Tuesday, July 15, 2008
There's not a lot to say about this classic film that hasn't already been said... but in case you've been under a rock or adverse to black and white I'll give a brief rundown of the plot. Rick (Humphrey Bogart) is minding his own business running a little night club in Morocco some time after the Germans rolled into Paris when the love of his life Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) walks through the door. Although the story weaves between the political climate and a plot regarding exit visas, this is essentially a love story about a man who is forced to take a side. Rick is friends with Chief of Police (Claude Rains) and knows that is a dangerous time to do so.
The plot is hardly revolutionary, but the script was for the time. The rapid fire, smart dialogue is something quite lacking in most older films and surprised me the first time I watched Casablanca. This is probably the chief reason this film holds up so well over time compared to it's comtemporaries. All the leads are well casted and devour their roles. Director Michael Curtiz never oversteps his boundaries with flashy shots... preferring to keep the camera as an outsider to the intrigue going on inside of Rick's club.
Casablanca is absolute masterpiece and is a firm reminder why older films can still be as important as newer ones. Forget the rubbish about Citizen Cane and catch this one instead. I'm glad I finally got around to it.