Movies You Must Own: Casablanca (1942)

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Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine in "Casablanca"


Casablanca (1942)

Director: Michael Curtiz
Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains

Writers: Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein, Howard Koch

Plot: Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), an exiled American, runs a seedy nightclub in World War II-era Casablanca in Morocco.  All he cares about is booze and money and he sticks his neck out for no one.  When some Nazi officials arrive at his bar, they want his cooperation in capturing a freedom fighter that escaped one of their concentration camps.  Blaine has no plans on interfering, but when the escapee enters the bar on one fateful night, he is shocked to see his old lover enter as well… a woman that left him years ago as the Nazis occupied Paris.  Of all the gin joints in all the world… why’d she have to walk into his?

Why Should You Own This Movie?

The Best of All Time: If you’re a movie aficionado, then they don’t get much better than Casablanca. On the top of many “All Time” movie lists, in this writer’s opinion this is the greatest film ever made.  You owe to yourself to watch this film as it is an American and cinematic classic.

Rick Blaine: Rick is one of the coolest characters ever written.  The man was James Bond before there was a James Bond.  He is certainly the template for every leading man ever since and he was played with such excellent ability by the late, great Humphrey Bogart… one of the coolest actor’s ever.  Blaine can smooth talk his way out of any situation, he can charm any woman he wants and he can take care of business when it needs taken care of.  He looks cool no matter what he wears… whether it’s a tuxedo or a bad ass trenchcoat, Bogart/Blaine wear it with style.  He is one of the quintessential male icons.

The Writing: Even if you never seen this film, you KNOW all the lines.  “Here’s looking at you kid;” “We’ll always have Paris.”  “This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”  Plus many others.  This is one of the most quotable movies ever made.  And forget the dialogue for a minute (as amazing as it is.)  This is also one of the most perfectly structured stories ever written.  Blaine appears to be hard and cold, but the rejection of Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) all those years ago leaves him a broken and emotionally scared man.  Ilsa is the gorgeous but mysterious ex-lover that has come back into Rick’s life, what is her ultimate agenda?  Victor Laszlo escaped a concentration camp and is leading a resistance against the Nazis… a true hero, but do you want him to end up with Ilsa or do you want it to be Rick?  Everything comes to a head in the climax and it’s one of the most memorable scenes in film history.

A Great Romance: Seems like an odd criteria to put in an article about movies every man should watch, but it’s true.  Next time your lady wants to watch some terrible, formulaic “chick flick” you should pop this on.  EVERY woman melts when she sees this film, which is great because it’s not really a “chick flick.”  It succeeds at being both the greatest onscreen romance of all time as well as one of the best “guy” movies ever.  Everybody wins.

When it comes down to it, if you claim to love movies and you’ve never seen Casablanca… well, you’re just cheating yourself.

Here’s looking at you, kid.


Adolfo is a pretentious film douche bag that feels better about wasting four years of film school by posting movie reviews online.

About Adolfo

Adolfo is a pretentious film douche bag that feels better about wasting four years of film school by posting movie reviews online.
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