|Fig 1 - Casablanca Poster|
The film won the Oscar for Outstanding Motion Picture at the 16th Academy Awards and has since cemented itself in cinematic history as one of the greatest, and endlessly quotable, films of all time. I had always been aware of Casablanca's honourable reputation, though I did admittedly settle into the film with the trepidation that accompanies such a renowned work of art. Needless to say, the film was an absolute joy to behold. I am particularly glad to say this considering many of the stars of The Maltese Falcon (1941) played a part in the film, which I worried would affect my ability to enjoy it. However, it only further justified my perspective of that film specifically, whereas Casablanca showcases it's cast in a much more satisfying way.
|Fig 2 - Casablanca - Rick and Sam|
Furthermore, the cast are pretty spectacular in their respective roles. In-particular Humphrey Bogart, who captures the troubled yet soft character of Rick Blaine with a much more nuanced charm than I had previously seen of his work. Ingrid Bergman is similarly captivating in her conflicted role as a romantic interest torn between the two lives that the war has forced upon her. However for me, Claude Rains as Captain Louis Renault was the most fun to watch in a role that essentially amounts to the 'comic relief' (or as close to it as the circumstances could permit). Renault has a promiscuous way about him and flaunts his corruption in subtle remarks, as well as being responsible for some of the biggest laughs of the film.
Overall, I found that Casablanca lived up to it's reputation entirely. It's memorable characters and veritable "joie de vivre" in the face of adversity makes the film a joy at every turn, leaving oneself with an unruly sense of satisfaction at it's climax. Tinkey tonk old fruit, and down with the nazis.
Fig. 1 Casablanca Poster (1942) From: Casablanca - Directed by: Michael Curtiz
Fig. 2 Casablanca Screenshot (1942) From: Casablanca - Directed by: Michael Curtiz