Guide for Movie Review #16: “Casablanca”

Facts about the movie:

1943: Best Picture, Director, Screenplay
Nominations: Best Actor (Humphrey Bogart), Supporting Actor (Claude Rains), B&W Cinematography, Editing, Scoring of a Dramatic Picture

If this film were to be colorized, do you think it would have the same appeal? Explain your answer.

The film shows real WWII footage. Do you think it helped promote the picture? Was it a tactic of the film studio? Explain your answer.

Read the following sections of reviews of Casablanca and comment on what you think about each.

Part of a movie review of the film from Variety (

Heavy advertising — exploitation campaign being given the picture by Warners should also count at the b.o (box office). It’s designed — as was the quick release of the film after General Eisenhower’s forces marched into the African city — to take advantage of the publicity attendant to military events involving Casablanca. In other words, WB (Warner Brothers), instead of being dismayed at the town’s changed status, is wisely cashing in on America’s newborn familiarity with the title.

Exhibs (exhibitors), in selling the picture, will do well to bear in mind that it goes heavy on the love theme. Although the title and Humphrey Bogart’s name convey the impression of high adventure rather than romance, there’s plenty of the latter for the femme trade. Adventure is there, too, but it’s more as exciting background to the Bogart-Bergman heart department. Bogart, incidentally, as a tender lover (in addition to being a cold-as-ice nitery operator) is a novel characterization that, properly billed, might itself be good for some coin in the trough.

Part of another review of the film from Common Sense Media (

This is probably the most famous Hollywood movie of all time, and for good reason. Certainly the most quoted, and the most frequently cited as an all-time favorite, Casablanca won Best Picture, Director, and Writer awards at the 1943 Oscar ceremony. The definitive rebuttal to notions of the “auteur” (one author) in film, the romantic drama was put together in pieces by many different sources, with script pages completed just moments before the cameras rolled. The performances by Bogart and Bergman are so subtle and complex because the actors themselves had no idea how it was going to end.

Almost every frame of the movie is an icon, and it has been endlessly copied and parodied. The Woody Allen movie Play It Again, Sam (rated PG, but not for kids as the entire plot is about seduction) is an affectionate tribute to Casablanca and other Bogart movies.


Which of the reviews gave you information you were not aware of?

This review is due on or before Monday, March 13th, 2017. ~~LMMolina



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