Why Everyone Should See Casablanca at Least Once
There are plenty of popular movies in the world that most people would consider to be classics. Some of these may even be in black and white. The movie I consider to be the greatest classic of all happens to fall into both of these categories: Casablanca. If you haven’t seen Casablanca, I highly suggest you do. The film celebrated its seventieth birthday this past January, and is considered one of the greatest films ever made. Still, there is a large percent of the population that has yet to see this fantastic film. I’m here today to tell you why you should take the time to sit down and watch Casablanca.
Let me tell you this: Casablanca is not just a love story. Sure, there’s a love story in it, and it takes up a large portion of the film, but it’s more than that. It’s about how our lives intertwine and fate gives us second chances. It’s about enemies becoming allies and strangers becoming friends. It’s about coping and finding ways to survive in the trying times of our lives.
And of course, there is a love story too. And it’s a good one, guaranteed to twinge even the most rusty heartstrings.
Rick’s Café American, the place where most of the big action happens, is where everyone in Casablanca goes for a good time. It’s basically the equivalent of Sam Malone’s bar, Cheers, where everybody knows your name. The primary difference is that this is a time of war, and while Rick watches who gambles at his tables, he also has a business to run. Going to Rick’s means that no two nights are the same and anything can happen, from sitting next to your mortal enemy at the next table, to smuggling illegal documents, to intriguing business propositions. In Casablanca, Rick’s Café is almost like an unpredictable character unto itself. You never know what may happen, so it’s always worth keeping your eyes peeled.
If Rick’s Café American has its own mysterious appeal, then most of that comes from its owner Rick. The characters in Casablanca are all worth watching, but it’s Humphrey Bogart’s portrayal of Rick that really keeps viewers interested. We rarely leave his side throughout the film and his constant conflicting actions engage us as viewers. He is an intriguing blend of opposites, stubborn but soft, and all at once considerate and cruel. It’s a fantastic bit of acting from Humphrey Bogart and by the end of the film, you still may not know how you feel about Rick. It’s all part of the experience that is watching Casablanca.
Here’s a movie trivia fact for you: the title of the film The Usual Suspects is actually based on a Casablanca quote. There are a number of times in the film where superiors must “round up the usual suspects”, a line which inspired the name of the Usual Suspects film. Sitting down and watching Casablanca will cause you to have many “ahhh” moments, as many movie references and spoofs that you’ve seen will become clear. If nothing else, watching Casablanca will become a very enlightening experience. One thing to note though: the line “play it again, Sam” is not in the film. It’s been misquoted so many times that it’s become standard (namely by my archenemy-idol Woody Allen, who called his film Play it Again, Sam).
If you haven’t seen Casablanca, I suggest you give it a shot. After all, it could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.