Director: Michael Curtiz
Starring Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid
Casablanca, December 1941. The wartime displaced are heading for freedom in Casablanca, anxiously seeking the required letter of transit documents. Many of them find their way to Rick’s Cafe American, run by Richard “Rick” Blaine, a suspicious expatriate and ex-soldier of fortune. Though Rick doesn’t deal in such documents himself, he knows those who do. He is able to get two precious letters of transit just before underground leader Victor Laszlo and his wife Isla arrive. Rick and Isla were once lovers, and he still feels hurt by her leaving him. Now he has the chance to turn Victor over to the Secret Police and escape Casablanca with Isla. The film follows what Rick, who rarely puts his neck on the line for anyone, decides to do next.
Casablanca is surely one of the most adored of all the old Hollywood classics and definitely one of the all time favourites. Casablanca has everything in its favour. Bogart is at his mysterious best playing the anti-hero with all his might, Bergman is stunning and there are some fantastically engaging performances from the supporting cast members.
Even now almost 70 years since its release, you only need to hear the opening few seconds from “As Time Goes By” and you are taken back to glamorous Casablanca. Cult status for Casablanca is backed up with classic lines such as “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”