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  • Writer's pictureThomas Duncan

Casablanca (1942) Revisit #2

Updated: Dec 6, 2023

Original Episode: #50 Casablanca (1942) (released January 6, 2021)

Second Episode: #117 Casablanca (1942) Revisit (released June 15, 2022)

New Episode: #174 Casablanca (1942) Revisit #2 (released August 2, 2023)

Guest: Allyson Techmeier


  • Michael Curtiz as Director

  • Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein and Howard Koch as writers

  • Max Steiner, Music

  • Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine

  • Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa Lund

  • Paul Henreid as Victor Laszlo

  • Claude Rains as Captain Louis Renault

  • Conrad Veidt as Major Heinrich Strasser

  • Sydney Greenstreet as Signor Ferrari

  • Peter Lorre as Signor Ugarte

  • Curt Bois as the Pickpocket

  • Leonid Kinskey as Sascha

  • Madeleine Lebeau as Yvonne

  • Joy Page as Annina Brandel

  • S. Z. Sakall (credited as S. K. Sakall) as Carl

  • Dooley Wilson as Sam


  • Casablanca premiered at the Hollywood Theater in New York City on November 26, 1942, to capitalize on Operation Torch (the Allied invasion of French North Africa) and the subsequent capture of Casablanca.

  • It went into general release on January 23, 1943, to take advantage of the Casablanca Conference, a high-level meeting in the city between British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and American President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Office of War Information prevented screening of the film to troops in North Africa, believing it would cause resentment among Vichy supporters in the region.

  • In its initial American release, Casablanca was a substantial but not spectacular box-office success, earning $3.7 million (equivalent to $47 million in 2020). A 50th anniversary re-release grossed $1.5 million in 1992. According to Warner Bros. records, the film earned $3,398,000 domestically and $3,461,000 in foreign markets.

  • Casablanca was nominated for Best Actor (Bogart), Supporting Actor (Rains), Cinematography - Black and White, Film Editing, and Score.

  • It won for Best Picture, Director (Curtiz), and Screenplay (Epstein, Esptein, and Koch)

  • In 1989, the film was one of the first 25 films selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

  • In 2005, it was named one of the 100 greatest films of the last 80 years by Time magazine (the selected films were not ranked).

  • Bright Lights Film Journal stated in 2007, "It is one of those rare films from Hollywood's Golden Age which has managed to transcend its era to entertain generations of moviegoers ... Casablanca provides twenty-first-century Americans with an oasis of hope in a desert of arbitrary cruelty and senseless violence."

  • The film also ranked at number 28 on Empire's list of the 100 Greatest Movies of All Time, which stated: "Love, honour, thrills, wisecracks and a hit tune are among the attractions, which also include a perfect supporting cast of villains, sneaks, thieves, refugees and bar staff. But it's Bogart and Bergman's show, entering immortality as screen lovers reunited only to part. The irrefutible [sic] proof that great movies are accidents."

  • Screenwriting teacher Robert McKee maintains that the script is "the greatest screenplay of all time".

  • In 2006, the Writers Guild of America agreed, voting it the best ever in its list of the 101 greatest screenplays.

  • 1998 AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies - #2

  • 2001 AFI's 100 Years...100 Thrills - #37

  • 2002 AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions - #1

  • 2003 AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes and Villains - #4: Rick Blaine (hero)

  • 2004 AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs - #2: "As Time Goes By"

  • 2005 AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes - #5: "Here's looking at you, kid."

  • #20: "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."

  • #28: "Play it, Sam. Play 'As Time Goes By'."

  • #32: "Round up the usual suspects."

  • #43: "We'll always have Paris."

  • #67: "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine."

  • These six lines were the most of any film (Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz tied for second with three apiece). Also nominated for the list was "Ilsa, I'm no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world."

  • 2006 AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers - #32

  • 2007 AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) - #3

  • Casablanca currently holds a 99% among critics on RT, a 100 score on Metacritic, and a 4.3/5 on Letterboxd.

Plot Summary: In the exotic melting pot of Casablanca during World War II, Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), a jaded and enigmatic American expatriate, runs a swanky nightclub that attracts a colorful cast of characters seeking refuge from the chaos of war.

