstaged play and barely keeping ahead of production, and Bogart attempting his first romantic lead role, Casablanca won three Academy-Awards, including Best Picture. Its characters, dialogue, and music have become iconic, and Casablanca has grown in popularity to the point that it now consistently ranks near the top of lists of the greatest films of all time.
Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) is a cynical American expatriate living in Casablanca in early December 1941. He owns and runs "Rick's Café Américain", an upscale nightclub and gambling den that attracts a mixed clientele: Vichy French, Italian, and Nazi officials; refugees desperately seeking to reach the United States, as yet uninvolved in the war; and those who prey on them. Although Rick professes to be neutral in all matters, it is later revealed he ran guns to Ethiopia to combat the 1935 Italian Invasion and fought on the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War.
Ugarte (Peter Lorre), a petty criminal, arrives in Rick's club with "letters of transit" obtained through the murder of two German couriers. The papers allow the bearer to travel freely around German-controlled Europe and to neutral Portugal, and from there to America. The letters are almost priceless to the continual stream of refugees who end up stranded in Casablanca. Ugarte plans to sell them to the highest bidder, who is due to arrive at the club later that night. Before the exchange can take place, Ugarte is arrested by the local police under the command of Captain Louis Renault (Claude Rains), a self-admitted corrupt opportunist. Ugarte dies in police custody without revealing that he had entrusted the letters to Rick.
At this point, the reason for Rick's bitterness re-enters his life. His ex-lover, Norwegian Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman), walks into his establishment. Upon seeing the house pianist, Sam (Dooley Wilson), Ilsa asks him to play "As Time Goes By.". When Rick storms over, furious that Sam has disobeyed his order never to perform that song, he is shocked to see Ilsa. She is accompanied by her husband, Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), a fugitive Czech Resistance leader who has escaped from a Nazi Concentration Camp. The couple need the letters to leave for America to continue his work. German Major Strasser (Conrad Veidt) arrives in Casablanca to see to it that Laszlo does not succeed.
|Directed by||Michael Curtiz|
|Produced by||Hal B. Wallis|
|Screenplay by||Julius J. Epstein|
Philip G. Epstein
|Based on||Everyone Comes to Rick's by|
|Music by||Max Steiner|
|Editing by||Owen Marks|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Release date(s)||November 26, 1942(premiere)|
January 23, 1943(general release)
|Running time||102 minutes|
|Gross revenue||$3.7 million|
(initial US release)