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Casablanca; Extraordinary beyond its time

Updated on February 26, 2014

Everybody Comes to Rick's

During a trip to Europe in 1938, Murray Burnett helped Jewish relatives smuggle money out of Austria. This sowed the seeds for what would become one of the most celebrated movies of all time, Casablanca. Like so many other writers, Burnett and wife Joan Allison signed away their rights to soon. Although Burnett was paid a record $20,000 for his un-produced play "Everybody Comes to Rick's" after the success of Casablanca he tried unsuccessfully to sue for more money.

As Time Goes by

What is it that has made Casablanca endure as one of the greatest screenplays ever written? Even when you dissect all the different elements it is hard to pinpoint exactly what makes Casablanca work. Is it the unrequited love between Rick Blaine and Ilsa Lund? Or could it be the timing of the movie and how it corresponded to what was happening in the world at the time. Perhaps it was the fact that Rick loved Ilsa enough that he was willing to sacrifice his own happiness in order to ensure her safety. Maybe it's the fact that the problems of three little people do amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.

There have been some modern day interpretations of Casablanca, most notably The English Patient and Dear john. In Dear John, Channing Tatum's character must accept the fact that the woman he loves is about to marry someone else. Anyone who has ever had their heart broken can sympathize with any of these characters. Rick Blaine may have been a broken man hiding in a bottle, but out of all the gin joints in all the world, she walked into his and in the end he did the right thing.


A fight for Love and Glory

Casablanca was nominated for 8 Academy Awards, winning for Best Movie, Best Director, and Best Screenplay. It continues to top list for movies and for screenplays.

Casablanca Script


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Isn't it Ironic

Casablanca is a movie filled with Irony. Conrad Veidt, who played Major Heinrich Strasser, was a German actor who fled Nazi Germany only to be typecast playing Nazi's in Hollywood. Dooley Wilson, who played the piano player Sam, was actually a drummer who could not even play the piano.


Published in 1992, the making of Casablanca is a classic behind the scenes look at one of the greatest films ever made. It utilizes Ingrid Bergman's own acting diaries as well as vast Warner Brothers archives. It also includes interviews with people very close to the film, such as Paul Henreid who played Victor Lazlo.


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    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 24 months ago from Oklahoma

      A wonderful film. Great analysis!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I saw this as a kid back in the 50s...yes, I am that old...and even as a kid I thought it was a remarkable movie. Timeless for sure...thanks to you, I do believe I need to watch this again.