Casablanca Has Something For Everyone

Until a couple of years ago I lived my life in an unknown darkness. I walked in darkness and was unaware. It was Stephen and his wife Renee who opened my eyes and shed light on my path. Until that time I had never seen the movie “Casablanca” starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. My ideas of fine cinema changed that night. What an amazing story!

I love history. The American Revolution and World War II are my two favorite periods in history to study. In both cases I am amazed at the resolve of the colonists and the non-German Western Europeans respectively to resist evil regimes even if it meant their lives. “Casablanca” the film takes place in Casablanca the city in French Moracco during the German occupation of France in World War II. Rick Blaine is an American refugee who owns a night club and is friends with the local prefect of police Louis Renault (and with whom he has “a beautiful friendship”). Rick is an isolationist in terms of politics, foreign affairs, and personal affairs. He “sticks [his] neck out for nobody!”

During the course of the film Rick finds himself dragged into a situation in which a French resistance leader is hiding out in Casablanca while the German gestapo searches for him. The leader’s name is Victor Laszlo. The lady accompanying him is his wife Ilsa, a former lady friend of Rick who broke his heart when she unexpectedly abandoned him with a strange Dear John letter. Now Rick is faced with the decision to get his girl back, or turn in Lazlo to Louis, or defy the gestapo and help them. This movie has elements for the history buff, the romantic, the action movie fan, the fan of suspense all rolled up together. And the dialogue is absolutely superb. There is so much wit in this film.

If you have never watched “Casablanca”, the most quoted film of all time…

“Play it, Sam!”

“Louis, this looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship”

“Round up the usual supsects”

“Here’s lookin’ at you, kid”

“We’ll always have Paris.”

…then make some time this week or this weekend to view it. Put the kids to bed early, make some popcorn, turn out the lights and enjoy what is arguably the finest film ever made. Everyone should see this movie. I would be glad to loan you my copy. But whatever you do, you must watch “Casablanca”. It will change the standard by which you judge every other movie. The so-called cinema that is produced today will lose its flavor for there is nothing that comes close to “Casablanca”. Ever since I watched “Casablanca” the first time there are few films now after which I will sit back and say “wow”. Borrow mine, get it on Netflix, buy it, or rent it! Now! Go ahead!

Josh H.

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