Without a doubt, when people ask what the pinnacle of the Hollywood studio system was, I point them to Casablanca. It has perhaps the best cast of studio actors ever; added to leads Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid, we get Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet, Conrad Veidt, Dooley Wilson and the incomparable Claude Rains. The story was assembled by the best writers in the Warner’s stable almost be piecemeal. The bulk of the film was shot before they even had an ending. Somehow, it all comes together in this endlessly enjoyable romantic tale of nobility, cynicism vs. idealism, and sacrifice. One of the the two or three absolutely perfect and immortal American films.