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Casablanca is 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 II, it fo
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 hundreds 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 the film 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. His upscale nightclub and gambling den, "Rick's Café Américain", 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 Loyalist side in the Spanish Civil War.
From left to right: Henreid, Bergman, Rains and Bogart
Petty crook Signor Ugarte (Peter Lorre) shows up and boasts to Rick of "letters of transit" he obtained through the murder of two German couriers. The papers allow the bearer to travel freely around German-controlled Europe and to neutral Portugal.
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 at the club later that night. Before the exchange can take place, however,
Ugarte is arrested by the local police under the command of Vichy Captain Louis Renault (Claude Rains), a self-confessed corrupt official. Ugarte dies in 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 spotting Rick's friend and 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 renowned fugitive Czech Resistance leader who has escaped from a Nazi concentration camp.
They need the letters to leave for America, where he can continue his work. German Major Strasser (Conrad Veidt) arrives in Casablanca to see to it that Laszlo does not succeed.
Release date: 23 January 1943
User Votes: 8.7
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid,
Genres: Drama, Romance, War,
MPAA Rating: Unknown
Runtime: 102 minutes
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