Worth A Look: 9.03%
Pretty Bad: 2.08%
Total Crap: 3.47%
5 reviews, 114 user ratings
Hell YEAH! With an immensely talented cast, a competent director, one helluva script, and a whole lot of luck, Casablanca evolved from just another big studio assembly line production, into quite possibly, the best film ever!Set in French Morocco during World War 2, Casablanca provides the perfect backdrop for an intriguing story and memorable cast of characters.
"This is one of the best movies of all time?"
Actors own this movie.
Every performance is dead on, led by Humphrey Bogart as Rick, the American owner of the most popular nightclub in town, cleverly named “Rick’s."
Bogart is the Michael Jordan of cinema. I almost got in a fist fight with my girlfriend’s mom when she said, “Yeah, he’s good, but he can’t act.” Bullshit! Bogart can act, and it’s a travesty he didn’t receive a shiny bald statue for his work in this film. His Rick is a cynical S.O.B. He doesn’t,“stick his neck out for nobody,” and you can’t help but love the guy. His character is strong, yet understated. He’s got attitude, but he doesn’t have to prove it all the time by bashing someone’s head in with a rock. Language is his weapon of choice, and he can banter with the best of them. The guy's a stud of the highest pedigree. His only pleasure in life is running his nightclub. Yeah, he’s got women, lots of them, but like Snoop said, he “don’t love them hoes.”
But that all changes when “she” walks in. “She” is Ingrid Bergman, in the performance of her career. She plays Ilsa, the only woman Rick has ever loved. She disappeared without explanation years ago in Paris, and now, with a husband, she reenters his life. The initial meeting is quite a shock for both of them. Needless to say, he’s pretty pissed at her.
To make things more complicated, her husband is Victor Laszlow, the outspoken leader of an underground Nazi resistance, and one of the few men Rick respects. Laszlow needs Rick’s help to get two papers of transit so he and Ilsa can escape to the States. Rick just might have two such papers, but he also still has feelings for Ilsa, and it turns out, she for him.
That’s the basic plot, but what makes this movie truly great is, EVERYTHING!
The supporting cast is the best ever assembled in any film.
Claude Rains steals the show as French army Captain Louis Renault. He gets a generous portion of the numerous classic lines, and is the source of much of the film’s humor.
Peter Lorre plays the weird, creepy guy better than anybody, and it’s too bad he doesn’t have a bigger part.
Conrad Veidt is chilling as Nazi Major Heinrich Strasser, who is determined to stop Laszlow.
Laszlow himself is played to perfection by the underrated Paul Henreid.
I can’t forget to mention the terrific Sydney Greenstreet as competing nightclub owner, Ferrari. And, of course, the also brilliant (I’m running out of adjectives!!) Dooley Wilson as the piano player Sam.
Dammit, they're all so good.
The actors had a lot to work with, though. The writing is top notch, and the dialogue cuts through the air like Freddy Krueger through teenyboppers. That in itself is somewhat of a surprise, considering the script passed through so many hands as it was written and rewritten.
The ending hadn’t even been decided on until it was almost time to shoot it, but you’d never know; the whole production is flawless. There’s nothing extraneous, just a tight, well paced, jewel of a movie.They really don’t make them like this anymore (the lousy bastards).
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originally posted: 12/10/99 16:05:20