2019 Blind Spot Series: Casablanca


What I knew going in: The basic story and the two famous lines.

Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) is a cynical American man living in Casablanca, Morocco during the early stages of WWII. He runs a popular night club which also doubles as a place where people can secretly buy exit papers to flee. When his ex-girlfriend, Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman) shows up with her husband looking for papers herself, things get complicated.

I was putting this off because for some reason I thought this film was three hours long. Turns out it's not even 90 minutes. A very brisk one at that. 

I ended up liking this far more than I expected to, it's a really solid film Strangely enough, it wasn't Rick and Isla together I loved so much, it was Rick and his friendship with the police captain Louis Renault. (Claude Rains) Rains and Bogart have excellent chemistry together. I loved that the setting was mostly in the club as well. It gives the film an upbeat vibe even though it's dealing with some very serious issues.

The cinematography also stood out. I think the scenes of Isla with tears glistening in her eyes are some of the best shots ever put on film. She looked so beautiful. I wish we had gotten a bit more of Isla's story. We hear most of it from Rick other than her explanation of why they parted and I just wanted to know more.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A-

Memorable Quote: "I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship." - Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart)

Aside: This is my 2000th post on my blog! Wow! I felt like I was just talking about hitting 1000.

14 comments:

  1. YES! I was looking at your remaining Blind Spots and this was the one I've been waiting on. I think I would have been shattered if you hadn't liked it. It's my favorite movie of all time. I love everything about it. It's the movie that years ago really opened me up to classic movies.

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    1. This would be a good place to start with classic films. I'm glad I ended up liking this one so much as the last few I've watched have been more on the meh side. And now I might not even get to see Scenes From Marriage. I might have to last minute swap that one.

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  2. I would not have known what to say if you said you didn't like this film. I love this film...LOVE! Claude rains is excellent in this film("I'm shocked...shocked, that there is gambling here"...Here are your winnings..."Oh yes, Thank you very much.") The lines in this film are brilliant ("Are my eyes really blue?") as is the cinematography. In lesser hands, the actors would have screwed up some lines, like some Ilsa says to Rick. You are right about Rains and Bogie being brilliant together. Many of the extras in this film actually did escape Nazi Germany include Conrad Veidt who plays Major Strasser. Veidt was married to a Jewish lady and he was an open critic of Hitler. In fact, he was "arrested" in 1938 or '39 and only escaped with the influence of the studio.

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    1. I read that about the extras! I'm glad I enjoyed this. It was so much better than I expected it to be.

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  3. Happy 2000. I love this film as I was glad to see this in a theater nearly a decade ago. My mom didn't think much of it as it wasn't for her. Claude Rains was my favorite thing in that whole film. He's just cool.

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    1. Thank you! That's too bad your mom didn't like it, but I'm glad you did.

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  4. YAY! One of my all-time favorites. The script is just SO GOOD. So many quotable lines, delivered flawlessly by one of the greatest ensembles ever put on film. So happy you liked it!

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  5. Glad you like this one. Rains was a high point for me, too. He deserves all the love we can give him for this.

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  6. I'm late commenting on this one, but the holidays are always so hectic things do tend to slip by.

    I'm with the crowd on this one, it's a great film. Funny that it turned out so well since its production was so fraught with uncertainty, pages being rewritten daily, the ending up in the air until the film had wrapped with two possibles shot, both Bogie and Ingrid sure this was one of the worst pictures they had ever made, etc. It does sound like a recipe for disaster but somehow director Curtiz, that master of any genre, pulled it together.

    Every single performer fits their role so well. Not just the three leads and Rains but right on down to even tiny roles like Marcel Dalio's funny bit as Rick's croupier.

    Claude Rains and Bogart probably do have the film's best chemistry but Bogie and Ingrid definitely share an indefinable something that make their very different personalities mesh. There was talk on and off for years of repairing them for either a sequel or another project but I'm glad it never happened. Who knows if their lightning in a bottle spark could have been recaptured. This way, like Clark Gable & Vivien Leigh in Gone with the Wind, it adds an additional special lustre to the film.

    I've seen it multiple times but was lucky enough to have seen it once in a movie theatre. Always such a different experience, you see how others react to various parts of the movie sometimes drawing attention to something that you never took much note of.

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    1. I wouldn't have guessed this had production problems and rewrites. The script felt to seamless. I'm glad hey never bothered with a sequel either.

      That's awesome you got to see this in a theater. My theater does a "classic" film series but the only time I've ever gone are when they show Rocky Horror Picture Show at midnight.

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    2. I did the Rocky Horror midnight showing years ago when it was at its height. It was fun but after getting showered by water from spray bottles and pelted with paper towels once was enough for me. But it definitely made the film much more memorable especially since that was first time seeing it. Watching it at home was never the same by a country mile!

      I have a friend though who was much more slavishly devoted. He was a member of one of those troupes that reenacted the movie as it played out....he met his first wife doing it! He was Eddie and she was Magenta.

      Anyway I'm so jealous! You should take advantage of that classic series, most if not all those films really are enhanced by seeing them on the big screen.

      Through the years I've seen various ones but most of the time they play in midtown which is about a 35 minute drive for me so I can't always take advantage. When I was younger they used to re-release certain classics-Gone with the Wind (something that just must be seen in a theatre to fully appreciate), The Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music-every few years but that diminished with the rise of home video. But some that I've seen in the a cinema where it really made a difference are Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Rear Window and especially Funny Girl which did a limited run just after they had remastered it. That baby POPPED right off the screen and when Streisand closed out the film with the beautifully staged "My Man" you fully understood how people leaving the theatre in '68 would have been completely blown away by this hurricane of talent.

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    3. Thats' really cool your friends met that way!

      I keep meaning to go to more. One of my Blind Spots last year was a classic showcase then it ended up snowing really heavily the night of so I didn't go.

      They are doing Rope next month, so I might break and give that one a try.

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