Afternoon Classics: Casablanca

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“Casablanca is as much about movies as about romantic adventure. It taps our love of movies, our involvement with them, our dreamy bondage by them.”

Jay Carr, The A List: The National Society of Film Critics’ 100 Essential Films, 2002

Set in Vichy-controlled Morocco during WWII, Casablanca revolves around a nightclub run by cynical American expat Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), where resistance fighters, immigrants and Nazis converge to police or partake in an illicit economy. In this colourfully exotic setting, created entirely on the Warner Bros studio lot, an affair is rekindled between Rick and Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), the latter now the wife of a resistance leader.

Directed by Hungarian refugee Michael Curtiz, Casablanca exemplifies the consummately crafted Hollywood drama, in which all the elements seem to have fallen alchemically into place. The screenplay sparkles with memorable lines, the supporting cast overflows with indelible performances, and the whole is given an urgent, topical edge by being made on the cusp of America’s involvement in the war.

Ostensibly an adaptation of Hemingway’s novel, Howard Hawks’ To Have and Have Not (1945), also starring Bogart, is effectively a remake of Casablanca transplanted to Martinique.

"Curtiz's film is a classic for a reason – it's crafted with the precision, detail and beauty of a Fabergé egg; the dialogue is hauntingly memorable and, in Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, it has one of the most magnetic screen pairings in history." ★★★★★ The Times

We serve free Tea/Coffee and cake at our Afternoon Classics screenings.

Director: Michael Curtiz

USA 1942

Cast: Lou Marcelle, Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains

Run time: 102 mins

***"This project is supported by Film Hub North West Central, proud to be a member of the BFI Film Audience Network" ★★★

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