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Casablanca (Ultimate Collector's Edition)
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Casablanca: easy to enter, but much harder to leave, especially if you're wanted by the Nazis. Such a man is Resistance leader Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), whose only hope is Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), a cynical American who sticks his neck out for no one - especially Victor's wife Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), the ex-lover who broke his heart. Ilsa offers herself in exchange for Laszlo's transport out of the country and bitter Rick must decide what counts more - personal happiness or countless lives hanging in the balance.
- Exclusive Passport Holder and Luggage Tag
- 48-Page Photo Book
- 10 One-Sheet Reproduction Cards
- Archival Correspondence
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This movie premiered in 1942 when the war's outcome was very much in doubt. This alone lends to the tension & urgency of the film. Fashion is mid 20th century...very traditional & occasionally erotically revealing. The dialogue is fast-paced & crackling. Rick is not above more than a few putdowns to the minions seeking his approval or allegiance. The actual writing was edited as the movie was in production so the players never knew how the eventual outcome would occur.
Elsa (Ingrid Bergman) is a stunning revelation. The chemistry between Rick (Humphrey Bogart) and Elsa is sustained throughout. This film was, is and always will be film making at it's best
Naturally it is a love story, though there are no torrid scenes. A kiss, an arm around the shoulder and some imagination must suffice. The woman, Bergman, is torn between two men. As the story evolves, the circumstances, involving war and political upheaval, that led to that dilemma are revealed.
The setting is Casablanca, Morocco, which is considered part of “unoccupied France,” meaning – sorta – that it is being ruled by Marshall Petain (the “hero” of Verdun) from Vichy. His picture is prominently displayed on a billboard early in the movie. The “action” in Casablanca is at Rick’s café americain, run by the cynical Rick Blaine, played by Bogart. Running a bar may rank up there with the top ten oldest professions, so the movie also suggests his “heart of gold.” We also learn that he has some “good guy” credentials, having assisted in supplying Ethiopia with guns in ’35, and naturally saw the virtues of the Loyalist side in Spain, in ’36. I wondered, on the re-viewing, what percentage of the current viewers would know WHY Rick was supplying guns to Ethiopia in ’35. Meanwhile, the “action” seems to involve the intrigues of Europeans of many nationalities trying to get to America, via Lisbon and the machinations of the Nazis who are just on a “courtesy visit” while the French gendarmerie tries to placate them. The piano player, Sam, a Black, (“play it again Sam) tickles the ivories, looks after Rick, and makes “As Time Goes By” an American classic.
The movie was made in the middle of World War II. The movie appears to be set in 1940-41. With its title, it took advantage of the recent Allied invasion of North Africa, which also featured Casablanca. The movie was released in November 1942 and the invasion, code name “Operation Torch,” occurred just a few weeks earlier.
As time goes by, I noted a couple other touches I missed the first time. When Captain Louis Renault decides to get off the fence at the end of the movie, and go to Brazzaville, which was the headquarters of the “Free French,” he drops his bottle of Vichy water in the trash can. And in Rick’s, when the French decided to belt out the Marseillaise, to drown the German singing, it contained the now controversial verse “Qu’un sang impur” (of the impure blood) that has members of the French national soccer team doing the equivalent of “taking the knee.”
Oh well, when it is time to “round up the usual suspects,” they will include “We will always have Paris,” as well as Marseilles, the “Île-de-France,” et plus. An enduring 5-stars.
Top international reviews
This DVD is packed with great amount of extra content that covers the production, main stars and the cinematic influence.
*Commentary by Film Critic Roger Ebert - very entertaining, very insightful commentary by true film buff.
*Commentary by Film Historian Rudy Behlmer
*Introduction by Lauren Bacall(Bogart's wife)
*Theatrical Trailer and Reissue trailers
*Trailers for Robin Hood(1938) and Treasure for Sierra Madre
*6 min interview with Ingrid Bergman's daughter and Humphrey Bogart's son
*You Must Remember This: A Tribute To Casablanca - A making of documentary
*Bacall on Bogart - 80 min long documentary on Humphrey Bogart's career
*Additional Scenes and Outtakes
*Looney Tunes Cartoon Carrotblanca - Best thing on the disc
*Premiere Episode "Who Holds Tomorrow?" From 1955 TV Series Adaptation of Casablanca - includes awesome 50's TV adds.
*30 min long Radio adaptation of Casablanca featuring Bogart, Bergman and Henreid
*Scoring Session Outtakes
*Production History gallery - photos etc.
Overall this is an excellent DVD with great film and really good extra content. It's a must have for anyone who interested in this classic film.
The tonal quality and overall crispness of the print is absolutely first-class, in fact it looks as if it could have just been made and not sixty years ago! It's so fresh and exciting to watch and the audio has been cleaned up so although still a mono soundtrack, it still comes through just fine.
My only gripe is that their is no accompanying booklet inside the case, which i would have expected with it being a pivotal anniversary release. The "Master of Cinema" series spoil us with these booklets which are always well made and of high quality, forr many of their releases, which detail the history of a given film, the actors and production crew, as well as other general ephemera.
This is a region free disc, so you can play it in any blu-ray player you have at home, which is a nice touch.
Still i give four stars, one being deducted for the lack of booklet.
is why they go off into the fog together. No wonder he did not want Ingrid Bergman around.
Or am I reading too much into it!!!