Its still the same old story.....a fight for love and glory...
The story-Rick the owner of a nightspot in the city of Casablanca runs into his former lover Ilsa, who is secretly fleeing the Nazis with her husband Victor, who is part of a resistance. Though Ilsa is still married, she still has strong feelings for Rick and the life they had long ago. Rick feels the same as well. An envelope, containing passports, will be the key that will change their ways forever. An incredible story about the troubles of love in the midst of war. Screenwriters Julius Epstein, Philip Epstein, and Howard Koch conceived the marvelous screenplay in which tells of a seemingly forgotten past coming back to haunt two former lovers. They pull off so drama into this film that it is almost impossible to say that this would have never occurred. It is no surprise at why they won the oscar for best screenplay.
The acting-Humphrey Bogart plays Rick and he does an astounding job, giving the character a human sense about him yet acting cool and soulless at the same time, a marvelous performance. Beautiful actress Ingrid Bergman plays his former lover Ilsa and gives a performance just as worthy as Bogart's and she does so well in trying to contain her character's love for Rick inside of her and yet she has trouble in doing so. Paul Henreid plays Ilsa's husband Victor and he is a brave, cunning character that it is no surprise at why Ilsa would marry him. Claude Rains plays Captain Renault and his character is one of the most perplexing ones in the film. Is he a good character or a bad one? He keeps the aura of this question around his character so well that audience members would come to love him as they do the rest of the cast. Bogart and Rains would come to garner oscar nominations. The entire cast is excellent and even to this day, their performances, I would consider, extraordinary.
The directing- Michael Curtiz brings the screenplay to life on the big screen and not only does he tap into the actors, helping them bring excellent performances, he also did very well in keeping his film progressing. The film was behind schedule and yet he managed to cap it and it earned him the 1942 oscar for best director.
The visuals-truly spectacular. Though there is no cgi during this time, the film uses models and paintings to help bring it to life. In the ending sequence, there are multiple planes behind the plane in which Ilsa and Victor are to board. These are in fact, not real planes. They were models. The company had decided it would be too much to finance for planes and they were behind schedule. Nevertheless, the special effects crew did a truly magnificent job. The cinematography is also to praise as ingenious as well. Cinematographer Arthur Edeson brings so much into the film through visuals that it is even likely that his shots could have told the story itself. One shot I loved was a close up shot of Ilsa's face. The lighting on it made it glow, not only to symbolize beauty, but innocence and the love that Rick has for her. Excellent work which garnered him a nomination as well.
The score-Max Steiner (who also composed for "gone with the wind") gives a score that brilliantly examines the boundaries of love and its consequences. He also does great in helping to bring out the "human" in Rick. The lover once inside of him.
The film editing-the cuts and transitions are done so well, it could give today's films a run for their money. Film editor Owen Marks not only does this well, but he also helps to strengthen the film and make it flow much more easier and simpler for those to understand.
Overall, a classic and definitely a film not to be missed. You will not regret it.
This has been another review by daveactor7 :)