Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Casablanca (1942) (3rd time)

Set in unoccupied Africa during the early days of World War II: An American expatriate meets a former lover, with unforeseen complications. [imdb]

Nominated for 8 Oscars (as a 1943 film):

Best Picture (WINNER)
Best Director: Michael Curtiz (WINNER)
Best Actor: Humphrey Bogart
Best Supporting Actor: Claude Rains
Best Writing, Screenplay (WINNER)
Best Cinematography, Black-and-White
Best Original Score
Best Editing

We've all seen the 16th Best Picture winner. Casablanca might just be one of the most popular movies in history. I guess its reputation is due to its leading actors and the romance and not so much to the Oscar wins. Isn’t it funny that 2 of the most famous love stories ever: Gone with the Wind and Casablanca give such unusual romance stories?! In GWTW, Scarlett marries twice before finally settling down with Rhet and they don’t stay together for long. In Casablanca, our leading lady is married to another man and at the end sticks with the husband.

I’m not a Bogart fan, but he’s good here and Bergman is even better. However, what I like about Casablanca is that it’s so damn smart and witty without putting much effort. The screenplay is sensational and this is some of the best dialogue you’ll ever hear in this type of movie and from this Hollywood era. Claude Rains gets the best lines, so I was delighted every time he was on screen. The love story is believable, but the action / suspense part of it that makes Casablanca a movie very much worth watching. Oh, yes: and a very good direction from Michael Curtiz.

My rating for the film: 8.5/10. The Catholics must be hating Casablanca because it stopped The Song of Bernadette from winning Best Picture. :)


  1. I found this film to be good, but the best movie of all time? No. Very overrated. Still good though.

  2. I love love love Claude Rains in this movie. "I'm shocked - SHOCKED!"

  3. I didn't like it at first. But on repeated viewings, it really improves.

    It's really sad when they separated in the tarmac. But it's the action and screenplay that keeps it really alive.

  4. I saw this for the first time only a few years ago and again this week. It has converted me to a Bogie fan.

    There's so much about "Casablanca" to love, but what I love is the script. There is not one single line that is out of place. NOT ONE. Even the throwaway bits with no-name characters are perfect.

    The crazy thing is I bet half -- or more than half -- of those lines were the ones scribbled on scraps of paper and rushed to the set.