Casablanca (1942) Movie Review – No Spoilers!

Casablanca movie poster.

“Casablanca” is a classic 1942 romantic drama set during World War II. The film centers on Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), a cynical American expatriate who owns a nightclub in Casablanca, Morocco. Rick’s life is upended when his former lover, Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman), unexpectedly reappears. Renowned for its memorable characters, iconic lines, and timeless themes of love and sacrifice, “Casablanca” remains a beloved cinematic masterpiece.

Oscars Nominations & Wins:

  • Best Picture (Winner)
  • Best Actor in a Leading Role (Nominee)
  • Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Nominee)
  • Best Director (Winner)
  • Best Writing, Screenplay (Winner)
  • Best Cinematography, Black-and-White (Nominee)
  • Best Film Editing (Nominee)
  • Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture (Nominee)

Genres: Drama, Romance, War, Historical Fiction

Is “Casablanca” Worth The Watch?

8.5/10 IMDb Rating
95% Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score
4.3/5 Letterboxd Rating

Click the ratings above to learn more about the movie on IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, and Letterboxd.

My Rating For The Average Movie Viewer

Must Watch Films Movie Rating Worth Meter, Must Watch

5/5 Must Watch

My Rating for Someone Who Likes the Genre, Actor, Director, or Similar Movies

Must Watch Films Movie Rating Worth Meter, Must Watch

5/5 Must Watch

Who Is This Movie For? Who Will Enjoy It The Most?

This movie can be enjoyed by almost everyone. People who like the genres War, Romance, Historical Fiction, and Drama, black-and-white movies, or people who like the actors will all enjoy this film. It helps to have some knowledge of World War II.

My Quick Spoiler-Free Thoughts

“Casablanca” is a must-watch for both the average viewer and fans of war, romance, historical fiction, and drama movies. Released during the height of WWII, this timeless classic stands as one of the more daring and important films ever made. The story, based on a play, is compelling, with well-developed characters and flawless execution by director Michael Curtiz, who deservedly won the Oscar for Best Director. The film grips you right from the start, aided by historical context, and concludes with one of the most satisfying endings in cinema history. The acting is superb, with standout performances by Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Claude Rains. The cinematography and music enhance the film without overwhelming it, and the emotional moments hit hard. Despite minimal action, the movie effectively portrays the impact of World War II on society. The dialogue-heavy script and fast-paced scenes create rich characters. The humor is well-balanced and doesn’t overshadow the seriousness of the plot. With perfect pacing, excellent world-building, and logical storytelling, “Casablanca” is an exceptional film that remains highly rewatchable and beloved for its creativity and historical significance.

Cast & Crew

  • Director: Michael Curtiz (also known for “The Adventures of Robin Hood” and “Mildred Pierce”)
  • Writers: Julius J. Epstein (screenplay), Philip G. Epstein (screenplay) (also known for “Arsenic and Old Lace), Howard Koch (screenplay), Murray Burnett (play), Joan Alison (play)
  • Main Actors: Humphrey Bogart (Rick Blaine) (also known for “In a Lonely Place,” “The African Queen,” and “To Have and Have Not”), Ingrid Bergman (Ilsa Lund) (also known for “Gaslight Paula Alquist,” “Spellbound,” and “Notorious”), Paul Henreid (Victor Laszlo) (also known for “Now, Voyager”), Claud Rains (Captain Louis Renault) (also known for “Notorious,” “The Invisible Man,” and “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”)
  • Music Director: Max Steiner (also known for “Gone with the Wind,” “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre,” and “Arsenic and Old Lace”)
  • Cinematography/Director of Photography: Arthur Edeson (also known for “All Quiet on the Western Front,” “The Maltese Falcon,” and “Frankenstein”)
  • Editor: Owen Marks (also known for “White Heat,” “The Treasure of Sierra Madre,” and “East of Eden”)
  • Art Direction: Carl Jules Weyl (also known for “The Adventures of Robin Hood” and “The Big Sheep”)
  • Set Decorator: George James Hopkins (also known for “My Fair Lady,” “A Streetcar Named Desire,” and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”)
  • Makeup Department: Perc Westmore (also known for “The Adventures of Robin Hood,” “Key Largo,” “Rope,” and “To Have and Have Not”)
  • Costume Designer: Orry-Kelly (also known for “Some Like It Hot” and “Arsenic and Old Lace”)

Similar Movies

The Third Man, The Big Sleep, The Maltese Falcon, To Have and Have Not, Key Largo.

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