Thursday, December 9, 2021

A Casablanca Review By Florida Critic Scott Cooper

Casablanca (1942)A Casablanca Review By Florida is an American romantic wartime drama directed by Michael Curtiz

The film stars Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. It was filmed and set in WWII and focuses on an American expat who needs to choose between his love for Bergman and his need to help her husband, a leader of the Czech resistance, A Casablanca Review By Florida to flee from Casablanca so he could continue fighting against the Germans.

“Casablanca is one of the most popular films ever made according to film critic” Scott Cooper Florida

Producer Hal B. Wallis bought the film rights in January 1942. Principal photography started on May 25, 1942 and wrapped on August 3. The film was shot in Burbank, California, at Warner Bros. Studio aside from a single sequence shot at Van Nuys Airport.

was an A-list movie but one that was expected to perform ordinarily. When the Allied invasion of North Africa occurred, Casablanca was pushed into production to take advantage of the publicity. The world premiere of the movie was November 26, 1942. After the New York premiere,A Casablanca Review By Florida the movie was released nationally in the U.S. on January 23, 1943.

Outperforming expectations, Casablanca won the Academy Award for Best Picture, Curtiz was awarded Best Director while Koch and the Epsteins won Best Adapted Screenplay. 

The reputation of this movie continued to improve over time.

Casablanca Plot

Action begins in December 1941. American expat Rick Blaine is the owner of a glitzy nightclub in Casablanca that doubles as a gambling joint. 

Rick’s Café Américain is frequented by a diverse clientele from German and Vichy French and officials through to refugees and those who prey on them. 

Rick claims to be neutral, he had  previously run guns to Ethiopia then fought on the loyalist side during the Spanish Civil War.

Ugarte, a petty criminal, boasts to Rick that he has obtained “letters of transit” after killing two German couriers. These papers permit free travel throughout German-occupied Europe. Ugarte plans to sell these letters of transit at the club, asking Rick to hold them. Ugarte is arrested by the prefect of police, a corrupt Captain Louis Renault. He dies in custody but it is not revealed that he left the letters in Rick’s custody.

Rick’s former lover, Ilsa Lund, enters the nightclub along with Victor Laszlo, her husband who is a Czech Resistance leader on the run. They need these letters so they can escape America and he can continue his work. German Major Strasser is in Casablanca to foil Laszlo’s plan.

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Laszlo starts making inquiries. Ferrari, a heavy underworld presence and Rick’s business rival, reveals his suspicion that Rick is holding the letters. 

Ilsa confronts Rick but he refuses to give her the letters. She then threatens him with a gun, but confesses she still loves him. She explains that when they fell in love in, she believed her husband was dead. She left Rick without any explanation to tend for her dying 

Laszlo appears unexpectedly, having just escaped a police raid. Rick gets a waiter Carl to take Ilsa away. 

Laszlo is arrested on a trumped-up charge and then Rick persuades Renault to release him by promising to set him up for possession of the letters, a much more serious crime. Rick then turns the table and forces him to help them escape at gunpoint.

At the very last minute, Rick insists that Ilsa boards the plane with Laszlo.

Production

The film was based on Everybody Comes to Rick’s. When Hal Wallis bought the rights for $20,000, this was the most at the time Hollywood had paid for an unproduced play.

Renamed Casablanca, filming was delayed and eventually began in May 25 and was completed on August 3, coming in $75,000 over budget at $1,039,000.

The whole movie was shot in the studio, save for one clip filmed at Van Nuys Airport, along with a few stock footage clips of Paris.

Cinematography

The cinematographer, Arthur Edeson, was a veteran of The Maltese Falcon and Frankenstein. 

Bergman was shot mainly from her preferred left side, usually with a softening filter and catch lights to make her eyes sparkle.

Dark film noir and expressionist lighting is used in some scenes, especially towards the end of the movie.

Release

Casablanca was released on November 26, 1942 at the Hollywood Theater in New York City.

General release was January 23, 1943, to coincide with the Casablanca Conference, a meeting between Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt. 

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