Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Humphrey Bogart plays in this hugely successful film of yesterday. This movie arrived in the middle of the 20th century and in the midst of the worst war this country has ever scene. Rick Blaine is his name and he owns a thriving restaurant in Casablanca. Casablanca is a French territory but it is being occupied by Germany since France capitulated to the Germans.

Rick used to live in France and he fell in love with Ingrid Bergman who plays Ilsa Lund. Lund is pretty but I doubt she would be that popular now a days. Ofcourse Uma Thurman has appeal despite being goofy looking, tall, and skinny. Cameron Diaz is not that pretty but she receives roles. So who really knows? Paul Henreid plays Victor Laszlo who is married to Lund. Lund must keep their marriage a secret because Laszlo is one of the prominent Jewish leaders of the underground resistance against the storming German onslaught. While Laszlo is away for business, Lund and Rick have a few weeks to drive around in romance in the French countryside. They have have time to wine and dine themselves. Lund would be at risk if the Germans ever captured Laszlo and determined that she was his wife. She does not inform Rick of this so every base is covered and there was not any moral issues unless one wants to take it up with her. So perhaps she has sinned, but the public never had anything but empathy for her situation.

Rick was forced to leave Paris when the Germans took control of Paris. He wanted Lund to accompany him but this never occured. She knew she could not leave her husband. Rick had to leave his restaurant in Paris broken hearted without ever knowing why only a note was left for him from the woman he loved.

Dooley Wilson plays Sam who was the outstanding pianist and singer at Rick's American Cafe in Casablanca. Rick is the one who was dragged weeping onto the train by Sam.

Well, about 1-2 years later, Lund and Laszlo come marching into Rick's popular cafe in Casablanca. Rick's cafe is just hopping every night, Rick is enjoying his life but remaining low key and knows not to bump any shoulders. He allows the leading French official to win at his roulette wheel for instance to avoid any business stoppages and political road bumps which could cause Rick's restaurant revenue loss.

The Germans want to stop Laszlo from having any influence or becoming the next charismatic leader to the Jewish world wide community. Rick gives his coveted and pivotal transfer letters to Lund and Laszlo. He does this as he has the French official at gunpoint. Rick risks his life for the common good. Rick knows the Germans are wrong despite wanting to shy away from politics. Lund wants to remain behind with Rick. She says she can not leave him twice. Laszlo knows his wife has feelings for Rick. Laszlo wants to get to America to begin a Jewish group while not having to worry about being snatched up by the Germans. In enabling this to happen, Rick ends up shooting the German general to enable the plane to leave Casablanca. The French official covers up for Rick. In the end, good and love prevailed.

To me, this movie does not come close to Apollo 13, Braveheart, Shawshank Redemption or other spectacular movies of the contemporary era. But this was a simpler time. Kind of ironic when it seemed the world was caving in to many people at the time.

The writing was exceptional. It would not make it in the modern era. No blood, boobs, bombshells, or boisterousness.

I am not going to allocate this movie any stars. It is out of my league. It is not of my time. I do not know how to evaluate it. It is an American classic already so really what is the point.

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