Casablanca (1942)

June 18, 2017

USA! USA! USA!
That’s pretty much what I gotta say after watching this movie.

It was only a matter of time til I reached Casablanca, on my journey to watch all-time classics.

I seriously had no idea what the movie was about and thought it was an old school romance, which I had no interest in seeing.

Well, Casablanca is about a love story, but not about a guy and a girl and another guy, but rather a love story about America.

Not the physical piece of land we call America or the people living within her borders, but about the ideals America represents. Freedom, standing up for what’s right, helping the little guys, and kicking a little WWII German ass!

In my eyes, anyone can be American at heart. Even if you’re living in Russia or China or Greenland. These American ideals are universal.

It’s kind of like Buddhism.
Anyone can be Buddhist, even Christians and Atheists.

So the movie is set in a place called Casablanca in Africa. A French province, unoccupied by neither the Allies or the douchebags.

I guess Paris had recently fallen to the bad guys but this area, even though French owned & could now be German territory, is still considered the neutral zone.

Plenty of foreigners come to Casablanca from all over, in hopes of getting their papers stamped by the shady French official, to escape to America.

There’s a casino & bar type joint run by an American, Rick. We don’t know much about him other than that he was previously engaged in missions all over the world and currently is not allowed back in his home country. He’s kind of a badass stoic American cowboy type character.

That crooked French police guy is friendly with Rick, as long as Rick bribes him and lets him arrest folks in his casino. The French dude has no allegiance, he will go where the money is & align with whoever is winning. Rick has money and the Germans are currently winning. (My history is iffy. The French were this wishy washy back then?)

Soon, the German officers arrive in Casablanca, looking for an underground resistance leader. They want that guy captured and hopefully torture him to reveal all his secrets. The resistance must be stopped!

So the trap is set.
The rebel & his wife will arrive at Rick’s and the French officer will put him on notice. The rebel will not be allowed to leave Casablanca.

Rick is indifferent to the whole affair. Business as usual. See, Rick is kind of an isolationist these days. Perhaps he’s seen a few too many battles in his life and had his heart broken a bunch of times. Now he doesn’t care about anything or anyone (or so it seems).

The only catch in the whole plan is that the rebel’s wife is a supremely beautiful woman who once had a love affair with Rick back in Paris.

Rick has a whole flashback of their torrid love affair, the best of his life. He and Ilsa did not know much about each other at that time. It was a momentary rush of emotions while the world was falling apart around them.

They were supposed to flee the country together on a train, but she stood him up. Now he’s running a casino in Casablanca and sees her for the first time, walking in with another man.

Ilsa is shocked at seeing Rick. Rick turns into a brokenhearted drunk at the sight of her. Her husband seems to not notice what is going on, since he’s so busy with battles of his own.

At this point, the movie looks like a love triangle. Rick loves Ilsa who is married to Victor. If it were only this type of a movie, what a waste of all this talent, time, and energy!

The story is really about all the other countries (represented by the different characters & refugees) trying to convince America (Rick) to get involved in the fight against the dbags (Germans). We need your help dude, is their message. Get involved!

I won’t spoil the movie any further.
I enjoyed it thoroughly and the ending was pitch perfect. It’s a classic.

Casablanca is considered by many to be the greatest movie of all time. I can see why. It probably stirred American emotions back then so that they could go out there and win the damn war. Remember, the movie came out in 1942 and WWII didn’t end til 1945. (The movie was based on a play written in 1940, before America got involved in the war).

It even got me all stirred up, now in 2017, and I’m not at all the fighting type.

Casablanca