Casablanca Introduction to Film English 225 Professor Stave September 29, 2008 Casablanca The movie, Casablanca, based on the play “Everybody Wants to go to Rick’s,” still captivates audiences around the world. This movie was a pleasurable afternoon of great movie watching. The setting of the movie is Casablanca, Morocco during the Second World War. Casablanca is the jump off point to get to Spain and then to America. I think that all four factors of a setting have an affect on this story.
The temporal factor, along with the geographic factor, really set the stage for the opening of the film (Boggs & Petrie, 2008, p. 101). In the middle of all this is Rick’s cafe. The clientele in the cafe definitely encompasses the social structure and economic factors, along with some customs and moral attitudes, of the movie setting(Boggs & Petrie, 2008, p. 101) Rick’s former love Ilsa comes to Casablanca on her way to America and discovers Rick to be a resident there. The love triangle between Ilsa, her husband Laszlo, and Rick keeps the viewer in suspense until the very last minutes of the movie.
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This movie contains all the factors that make a movie a classic. It has great performances by a top cast, a flawless script story line and director, and superb production techniques. In addition, it blends a raging love story with tormenting schemes which makes it one of the best Hollywood movies of all time. Casablanca was never expected to be a large- scale movie. The script was written on a day to day basis even until the last few moments of the movie but despite all that, it made it bigger than any other movie in its time(Casablanca ,2008).
Another aspect of the movie was the filming of the movie in black and white. Now this was not so surprising for the time period, but definitely had the grainy, shadowy look, that made the film, ever more the classic. There are many classical quotes that were used in Casablanca, some of which we still hear being used today. The most famous of course would be ‘here’s looking at you kid,” and who could forget, “play it again Sam,” which according to our text, could be characterized as a leitmotif (Boggs & Petrie, 2008, p. 6). “This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship”, “but we’ll always have Paris”, “go ahead and shoot, and “you’ll be doing me a favor”, these are yet another three quotes which stuck in the minds of audiences everywhere. These quotes help keep the movie and the memories of the actors and actresses alive, even fifty seven years after the original shooting. Let’s not forget the variety of great music the viewer is treated to while watching this movie. The wonderful sounds are unforgettable.
Even if it may be old, it is still bound to catch the attention of any viewer young or old. The line-up of sounds not only features the original score by Max Steiner but also other classics such as “It Had to Be You,” and “The very thought of you,” and of course,”As Time Goes By. ” These songs made the movie more intriguing and helped to keep the movie alive all the way throughout every scene. Some of these songs are still as popular today as they were back when they were first heard. There are a few not so obvious occurrences of symbolism within the movie.
It has been said that Rick (Humphrey Bogart) and his night club represent America’s “neutral” position before the attack on Pearl Harbor and before the U. S. involvement in the Second World War. Rick is a symbol for American isolationism, the guy who does not get involved until the last second and comes right into the middle of the action successfully overcomes it. Laszlo’s mention of his stay in concentration camps which was not a symbol, but rather of the tragedy that was taking place in Germany. It was brave to use mention to this since many feared the thought.
All of these could be summed up as a microcosm of the world, during 1942. The universality of the theme in Casablanca, I believe, is the idea of true love. The love between Rick and Ilsa, endured, despite the struggles brought on by the war. Other themes could be responsibility, courage, duty, and the most important, doing the right thing (Boggs & Petrie, 2008, p. 35) It is no wonder that Casablanca is rated as a classical movie. It has all it takes to stand up to any movie of its time or even now.
It may not have all the special effects that we are able to produce today thanks to the involvement in technology, but it has a story line and cast that are utterly incomparable to any movie since or before it’s time. I am not sure the movie had some deep meaning for me; the story did make me want to be at Rick’s place and take part in the greatest movie of all time. References Boggs, J. & Petrie, D. (2008). The art of watching films. New York: McGraw-Hill, 35-101 Curtiz, M. (Director). (1943). Casablanca (Motion picture). United States: Warner Brothers. www. imdb. com, retrieved September 30, 2008.