Time could've made Casablanca a typical boy-meets-girl-then-boy-loses-girl story that it essentially is, yet it's so damn well finely done and elegant. There's so much grand dialogue and fine characterization here, and it also has a brilliant command of flow, with fine attention to story structure, and its turning points of conflict expertly placed. It proves that Hollywood melodrama can still be artistic.
Essential cinema. Funny that the leads thought they might be making a turkey when filming then watched it go on to win the Oscar and become a staple on the re-release circuit for decades. Bogart and Bergman were sublime here and given the script to match. Supporting cast was perfection as was the rich cinematography. Too many classic scenes to pick a favourite but perhaps the rendition of "La Marseillaise".
Still the first movie that comes to mind when I think of classic Hollywood. Watching this movie is pure cinematic bliss and I could watch it over and over again. Everyone involved is at the top of their game - Bogart, Rains, Lorre, Henreid, Bergman, Greenstreet. It's lofty reputation might be hard to live up to, but Casablanca does so. This movie never fails to bring a smile to my face.
It has a charm to it, but I don't understand how people can call this film romantic. Romance, for me, is made when people open themselves to each other to fill an emptiness in their life that only the other can. Answer me this, what does Ingrid Bergman get from him. Plus, his relation with her, as Kael mentioned it, is no different than one with a hooker. Why is he angry? What does he know about her? Still watchable
On a rewatch, I'm struck by how bad a person it seems Ilsa is. She leaves Rick in Paris with no explanation, almost never gives him one even after she runs into him in Casablanca just because he was mad about it, and pulls a gun on him for the visas right before deciding instead to betray her husband and his cause because she changed her mind again? I can't be the only person who feels this way right?