When a mysterious and beautiful woman from his past, Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman), walks into his club with her husband, resistance leader Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), Rick's life takes an unexpected turn. As the flames of romance reignite, Rick finds himself torn between personal desires and a higher sense of duty forcing him to navigate a treacherous web of loyalty, love, and sacrifice.

In this timeless tale of heartache and redemption, Casablanca proves to be more than just a backdrop; it becomes a crucible of emotions where the fate of individuals and nations hang in the balance. Acclaimed for its unforgettable dialogue, poignant performances, and a hauntingly beautiful score, Casablanca captures the essence of love's complexities in the midst of turbulent times. This cinematic masterpiece, directed by Michael Curtiz, remains an enduring symbol of classic Hollywood storytelling and continues to resonate with audiences worldwide.

Did You Know?:

  • Like most film stars, Bogart seemed larger than life, but in person he stood 5' 8" tall. Bergman, however, was almost two inches taller. As a result, director Michael Curtiz had Bogie stand on blocks or sit on cushions to make him seem taller than Bergman.

  • At the time Casablanca was made, censors used a heavy hand when it came to Hollywood films — and in a later interview, Julius Epstein remembered just how stringent they were. "The main thing that affected our work in those days was that we were so handcuffed by censorship — remember, the nation shook when Clark Gable said 'damn' in Gone With the Wind," remembered Epstein, who said at the time you couldn't even show a woman getting divorced. Still, when they wrote Casablanca, they tried to sneak stronger language past the censors. "I remember after a long time we could finally say 'hell.' But it had to be a sparse use of 'hell,'" Epstein recalled. "So what we would do was write fifty 'hells' and then bargain with them. We'd say, 'How about twenty-five?' We'd wind up with two or three."

  • The music for the film was written by Max Steiner, an Austrian-born, Hungarian-Jewish composer and arranger who gained fame for his score of Gone With the Wind and King Kong. The classic song "As Time Goes By" was included in the original play, but Steiner didn't like it and wanted it excluded from the film adaptation. But Bergman had already shot the scenes with the song and cut her hair for her next role, so they couldn't be re-shot, and the song stayed. After the movie was released, "As Time Goes By" spent 21 weeks on the hit parade. Steiner later admitted that the song "must have had something to attract so much attention."

The Stanley Rubric:

Original Legacy Score: 9.75

Second Legacy Score: 9.88

New Legacy Score: 9.35

Original Impact/Significance Score: 8.25

Second Impact/Significance Score: 9

New Impact/Significance Score: 9

Original Novelty Score: 7.25

Second Novelty Score: 9

New Novelty Score: 8.5

Original Classicness Score: 9.25

Second Classicness Score: 10

New Classicness Score: 10

Original Rewatchability Score: 9

Second Rewatchability Score: 9.5

New Rewatchability Score: 9

Original Audience Score: 9.5

Second Audience Score: 9.05 (86% Google, 95% RT)

New Audience Score: 8.9 (83% Google, 95% RT)

Original Total Score: 53

Second Total Score: 56.43

New Total Score: 54.75

In Memorium:

  • Sue Marx, 92, American documentary filmmaker and producer (Young at Heart, Oscar Winner 1987)

  • Pamela Blair, 73, American actress (Chorus Line, Annie, Beavis and Butthead Do America)

  • Arthur Rubin, 97, American singer and actor (The Patty Duke Show, The Producers)

  • Bill Getty, 68, American TV producer (The View)

  • Mark Thomas, 68, American film composer (Twin Town, The Final Curtain, Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London)

  • Tony Bennett, 96, American musician, singer, and actor ("I Left My Heart in San Francisco", "Rags to Riches", "Because of You", Analyze This), 20x Grammy winner.

Remaining Questions:

  • Why are two German couriers carrying letters of transit from the French General De Gaulle?

  • Renault only points out when Rick drinks with Ilsa and Laszlo as customers but doesn't make a big deal when he drinks before that with him and Major Strasser?

  • When does Rick decide that he's putting Ilsa and Laszlo on the plane?

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