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1943: Casablanca

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So, Casablanca. This film is known as an American classic, and long before I had ever seen this film I had heard some of the pop-culture quotes that it generated, such as "Here's looking at you, kid.", and possibly "Play it, Sam". It's also the first of these movies that I've seen before: a few years back the City of Waterloo played this movie for a surprisingly well-attended Movies in the Park. Due to the environment and noise, I was a little unclear about the ending when I saw it then.

I felt it was a little weak for being as revered as it is. It's certainly not a bad a movie, and I was entertained, amused, and even touched at parts.

The movie is set during World War II in the Moroccan city of Casablanca, where French refugees have fled from Occupied France, many in the hope of escaping to Lisbon, where they could then fly on to the United States. Rick, an expat American runs his "Rick's Café Americain", a fairly upscale establishment with entertainment and gambling and various shady goings-on. Ilsa, an old lover of his from Paris from before the occupation arrives at the café with her husband, Laszlo, a Czech resistance leader, not knowing Rick is even in Casablanca. They are looking for certain documents that will allow them to leave for Lisbon, which Rick has unwittingly come into. Tensions are tense, revelations are revealed, and antagonists antagonize.

While the tension and romance of Rick and Ilsa (and Laszlo) is charming, the corrupt official Captain Renault provides a clever and witty foil, and much of the film is better for his inclusion.

In sum, entertaining, but not fantastic, but worth seeing just to know what the fuss is (or isn't!) about.
Date: 2009-12-10 03:01 am (UTC)

From: [identity profile]
I quite liked that particular film. I liked The Maltese Falcon even more, though. :)
Date: 2009-12-10 03:24 am (UTC)

From: [identity profile]
This is one of my all-time particular films, but I don't know if I could put an objective finger on why. I just love the feel of many of the scenes.
Date: 2009-12-10 01:26 pm (UTC)

From: [identity profile]
That's one of my weirder typos -- I must have been also talking to [ profile] clawfoot at the time and swapped words or something. I meant one of my all-time favourite movies.
Date: 2009-12-10 01:44 pm (UTC)

From: [identity profile]

I'm with epi_lj. I don't know why I like this movie a lot, I just do. It's like Bogie himself; there's no particular reason for him to be considered the icon that he is. He's not particularly good-looking, he's not particularly charismatic, he's not a great actor by any means... but still, there's some particular Quality about him. This movie is like that.
Date: 2009-12-10 02:00 pm (UTC)

From: [identity profile]
This movie appears to fit into the "older is obviously better" camp. It's awesome for being a blockbuster of the time - kind of like gone with the wind - and an archetype of the romance genre. I think the absorption into common parlance of some key lines is probably where the largest "hype" comes from.


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