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For my second classic movie review this year, I wanted to choose a good romance that you could enjoy around Valentine’s Day. It just made sense to choose Casablanca, a tried and true love story with strains of the theme song woven throughout the film:
“You must remember this: a kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is still a sigh. The world will always welcome lovers as time goes by!”
Let’s talk about Casablanca!
- Year: 1942
- Starring: Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman
- Directed by Michael Curtiz (who also directed White Christmas)
Synopsis from IMDB: A cynical expatriate American cafe owner struggles to decide whether or not to help his former lover and her fugitive husband escape the Nazis in French Morocco.
Why I Love It:
- The setting: I love movies that are set during WW2. This one ticks all the boxes for me: the music, clothes and setting are perfect.
- The stellar cast: Not only are the stars amazing (Bogart and Bergman), but the supporting cast has some of my old Hollywood favorites. Peter Lorre and Claude Rains play such great villains, and you can’t help but love the rotund SZ Sakall.
- The beautiful black and white filming style. Notice how different characters are lit throughout the movie – some with their faces half in shadow, some with bright luminous glows, some with softly filtered romantic light. It’s all part of the story!
- The classic love story. It has everything I want in a romantic movie – good times, heartache, beautiful music and iconic old Hollywood kissing scenes.
It’s Worth Mentioning That:
Nora Ephron wrote or produced many of my favorite “modern” movies, and she often wove references to classic movies in her films. In When Harry Met Sally, Harry and Sally watch and discuss Casablanca throughout the movie.
I love the scene when Harry and Sally discuss the ending and argue whether Ilsa would prefer to be the first lady of Czechoslovakia or to spend her life above a bar. I tend to agree with Sally, “Women are very practical, even Ingrid Bergman!”
In the movie review What’s So Great About Casablanca they say “the sign that a movie is important is that you can quote from it, even if you’ve never seen it.” Famous quotes from Casablanca include:
- Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine.
- Louie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
- I’m shocked! Shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
It’s also worth mentioning that one of the most famous quotes from this movie is actually a misquote. People always say, “Play it again, Sam!” The correct quote (from Ilsa) is “Play it, Sam. Play...As Time Goes By” while Rick just demands, “Play it!”
Ilsa, as the leading lady, has my favorite quotes in this movie:
- Kiss me. Kiss me as if it were the last time.
- I wish I didn’t love you so much.
As a sentimentalist, I can identify with the emotion behind those lines. Ingrid Bergman conveys her deep love with just one look – even her photo on the movie poster reveals a woman in love.
We found this movie poster in Hollywood Studios during our recent Disney trip – Paul’s impression of Humphrey Bogart is a little impaired by his mask, but it was a good one! 🙂
Where To Watch It:
You might even be able to find it for free on YouTube. Just saying. 🙂
If You Like This, You Also Might Enjoy:
- The African Queen – another great one with Bogie!
- Notorious – a film noir with Bergman and Claude Rains
- An Affair To Remember – a good romance for Valentine’s Day weekend!
I tried not to give any spoilers in the clips I shared above. You’ll have to watch it to find out what happens!
Have you seen Casablanca? If not, have I convinced you to give it a watch?