100 Movies to See Before You Die- “Casablanca”

Casablanca is a 1942 American film directed by Michael Curtiz. The film was based on the play entitled Everybody Comes to Rick’s. The film stars Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman as well as a number of other well known actors in smaller parts. The film was set in the city of Casablanca and ended up being rushed to release in order to take advantage of the Allied invasion of North Africa during World War II.

Casablanca was generally well received but did not standout from other films of the day during its initial run. The film won three Academy Awards for Picture, Director, and Adapted Screenplay. Over time, the film grew in popularity and prestige to eventually find itself viewed as one of the most iconic movies of all time. So does this quotable and recognizable film deserve the moniker of “classic?”

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Should this film be considered a classic? Confession…the first time I watched this four or five years ago I found the film boring. When I watched it again this week I realized how sorely mistaken my first impressions were. This year I read a massive biography of Adolf Hitler and that biography contained a great deal about the politics of the Nazi party. This film, released during the height of World War II, is dripping with the political tensions of the day. In some ways it feels like a classy political thriller in the guise of a romantic drama. The film works perfectly as a romantic drama with the iconic performances of Bogart and Bergman. But if you do some reading on the politics of the day it makes the romantic elements feel that much more intense. So I’m going to agree with the consensus and say this film is a definite classic. From the performances, to the sets, to the historical backdrop this is definitely one of the greats.

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Would I own this film? Thankfully, this is one I purchased awhile back before I even knew how much I would enjoy it upon further viewing. This is definitely one worth adding to your personal collection as its timeless quality makes it a good one to pull out and watch any time.

 

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