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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 9.03%
Average: 1.39%
Pretty Bad: 2.08%
Total Crap: 3.47%

5 reviews, 114 user ratings

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by Mrs. Norman Maine

"The stuff that dreams are made on..."
5 stars

The Studio System of the 30s and 40s occasionally got everything absolutely right in their prestige pictures. 'Casablanca', from Warner Brothers, was such a happy accident. What could have been a 'B' potboiler sizzles with onscreen chemistry through impeccable casting and the assured direction of Michael Curtiz.


The overnight Harris polls are in from my first campaign appearance and debate. It’s almost as exciting as watching the trades for Oscar buzz and waiting for those nominations. I beat my worthy Republican opponent in the race for animal control officer for the City of Beverly Hills hands down. 23% of registered voters think I am the better candidate. 16% think my opponent wears a really bad toupee. 14% think I should wear Jennifer Lopez's infamous Grammy outfit for my next debate. (I would never stoop so low as to borrow an outfit from a lesser star) and a whopping 47% think that I am perfect for both leads in the new stage musical of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? which has been announced soon for Broadway. I telephoned Joseph, my manager, immediately and told him to let the producers know I was available for both parts. I see it as a one-woman performance piece in dramatic dance and monologue. I’m just not sure how I'll fit into Victor Buono's suits.

Norman and I felt like having a lazy day to celebrate this distinct upturn in both my political and performance fortunes. We decided to stay in this afternoon and popped an old friend into the home theater system, Casablanca with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. Not many people know that when I was a lithe young ingénue, I auditioned for, and nearly won the role of Sam, the piano player. Unfortunately, I was considered too inexperienced for a role of such depth and complexity and besides, Bette Davis had it out for me on the Warner's lot. I heard rumors that she sabotaged the film of my screen test, and that the Warner’s executives thought they were watching footage of a nature documentary on hippopotami.

Casablanca , an adaptation of a stage play Everybody Comes to Rick’s by the brothers Epstein, concerns the fortunes of Rick Blaine (Bogart), an American expatriate living in the title city on the coast of Morocco, at that time a French posession. Here he runs a nightclub where European refugees, fleeing from the Nazi war machine, while away their time waiting for passage to Lisbon and then on to America. He becomes involved in an eternal triangle with the beautiful Ilsa Lund (Bergman), who loved him and left him Paris several years before and the heroic resistance fighter, Victor Laszlo (Paul Hernreid). These three come together over a set of letters of transit from the collaborationist Vichy regime that will allow the bearer safe passage out of Europe and to America.

The plot is serpentine, but never obscure, with corrupt police officials (Claude Rains), villainous Nazis (Conrad Veidt), euro trash thieves (Peter Lorre), and mysteriously evil kasbah owners (Sydney Greenstreet) each providing moments of humor and suspense as Ilsa must make her choices between the two men and locate and obtain the letters of transit that will keep her and Victor out of a concentration camp; the stakes are high, the emotions are higher, secrets are revealed and all are accompanied by Sam (Dooley Wilson) playing and singing As Time Goes By in the salon at Rick's Cafe Americain. There are so many miraculously good moments in this film that it’s hard to choose a favorite. Victor spontaneously leading the patrons in the Marseillaise to drown out a Nazi sing-a-long, Rick's crooked gambling schemes, flashbacks of pre-war Paris or the climactic showdown at the foggy airport where some of the principals will escape and some will need to stay and face an unknown future.

Bergman, one of the most beautiful faces to ever grace the movies, was never lovelier than she is here and the implied sex and sensuality she gives her love scenes should put every breast baring modern actress to shame. Bogart is her equal, with a finally nuanced Rick showing different shades and layers of complication as the story progresses. My favorite character, however, is Claude Rains' crooked Captain Renault. Despite his supposed off-screen lecheries, the more I view his performance, the clearer it becomes that he's truly in love with another and eventually wins his man. (This may be heretical but watch his line readings and his reactions closely.)

The DVD contains the film and a 'making of/history of' special hosted by Lauren Bacall that looks like rerun space filler from Turner Classic Movies. Skip it and watch the movie twice.

Originally Written 3/17/01
Revised 1/18/02

Roulette table. Letters of transit. Symbolic bottle of Vichy water. Disguised Burbank airport. Gratuitous guitar playing lady. "Here's looking at you, kid." Railway station 'Dear John' note. “Marseillaise” singing.

