“Here’s looking at you, kid.”
Well, after some technical issues I have finally seen the classic film Casablanca. This film is considered one of, if not the most, classical films ever made. The film was released in 1942 and was directed by Michael Curtiz. It stars Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid and features Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre. Is this film really as classic as everyone always says? Let’s take a glimpse at it and see.
The film is set in early December 1941, during World War II. Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) is a bitter, cynical American expatriate living in Casablanca. He owns and runs “Rick’s CafÃ© AmÃ©ricain”, an upscale nightclub and gambling den that attracts a mixed clientÃ¨le: 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.
When confronted with authorities who announce that Laszlo (Paul Henreid), a famous fugitive Czech Resistance leader who has escaped from a Nazi concentration camp, has arrived and is looking for letters of transportation to escape to America, Rick claims to be neutral in all matters and will not stick his neck out to help anyone.
This all changes when his ex-lover, Norwegian Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman), enters Rick’s establishment with her husband who just happens to be Laszlo. Now Rick is torn between staying neutral to nazi and French authority so that he may continue to operate his club or to help his former flame.
Which will he choose? How will this end? You’ll have to watch to find out!
This film is pretty good. The writing is excellent and the actors are all really strong. The plot is purely dramatic (that is to say there’s no real violence or strong action scenes). And of course there’s the iconic dialog that everyone has probably heard at least once in their lives (myself included before this film): “If that plane leaves the ground and you’re not with him, you’ll regret it. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.” As well as “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
My only real problem with this film is that it ends so abruptly. I want to know what happens with Rick at the end. We, living in the future, already know who wins the war so Laszlo isn’t nearly as interesting to me as Rick is.
So yeah, is it worthy of being one of, if not the, highest rated films throughout all of history? Yes. Yes it is. See this movie.