Cinema Rediscovered: Casablanca

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BBFC RatingCinema Rediscovered: Casablanca

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GenreDrama, Romance
Director(s)Michael Curtiz
Writer(s)Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein, Howard Koch
LanguageEnglish, French, German, Italian
Running Time1HR 42MINS
SeasonCinema Rediscovered on Tour

Casablanca returns to our big screen as part of Cinema Rediscovered: When Europe Made Hollywood, starring Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart as the unlucky lovers.

Rick’s Cafe is the gathering place for the good, the bad and the ugly, but Rick doesn’t care, as long as they spend their money. One day, of all the bars in all the world, Rick’s long-lost love, Ilsa walks in with her resistance leader husband, Victor, and Rick is pulled into both a love triangle and a web of political intrigue. Ilsa and Victor need to escape from Casablanca, and Rick may be the only one who can help them.

Casablanca has become quintessential Hollywood, lovingly remembered for the Bogart-Bergman-Henreid romantic triangle at its emotional heart. Yet it is also arguably one of Hollywood’s most political films, engaging head on with the impact of Nazism on Europe and contributed to the mounting pressure in a reluctant America to get involved in WWII.

It is also an extraordinarily European film both in depicting the exhausting and desperate flight from Fascism and in its casting. Many members of the cast and crew had had recent experiences of that desperate escape, and when filming the flashback scenes of Rick and Ilsa in Paris, broke into tears.

Overseen by Hungarian American director Michael Curtiz, who personally convinced Warner Brothers to cast recent European refugees and exiled actors, Casablanca is the deft mix of love story and politically engaged drama.


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