The essay is a critical analysis of the movie Casablanca. The movie was directed by Curtiz Michael, produced by Wallis, H., Epstein, P. & Epstein J and was released back in 1942. It stars Bogart Humphrey, Henreid Paul as well as Bergman Ingrid. Those featured in the movie include Rains, Claude, Veidt Conrad, Lorre Peter and Greenstreet Sydney. It is a romantic film having a setting of the Second World War. The story is of a man who is left to choose between virtue and love.
As suggested by Rosenzweig 27 it is worth noting that the release of the movie was rushed in order to capitalize on the fame attributed to Allied invasion of North America. The things that are brought to light in the paper concerning the movie are; summery of the plot, characters, music used, reception, awards and finally errors and inaccuracy in the movie.
History of Oscar Award
Well known as Academy Award, it offers accolades to artist and is an initiative of American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science (AMPAS). The aim of the award is to appreciate and distinguish prowess and superiority in film industry. Those awarded are actors, writers as well as directors. At present the ceremony is one of the well known and televised in over two hundred countries.
It was created back in 1927 by the AMPAS by thirty six individuals from the film sectors. These individuals were very prominent. Fairbanks Douglas, a film actor was chosen as the first president. Two years down the line, it presented the first award of excellence. From there hence forth, it has been known to be well sort after by those in the industry and has seen to it that there have been tremendous improvement in the film sector. Initially, winners were announced three months before the day of awarding the accolade. It was realized later that this did not bring any surprises it sought to have brought and winners were later published in print media a night before the actual ceremony. At present nomination are done to determine the winner in the several categories.
Rick an American expatriate posses a cafe in Casablanca that is a night club and a a den to gamble attracting a myriad of customers including French, Nazi officials, Italian Vichy as well as refuges who are yearn to find their way to U.S.A. despite his pronunciation that he is neutral, he supported the combating of the Italian invasion of 1935 and took part in a Spanish civil war (Rosenzweig 17).
Ugarte like other clientele gets to the cafe with a letter of transit that he obtained after killing two couriers with German origin. Since it allows migration of refuges to USA, he intends to sell to an individual who will pay the highest amount. Before the transaction is made, he is arrested by Renault and late died in prison without revealing that the letters are in the hands of Rick.
With these letters at hand, bitterness of his former girlfriend Ilsa come to his mind. Together with her husband Laszlo they found their way to the cafe. Her request for the song As Times Goes By make Rick very angry. Storming to warn Sam, he came across the two and learns that Laszlo is in need of the letters of transit.
Through inquiry, he establishes that the letters are in the hand of Rick. The later met with Laszlo but refused to provide the document. Later, Ilsa confronted Rick threatening to kill him if he does not give her the documents, his refusal made her acknowledge that she still loves him and did that with the knowledge that Laszlo was dead ‘Casablanca’. The two reconciled an he accepted to assist them provided she stay with him.
Later, Lazlo is arrested by Renault but Rick played a major role in his release promising Renault to set Laszlo up for a more serious kind of crime. Renault tried to arrest Laszlo at which point Rick using a gun made the former aid in their escape. Rick convinced Ilsa to go with her husband to Lisbon.
Later, Strasser being informed by Renault about the whole issue come into the scene where he was shot by Rick when he tried to block the escape. Since the major came a lone, Renault tell his men upon arrival to “round up the usual suspects” ‘Casablanca’
These are the individuals who make a piece of art complete and enjoyable. The fast class actors (top-billed) include Blaine Rick (Humphrey Bogart), Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) and Laszlo Victor (Henreid Paul). Captain Louis Renault (Claude Rains), Signor Uarte (Lorre Peter), Signor Ferrari (Greenstreet) and Major Strasser Heinrich (Veidt Conrad) constitute second billed performers.
Among the credited actors were; Sam, Sasch, Bois, Sakall, Brandel and Berger. Those uncredited but notable performers include Emil, Brandel Jan, the English woman, waiter Emile, the dealer in Rick’s cafe, and the German banker among others .
Music in the movie was the work of Steiner Max. As Time Goes By sung by Hupfed was used from the start of the movie. It is worth noting that the scene at the cafe where Strasser had his people sing and was later countered by Laszlo, La Marseilaise and Host Wessel Lied respectively. In addition, It had to Be You by Jones Isham, Shine by Dabney Ford and Knock on Wood by Jerome were also used in this movie (‘Casablanca’). .
What The New York Time wrote, “The Warner’s… have a picture which makes the spine tingle and the heart take a leap” (Rosenzweig 201) is a clear indication on how the movie was received. The screen play was deemed to be the best quality. How the sense of humor as well as pathos was combined or linked with melodrama did ply a bigger role in making the movie received in a positive manner.
Additionally, the issue of a clear association between fine performance, a well developed story line coupled with variety in actions, suspense plus other literary prowess of actors gave the movie a positive reception. A number of actors such as Bogart did play a role that made viewers very much captivated and seating at the edge of their set while watching the movie.
It is worth noting that the movie due to its popularity, did receive a number of accolades. According to Rosenzweig 4 in the year that it was released, the film was nominated for the best picture but it came second to In Which We Serve. Generally, the movie was nominated for eight different categories for Academic Award. It won three of them which included outstanding motion picture, best director and best writing screenplay. The rest include; best actor, best film editing, best music, best supporting actor and best cinematography.
Errors and inaccuracies
Casablanca the movie does have a number of flaws. Among these mistakes and inaccuracies include the signing of letters of transit, the flags of French and morocco are wrongly portrayed, similarly, history does not support the idea that German soldier ever visited Casablanca in time of the second world war (‘Casablanca’). When Rick was leaving Paris, his coat was soaked in the rain but when he was getting on board of the train it seemed very dry.
On the same note, we see Strasser overcoat having and at the same time not having epaulettes, similarly although he was Gestapo he was seen putting on Luftwaffe military clothing. Another notable error is the name given to the French general who signs the letters of transit; in the DVD English version, he is given the name de Gaulle while the same person in French subtitle is referred to as Weygand (Rosenzweig 24)
From the review of the movie, in my opinion, it was the best movie of its time and it is worth noting that it still worth to be watched.
‘Casablanca’. Dir. Curtiz, Michael, Prod. Wallis, H., Epstein, P. & Epstein J, DVD. Warner Bros, 1942.
Rosenzweig, Sidney. Casablanca and Other Major Films of Michael Curtiz. Ann Arbor, Mich: UMI Research Press, 1982. Print