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originally posted: 01/19/02 06:26:15
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell good film kinda sad tho 4 stars
4/27/16 Ken Nothing's boring about this movie. It's a classic. 5 stars
4/12/15 sjskskdk best film 5 stars
2/19/15 yulfiana not romantic 2 stars
2/12/15 lucas poll shit doesn't deserve in top 50 1 stars
2/11/15 kenika the WORST film ever made! 1 stars
1/28/15 McKenzie Payne This movie is the greatest ever! 5 stars
1/07/15 Robert Tschinkel Who doesn't love Casablanca. Ingrid Bergman is one of the most beautiful actresses ever. 5 stars
1/05/15 thomas LOL 1 stars
9/17/12 VLTampa For people who haven't gotton over a lost love. YUCK 1 stars
9/16/12 cindy madson fantastic 5 stars
6/25/12 Vic Baker one of my Top 2 5 stars
3/31/12 keith miron Overrated ! but it still has some moments 2 stars
3/02/12 stanley welles well executed, brilliantly played out 5 stars
10/18/11 C.M. Chan The best of the best 5 stars
9/09/11 Scot Dee All time classic 5 stars
8/21/11 Lawrence Mercer One of the best films ever made. 5 stars
8/10/11 WENDY Easily one on the best movies ever and it was peter lorre in it, briefly 5 stars
4/18/11 Dorothy Rozdilsky Awesome film, Claude Rains is a great actor, I love him 4 stars
3/23/11 Jeff Wilder Not dated at all. Emotionally touching as ever. Bogie's fantastic. 5 stars
3/14/11 Katie Fogle A classic! I'd definitely recommend it! 5 stars
2/23/11 D.M. Lanham Like any other great movie, only more so. 5 stars
6/01/10 User Name Casablanca is a movie qouter's ace-in-the-hole. 5 stars
4/05/09 Alfonso Turnage Loved the story, but I thought I 4 stars
1/09/09 Shaun Wallner Awesome Story! 5 stars
11/23/08 George Play it Sam 5 stars
8/26/08 aanantha rajan awesome, piece of reality film 5 stars
7/09/08 Quigley A great film with something for everyone. Essential viewing for every fan of the movies. 5 stars
2/17/08 S Peacock This film was sooo boring I thought it would never end-there was no real climax to it 1 stars
1/26/08 proper amateur film critic One of the most outstanding entertainment experiences of cinema history 5 stars
12/19/07 Pamela White worth watching 4 stars
10/15/07 fools♫gold No seriously, this is good. 5 stars
9/20/07 Lisa K A classic! 5 stars
7/29/07 David B & W movie+Smoke filled room+Bergman=The most beautiful face ever to hit the silver screen 5 stars
1/18/07 Oliver Klozov Decent. Don't know if it's the best movie ever made; I haven't SEEN every movie ever made. 4 stars
12/26/06 johnnyfog Claude Rains is as cool as Bogey. 5 stars
12/22/06 R.W.Welch Best script. Best cast. As good as they get. 5 stars
10/17/06 Isaac Baranoff Essential. View it. Now. 5 stars
9/24/06 Matthew Norgard It's not "Nazi-occupied French Morocco" you dimwit. Have you seen the movie? 5 stars
8/23/06 David Cohen Set a standard for how good a movie can be 5 stars
6/30/06 MP Bartley If there is such a thing as a perfect film, this would be it. 5 stars
6/08/06 Peggy Doty THIS WAS A GOOD MOVIE FOR ITS TIME 5 stars
5/12/06 SpyV A near-perfect film, even if part of the plot isn't logical. Every character is memorable. 5 stars
5/03/06 Ashley Hinz Likeable film. Sad, but worth watching. 4 stars
3/18/06 Elizabeth A classic - can't go wrong 5 stars
3/08/06 Carolyn Rathburn Wonderful old classic 5 stars
10/10/05 jay very good movie, however i think that michael curitz held back a little with this one.. 5 stars
7/08/05 John MacKendrick Not the "greatest movie ever made", but an excellent story. 5 stars
7/03/05 Eddie Great Movie 5 stars
6/07/05 Ann simple amazing 5 stars
5/22/05 Desperado An excellent film, in my opinion one of the greatest there ever will be 5 stars
4/09/05 Larry Weisberg THE best film EVER made. 5 stars
2/22/05 Captain Craig Made with real actors, real directors, real writers, when Hollly. knew how to make films. 5 stars
1/19/05 t-1000 goodness, this is good! 5 stars
10/25/04 UMER a great movie-quite overrated though-ROMAN HOLIDAY was better 5 stars
10/15/04 Daniel must be watched more than once, i didn't think much of it the 1st time, now i love it 5 stars
9/26/04 TGFTS unbeatable film of that era and genre in my opinion!brilliant! 5 stars
8/29/04 Conor Crockford great 5 stars
7/02/04 Dan Flinter The greatest 5 stars
6/27/04 Alan More quotable lines than most other movies combined. Best movie ever. 5 stars
6/14/04 dfc The best of the best. Buy the restored 2-disc set, it looks like it was filmed yesterday. 5 stars
