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Casablanca

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All-Reviews.com Movie Review: Casablanca

Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman
Director: Michael Curtiz
Rated: PG
RunTime: 102 Minutes
Release Date: January 1943
Genres: Drama, Romance, Suspense, Classic


*Also starring: Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet, Dooley Wilson, Marcel Dalio



Reviewer Roundup
1.  Andrew Hicks review follows movie reviewmovie reviewmovie reviewmovie review
2.  Brian Koller read the review movie reviewmovie reviewmovie reviewmovie review
3.  Dragan Antulov read the review movie reviewmovie reviewmovie reviewmovie review

Review by Andrew Hicks
4 stars out of 4

Unarguably one of the very best films in Hollywood history, CASABLANCA is set in French Morocco just before the start of World War II. Humphrey Bogart plays Rick, the nightclub owner who has refused thus far to take sides with the French resistance or the newly-appointed Nazi officials. He's his usual cool, collected self until a ghost from his past walks in on the arm of the most wanted man in the resistance. The woman is Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), his lost love from Paris who never made it onto the train with him.

Since then he's managed to suppress the emotional scars of jilted love, but finds himself drinking alone that night, pondering the reason why, "of all the gin joints in all the cities in all the world,

she had to walk into mine." No one tells him that if she hadn't there wouldn't have been a movie, but the Paris past of Rick and Ilsa and her reasons for staying behind are what drive the movie, along with the exit visas Rick has in his possession that are the only chance of Ilsa's man, the resistance leader, to get out of Casablanca safely.

Repeated viewings add a lot of poignance to the early scenes, not just in putting the intricate, slowly-unfolding plot in big picture perspective, but in fully appreciating the reunion of Rick and Ilsa in his nightclub and understanding why Rick comes storming out to stop Sam the piano player (Dooley Wilson) from playing "As Time Goes By" after Ilsa requests it. The song, for anyone who's seen CASABLANCA, is symbolic of so much of the movie's meaning that it will be forever identified with CASABLANCA, even though it pops up in a great many other romances, including SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE.

In the end it comes down to the age-old love triangle scenario. Bergman is still in love with Bogart but feels obligated to support her husband, while Bogart is in the situation of being in control of the destiny of the man who is married to the woman he loves. The ending is one of the most famous and memorable in movie history, and just about any line of dialogue is quotable. CASABLANCA is a wonderful, must-watch film from the Golden Age of Hollywood, one of the few movies that has actually improved with age and demands repeat viewings.

Copyright 1996 Andrew Hicks

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