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Showing 1-10 of 1,681 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 2,751 reviews
on June 5, 2012
Even after 70 years, the greatness of CASABLANCA remains timeless. This captivating classic, so vividly played out and cinematically crafted, is a textbook example of the Hollywood studio system at its absolute best.

The 70th Anniversary Blu-ray Edition restores the film's pictorial splendor, surpassing the previous version which used too much DNR. This time the film's inherent grain texture isn't smoothed away along with a measure of sharpness, but is evenly configurated resulting in perfect black and white image resolution that replicates 35mm film.

CASABLANCA is offered both as a Blu-ray/DVD special combo package and as a single Blu-ray disc. The big set comes with an array of bonus material, much of which was bumped over from the previous Blu-ray edition, including the commentaries by Roger Ebert and Rudy Behlmer. There's also some photographic and printed memorabilia, and a few new documentaries on the making of the film, on its director, Michael Curtiz, another on the history of Warner Bros., and one on its chief mogul, Jack L. Warner. The single Blu-ray has all the video/audio extras except the two Warner documentaries, and doesn't include any memorabilia items.

One of my all-time top favorites, CASABLANCA is a movie I enjoy playing again and again, and if that's true of you, then this upgrade is a must.
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on May 2, 2010
We have the standard DVD version but wished to try the blu-ray format. Being black and white, we thought the improvements over the previous version would be minimal. Not so! Differences are remarkable. One can see details in the artists' dresses, for example, that are entirely missed in the DVD version. Strongly recommended, especially for Casablanca fans like us who never miss a chance to seeing it again!
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VINE VOICEon March 25, 2012
Reviews on Amazon.com can be confusing as they lump reviews for the same movie on every format and version so you have folks complaining about quality next to those doing leaps for joy! To be clear I just picked up the new Ultimate 70th anniversary box set ahead of release date...and the review that follows is for this edition to help others like myself who may have one or all of the previous editions decide if in this economic crunch dipping into the wallet again is worth it. I rushed to write this figuring at $44 on Amazon.com the price is low now and I'm trying to help those "on the fence" as it were.

The movie itself needs no review... its in most peoples top 10 list of all time classics and the volumes of extra features and commentaries are for the most part re-purposed from earlier releases (and spelled out elsewhere so I will not be redundant in listing them) but that isn't always the case with re-issues and I know as I have many duplicate movies because a newer version doesn't contain the featurette or commentary from an inferior previous edition print quality wise... so Kudos to WB for making all previous editions expendable from that standpoint...

so... WHAT is different, and is it worth your money?
the two featurettes that ARE new ..I appreciate a lot. Michael Curtiz is without a doubt one of the greatest directors ever with an early run of classics with Errol Flynn (Captain Blood, The Sea Hawk, Robin Hood, The Charge of the light Brigade and more) to Casablanca, Yankee Doodle Dandy , Mildred Pierce and even White Christmas just for starters in his resume and it great to have something on him finally. To answer the 64k dollar question YES...the image quality on the new blu-ray is noticeably improved and I'm not even a guy with a massively expensive home theater system and I was blown away by the rich blacks and overall just the brilliant and staggeringly beautiful black and white film I was enjoying..seemingly for the first time at moments.

I picked mine up for a bit over 50 bucks and consider it a deal.

If you don't really care about Michael Curtiz or a better picture...the old Blu Ray set or even single blu ray disc will be fine for many... but if you are a film fan and a fan of glorious Black & White with lovely play between shadows and light....don't miss it!

