Casablanca (1942)

Rating: ****
Review Date: 7/3/05
Director: Michael Curtiz
Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henried, Claude Rains, Sydney Greensreet, Peter Lorre

An American classic. It's 1941, and refugees are desperately fleeing a war torn Europe. One of the few free ports is Casablanca in French Morocco, where exit visas are granted for people to travel to America. For a price, that is. Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) runs the most popular café in Casablanca, and his world is turned upside down when he comes into possession of two stolen travel documents. The situation is made worse when his long lost love, Ilsa (beautiful Ingrid Bergman) shows up with her husband Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), who is an important leader in the Czech underground. Captain Renault (delightful Claude Rains) has orders to detain Laszlo, who is wanted by the Third Reich, and only Rick can get him out of Casablanca alive. But will he?

A beautiful film in all regards. The writing is sharp and witty, the direction is slick, the music is stirring, and the cinematography is superb. Excellent performances by all of the players, and the exchanges between Rick and Renault are priceless. While the film is full of famous and memorable quotes, the one that really hits home is when Ilsa says "one girl hurts you and you take your revenge on the entire world." Yeah, I know how that feels.