As one of the most iconic and most fondly remembered – and yet ironically most misquoted – films, Casablanca is an enduring pillar in the esteemed history of cinema.
As one of the most
iconic and most fondly remembered – and yet ironically most misquoted – films, Casablanca
is an enduring pillar in the esteemed history of cinema. Now in its 70th
year, Casablanca is a film so famous that even those who haven’t seen it know
its most famous scenes and endlessly quotable lines. But if you’ve yet to see
this heartbreaking Hollywood classic, make sure you do it sooner rather than later.
Directed by Michael
Curtiz who directed an astonishing 173 titles in his time, including other
such classics like Mildred Pierce, Casablanca
is a wartime caper of separated love. Starring acting demigods Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman as two lovebirds torn
apart by the breakout of Word War II, and reunited again in a popular gin joint
out in North Africa, this love affair is one to remember. As bar owner Rick,
Bogart has an effortless cool and subtle fragility that compliments Bergman’s sheer
beauty and charm as Ilsa.
With a classical Hollywood style of the period, A-list stars
and big romantic tensions, it’s remarkable how much Casablanca is still able to
pull at the heartstrings. The ideas of long lost loves and yearning are what
drives the story as the backdrop of World War II had a contemporary edge at the
time of its release. What still works the most is the epic melodrama of Rick
and Ilsa’s relationship that keeps you wondering till the very end.
Watching it now makes you fully aware of the lack of true
romanticism and class that films now have. There’s such an eloquence and
classical aura surrounding this film that makes it impossible not to consider
it an all-time classic. Both Bogart and Bergman will forever be remembered for their
work in this film but it is not undeserved. Such is their connection in
Casablanca they are arguably one of the great on-screen couples. And even
though neither won the Oscar for their respective roles – Bergman wasn’t even
nominated – the film itself did win for Best Picture. You can’t argue with that.