UPDATE!! I just found a single disc version of this as an exclusive at Target for only $14.99!!! Its the same first disc as this set with the two new documentaries...a bunch of the older ones AND the newly upgraded video for a fraction of the price ...so if you don't want the book and the box and the extra DVD ....THIS IS A DEAL. I think had I seen it first I'd skip the box!!!! Hope this helps...
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on July 7, 2012
While the image restoration is really decent (not great though) the sound is no better than the previous BD release. The volume level fluctuation is as bad as on the original BD released only months before this one. Neither one, and for that matter the non Blu ray DVD too, even approach the sound quality of the Criterion Laser Disc from the 80's. If you own the first BD release keep it and don't waste your money.
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on March 14, 2000
I won't write even one word about the film itself; we all know how great it is. But what I wasn't prepared for, was how astonishingly beautiful it is on DVD. On my computer's 19" monitor, it was as clear, crisp and sharp as it would have been on the "silver screen." A TV really doesn't do justice to a film like this. Again and again my wife and I found ourselves gasping at the perfection and beauty of the cinematography, the lighting, the sets, the shots, the angles... Even on a big-screen TV, you only see a faint hint of this film's real beauty; but the DVD brings it out in a way that only people who saw it in the theaters back in 1943 ever got to see... until now. Get a big monitor, a fast computer, and a good sound system. Then pop some popcorn, and be prepared to be stunned.
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on November 28, 2016
Yes, you can make what you will of the ending - the repressed bromance between Renault and Rick, and the "noble sacrifice" of love on the altar of duty to the greater good - but there is nothing about this film that is not fabulous. What doesn't it have? - good vs. evil, body vs. soul, tightly paced plot in an exotic locale, unforgettable characters, and crackerjack dialog with one classic line after another. Bogart in a white tux and Ingrid Bergman looking to-die-for beautiful. Yes, it's my all-time #1 film, and for those born after 1980 who just don't get what the film is about, ... I feel rather sorry for you.
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on October 16, 2003
There's very little to add to wtdk's review below, but I must add my vote to the list of those who are wowed by the quality of this 2-disc set. I still experience that "gee-whiz" feeling when I see the best of these restorations, and this is without question one of the best. It's as if I had been watching this movie through a dirty window for years, and WB came along and didn't bother to clean the window, but busted it out entirely. The black and white is so clean and so crisp that it's possible to appreciate the line and shadow and pattern to a degree that could not be done before, unless one had the good fortune to see it sixty years ago.
While the outtakes and deleted scenes are pretty esoteric (film scraps really rather than anything of genuine interest; too bad they didn't save their fluffs), the documentaries, one of which I'd seen before, are excellent and a great addition to the disk. Having Bacall around is a plus, and a rarity. Most of the people involved in these classic films just aren't around anymore, and finding someone to talk about them in anything other than an academic way is going to be increasingly difficult.
A great movie and a great restoration. Here's to Warners!!
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on January 17, 2017
The greatest movie of all time (IMHO) one of the best things about the old black and white films is that they were shot in such grand scope, that they look absolutely amazing when transferred to Bluray.
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After having watched "Casablanca" for the first time, it has become quite clear to me why the period from the 1940's through the 1950's was considered Hollywood's 'Golden Era'. I suspect that is was still the relative newness of the medium that enabled movies of this period to be of such high quality, a quality lacking in almost all of today's films. During that period, gratuitous sex and violence were not permissible and there were no special effects to distract the audience from a poor story. As a result, the way directors were able to engross the audiences in their films was by telling compelling stories and developing their characters with great depth and care. These movies also involved some of quickest, sharpest, wittiest dialogue ever committed to the big screen. The only director today who shows any understanding of the importance of clever and intelligent dialogue is Quentin Tarantino, but he makes overly violent movies and only makes about one film every 5 years.

"Casablanca" may be the pantheon of the 'Golden Era'. It is easily one of the most quoted movies in cinematic history and it has some the most memorable scenes. For anyone who has not actually seen the movie, the plot centers on French Morocco during World War II in the city of Casablanca. The fear of the German war machine drives people to Casablanca to seek any form of passage to the United States. Business is fertile for men possessing the exit visas to get people across the Atlantic. Much of the business takes place at Rick's Cafe Americain, run by a jaded Rick Blaine (played masterfully by the legendary Humphrey Bogart). He was idealistic in his younger days, but now is a cynic and only helps people when it benefits him. His world gets turned upside down when the former love of his life Isla (played by the luminous Ingrid Bergman) enters the Cafe with her husband, the revolutionary leader Victor Lazlo, looking for passage to the States. It evokes one of the greatest lines in cinematic history and sets in motion series of events involving intrigue, passion, and suspense.

The wordplay between Bogart's Rick and any one of the other characters is true treat to behold. It is sharp and witty and seems so perfectly timed. The only other movie I have ever seen that comes close to this level of dialogue is the old Cary Grant film "His Girl Friday". Rick's enigmatic moods always leave the viewer wondering what path he'll choose. Will it be the one of selfish interest or the one of greater good? The viewer never knows until the very end. Bergman's Ilsa is one of the most beautiful female characters in the history of film. Bergman's beauty would be just as captivating today as it was back in the 1940's. The passion of lost love between Ilsa and Rick is largely unspoken, but it's very palpable. Unlike today's films, which feel the need show too much, "Casablanca" uses subtlety to convey the emotion and passion.

"Casablanca" is considered a violent movie without ever being too violent. The threat of the German 'Gestapo' hanging over every action and every scene creates a tension, a fear, and a suspense that few movies can match.

There is not one single wasted motion, scene, or character in this film. There is purpose in everything that happens. Characters from the shifty street vendor all the way to the shady Captain Renault have purpose and meaning. "Casablanca" has been termed by some to be the 'perfect film'. That's a lofty claim as some of the movies that were thought to be great in their time, now prove to be dated and almost a parody of themselves ("2001" and "The Graduate") are classic examples. "Casablanca", however, earns that praise and proves to be a timeless classic that is as moving today as it was in 1942.
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on March 17, 2010
I am a home video addict, like millions of others. The Blu-ray version of Casablanca was a validation of the HD format for me, as the improved visual quality of the cinematography produced a prolonged movie-lover high as the ususal suspects acted out the well-known story. This Blu-ray edition of a classic black & white film of the 1940s has proven to me that hidden riches are waiting to be mined (remastered) from the catalog of classics.
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