6/11/04 T. Maj Best movie ever--but Ilsa should've gone off with Renault 5 stars
5/02/04 MiKe For an old crappy film, the storyline held my attention. 4 stars
3/20/04 Ray We´ll always have Casablanca 5 stars
2/17/04 Mr. Blonde Just great. Lush photography and fantastic performances; we'll always have Casablanca. 5 stars
2/16/04 carmen basallo one of the most well-written films 5 stars
1/25/04 John Ames Not thrilled about love stories, but this is good. 4 stars
11/22/03 ross hendrick YOU MUST REMEMBER THIS 5 stars
11/07/03 Capt' Fox Classic romancic powerful characters, powerful actors, film noir like never before or since 5 stars
9/17/03 Alan More memorable lines than most other movies combined. The best movie of all time. 5 stars
8/16/03 moses best movie ever?FUck No. That title goes to the ten commandments. THE TEN COMMANDMENTS! 4 stars
8/09/03 Will Green This film is fucking amazing. If you don't like it, suck my balls 5 stars
5/20/03 Lin Rainey best b/w cinematography ever. Claude Raines is great 5 stars
3/13/03 Russell Perhaps the greatest American film ever made. 5 stars
1/11/03 Desperado The best script ever written, perfect acting, the best end line in a movie. Icredible. 5 stars
11/24/02 Kyle I acknowledge this is a classic, but has just never done it for me! 3 stars
10/30/02 Patrick fantastic 5 stars
10/29/02 Charles Tatum How can anyone not like this romance? 5 stars
9/18/02 paul tew Depressing 2 stars
5/20/02 Erin Excellent - an all time classic 5 stars
4/02/02 lauren mccreight one of the best ever!! 5 stars
3/08/02 Mo Anand This movie is not one of my favs...maybe too out of time for me...I don't know 3 stars
2/21/02 Shanna This movie is awesome! 5 stars
2/20/02 Xaver Great film. Great characters. 4 stars
12/28/01 LawHog24 Picture Ronald Reagan in Bogart's role. Now thank God the studio changed its mind. See it!! 5 stars
8/31/01 Hooker with a Penis great atmosphere... just imagine the era... occupation, clandestine action, and immigrants 5 stars
8/21/01 Monster W. Kung So much atmosphere, such well written characters. A true classic. 5 stars
8/09/01 E-Funk One of the best films ever made. Bogart is the coolest. 5 stars
5/29/01 svtbruno a true classic...amazing 5 stars
2/26/01 meg its good,i guess...i still don't understand all the fuss. 4 stars
1/25/01 L.Lippold Great!!! 5 stars
1/08/01 wachtrhein i wont say awesome, but certainly, its an excellent time period film. 4 stars
12/04/00 Fred The GREATEST MOVIE OF ALL TIME, as time goes by... 5 stars
11/13/00 The EVIL Penguin an instant masterpiece 5 stars
11/11/00 Rahul Kothari the Classic of all times 5 stars
9/27/00 Timothy L Green this movie rocked for its time. nothing like MIB, or Independence day, but a total classic 5 stars
9/24/00 Devon My favorite film of all time - no contest! 5 stars
9/05/00 David O'Connell The best movie ever made. Period. 5 stars
7/19/00 Terrie Smith A real gem. Bergman is gorgeous; Rains steals the film. 5 stars
6/28/00 perverted pixie You can play it again and again, Sam! 5 stars
6/10/00 Sarah Launivan Now, here's geat cimema. The greatest movie ever made. Even Gone With the Wind can't beat 5 stars
5/05/00 matt This isn't a film. It's like they put cameras in real-life situations and let it role. 5 stars
3/23/00 Richard Wright Its an old cliche, but: They don't make them like this anymore. Pure poetry in motion. 5 stars
11/29/99 Mic No comment required. 5 stars
11/19/99 Tyson Stewart Great movie! Bogart is excellent! Good entertaining story! 5 stars
10/28/99 Candace Bailey Dubs this is the type of film i could watch over and over again and not get tired of.. i love it 5 stars
10/19/99 JonnyAngel I love this movie! 5 stars
10/12/99 little jerry Classic Hollywood but 2nd greatest ever?!Fred C. Dobbs has a stronger claim. 4 stars
8/14/99 Deanna Long You must be careful there are vultures, vultures everywhere. 5 stars
7/07/99 Ben Leostein Rating: **** (out of ****) Category: "Excellent" 5 stars
4/23/99 lucas jackson This movie was an outstanding display of great acting,shit it was great all around 5 stars
4/09/99 GothamDK The best movie to grace the silver screen. Bogie's lines still give me goosebumps! 5 stars
3/14/99 Christina C. Humphrey, a love that can not be- a classic. 5 stars
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  26-Nov-1942 (PG-13)
  DVD: 05-Oct-2010


  02-Mar-1943 (PG)

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