Casablanca (1942): A Summary
Casablanca is one of the greatest romantic films ever filmed. Casablanca stands out from the rest of the romantic films because it’s a wonderful mix of romance and conflict. Even though it was made in the 1940s, this is one of the rare films that doesn’t appear dated. Because of the excellent casting, it’s tough to imagine anyone else in this movie.
Humphrey Bogart plays Rick, an American expatriate in Nazi-controlled Vichy French Morocco who is running from his traumatic past. His sole focus is on running a popular nightclub in Casablanca, despite the swirling World War II intrigue all around him.
Rick’s Cafe in Casablanca is where Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) and her husband, Czech freedom fighter Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid) meet. A nightclub owned by Americans serves as a hideout for the two Nazi fugitives. Laszlo must act fast to obtain the letters of transit he came for and then flee from the German-controlled local authority led by Captain Louis Renault (Claude Rains).
Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), the one true love of Ilsa’s life, runs the cafe. Sparks fly as memories of a magical moment in Paris fill their minds when they meet each other. Several of the movie’s scenes are among the best in cinematic history, and the film’s emotional intensity is staggering.
It has a number of dramatic lines that keep you engaged until the end of the film. Another favorite was Rick’s comment to Ilsa as she enters into his club: “Of all gin establishments on every street corner in the world, she goes into mine.” I was spellbound by the dialog and was very moved by the song “As Time Goes By,” which was played throughout.
It’s one of Casablanca’s most distinctive qualities that it refuses to succumb to the need to please the audience. This, not the other way around, is why Casablanca has been regarded as one of the finest films ever created. Every romantic should see this film because it is one of the all-time greats of the genre.