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Movie spotlight: 'Casablanca' (1942), stars Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart

Movie: 'Casablanca' (1942), starring Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart


“Casablanca,” reviewed by Jennifer Anne Messing.

'Casablanca' (1942), starring Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart.
Warner Brothers
Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart in 'Casablanca' (1942)
Warner Brothers

Adventure/Drama/Romance. Not rated. Recommended for family viewing, with kids ages 12 and up. Check your favorite local and online movie rental stores, or the public library for availability.

“Casablanca” is a one-hour, forty-two minute, 1942 B&W Warner Brothers film release, directed by Michael Curtiz, starring Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart, and Paul Heinreid. This Academy Award winning romantic drama takes place in French Morocco during World War II.

Humphrey Bogart stars as Rick Blaine, an American expatriate living in Casablanca, a part of unoccupied France, where he runs a popular nightclub, Rick’s Café Americain. Casablanca attracts people from all around the world, especially from Nazi-occupied Europe—as many of them are transients who hope to get out of Europe. Although Rick tries hard to keep himself neutral and detached socially and politically, he unwillingly comes into possession of two extremely valuable letters of transit (exit visas)—whose owners could use them to depart from Casablanca, to freedom.

When Viktor Laszlo (Paul Heinreid), a Czech Resistance leader who escaped from a Nazi concentration camp, arrives in Casablanca with his beautiful companion, Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman), Rick is surprised and troubled since Ilsa is a woman from his past whom he has tried to forget. Nevertheless, though Rick attempts to avoid meeting with Ilsa, desperate circumstances drive Ilsa to seek him out. Their feelings for each other are complicated by the chaos of war. They are also all aware that Viktor’s life is at risk because Nazi Major Strasser knows that Viktor is in Casablanca. Rick and Ilsa then make a secret plan to save their lives and their futures and can only hope that nothing will thwart it.

“Casablanca” is a compelling drama that portrays the conflicts and struggles of war that people can easily relate to: financial desperation, loneliness and separation from loved ones, and, ultimately, the fear of death. Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart, and Paul Heinreid were superbly cast in the three leading roles. Their skillful acting talents, the gripping plot, and the remarkably vivid black-and-white cinematography were maximized under the capable direction of Michael Curtiz—a talented, Hungarian-born director from Hollywoood’s Golden Age.

“Casablanca” won three Academy Awards in 1944: Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay. It’s a movie that has something in it for people of all ages: adventure, intrigue, romance, drama, courage and sacrifice. Above all else, it is best remembered for being an unforgettable love story. “Casablanca” is a Hollywood gem that has stood the test of time and remains as one of the best-loved classic films ever made.

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Portland residents can borrow "Casablanca" (1942) on DVD, at the Multnomah County Library, tel. 503-988-5234. "Casablanca" (1942) in DVD format can be rented at Movie Madness, 4320 SE Belmont, Portland, Oregon, 97215, tel. 503-234-4363.

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Author, poet, speaker and singer Jennifer Anne F. Messing of Portland, Oregon, is a wife, and mother of three children. She has a bachelor's degree in Christian Education and a diploma in Journalism and Short Story Writing. A past president of the Oregon Christian Writers, Jennifer Anne has over 200 articles, movie reviews, and poems published in 60 magazines and books, including The Christian Journal, Evangel, LIVE, Standard, Bible Advocate, Christian Fiction Online and Nudges from God. Her poetry gift book, "MORNING'S PROMISE: Poetic Moments in His Presence" is now available in trade paperback and e-book (Kindle) format. CLICK HERE TO ORDER, or find more information on her website:

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