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107 of 110 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blu-Ray Review
This is a review of the Blu-Ray quality, not of the film itself which is one of the all-time cinematic classics.

"Casablanca" on Blu-Ray is very beautiful to behold. It seems that the print was in very good condition and the transfer is very clear and detailed. Some shots do highlight the differences in cinematography and camera technology over time; so that,...
Published on 24 Feb. 2010 by Mr. Blu

versus
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid this version!!- it's not the remastered 70th Ann. Edition
The transfer used for this steelbook is the older, inferior Warner transfer- NOT the new, remastered version done for the 70th Anniversary! You can see the differences if you go to caps-a-holic dot com, and search for Casablance under 'C'...you will see the comparison between the US and the German (DE) blurays. The inferior German disc is the same as this new UK bluray...
Published on 31 Jan. 2013 by Blu-ray fan


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107 of 110 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blu-Ray Review, 24 Feb. 2010
This review is from: Casablanca [Blu-ray] [1942] (Blu-ray)
This is a review of the Blu-Ray quality, not of the film itself which is one of the all-time cinematic classics.

"Casablanca" on Blu-Ray is very beautiful to behold. It seems that the print was in very good condition and the transfer is very clear and detailed. Some shots do highlight the differences in cinematography and camera technology over time; so that, for example, when three people's faces are shown in close-up with the focus on one of them, the two faces out of focus are much more blurry than in modern films. This is a little disturbing at first, but you soon get used to it. And the face in focus, so often Ingrid Bergman's, is crystal clear and radiant with detail; the sparkling of her diamond earings is captured quite sublimely. An advantage for HD here is that the camera often allows itself much longer, still lingering shots than you would see in our impatient modern age. This allows the fine acting skills (of a generation that knew no Botox!) to be observed minutely and shows off the resolution of the image very nicely.

"Casablanca" is comfortably the oldest Blu-Ray I have seen (although "Metropolis" is rumoured to be on the way at the end of this year!) and yet very high up the quality ladder. It does not really have reference quality depth and plasticity, but the black/white contrasts are pretty good, and in general there is nothing to criticise in this subline transfer of a film getting on for 70 years old. It is perhaps worth mentioning though that the correct original aspect ratio of 4:3 will produce vertical black bars at the side of the image on your TV. I watched this with a projector and the bars are not really noticeable, but on a TV it might disturb a little; it does take more getting used to than the horizontal black bars because it makes the image seem a little 'thin'.

Speaking of 'thin' brings us, of course, to the Dolby Digital 1.0 soundtrack. Now, of course, the option of the original mono soundtrack should be offered to satify purists. But what would have been wrong with the additional option of a skilfully reworked surround track as seen on so many Disney BD releases e.g. "Snow White"? My receiver can synthesise a surround track, but the results produced by a team of dedicated engineers would have been much better - as a comparison with "Snow White" makes clear. And why on earth is the mono soundtrack compressed? A mono soundtrack is acceptable, but it should have been PCM, True HD or DTS HD Master Audio. The soundtrack maybe just about holds its own in a living room (depending on your expectations), but in a dedicated home cinema set-up it is a bit of a damp squib.

It goes against the grain not to give five stars, but the laziness behind this release on the audio front (imagine how 'La Marseillaise' might have sounded in lossless quality!) means that this five star film with five star visuals just has to relinquish one star because of the soundtrack. Should it ever get a re-release with a lossless soundtrack (preferably with a surround mix, but in mono would do) then I will delete this review and re-write a five star one!

I hope this is of some help to prospective BD purchasers. The disc is recommended, but be prepared for a soundtrack that leaves a lot to be desired.
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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship...., 22 Nov. 2003
This review is from: Casablanca [1942] [DVD] (DVD)
Because I've been reading Michael Walsh's novel As Time Goes By, I recently decided to watch Casablanca again on DVD. I was amazed to see how this 1943 Oscar-winning film remains powerful and moving 60 years after its release.
Almost everybody knows its plot of of wartime intrigue and its doomed romantic triangle of bitter American saloonkeeper Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), the beautiful Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman), and her idealistic husband, Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid). This trio is supported by a wonderful and varied cast of characters, including Police Prefect Louis Renault (Claude Rains), Rick's faithful friend and piano player Sam Waters (Arthur "Dooley" Wilson), the conniving Ugarte (Peter Lorre), the Russian bartender Sacha (Leonid Kinsky), and the loveable maitre d' Carl (S. Z. Sakall).
The heart of the movie revolves around the conflict created in Rick's heart by World War II. When his former flame Ilsa arrives in Casablanca, does he help her and her husband Victor escape to Lisbon, or does he allow German Major Strasser (Conrad Veldt) to capture the fugitive Czech resistance leader so Rick can take Ilsa to America himself? Or do his natural good instincts surface and get Rick to do the honorable thing?
This movie has a little bit of everything: suspense, drama, comedy, an exotic setting, and lots of music, including renditions of "It Had To Be You," "The Very Thought Of You," and a thrilling duel between Germans singing the "Watch On The Rhine" and the Allies belting out "The Marsellaise." Other songs heard in the film include "Knock On Wood," and the unforgettable "As Time Goes By."
Another crucial element is the snappy and memorable dialog written by the Epstein twins and Hal B. Wallis for this movie:
Rick: I came here for the waters.
Louis: Waters? What waters? We're in the desert.
Rick: Obviously, I was misinformed.
Ilsa: (to Sam) Play it. Play "As Time Goes By."
Rick: (to Sam) Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.
Louis: (pretending to be surprised) I'm shocked, shocked to find gambling in here!
Casino Dealer: (handing Louis some money) Your winnings, sir.
Louis: (takes the money) Thank you.
Rick: (to Ilsa) Now, now...here's looking at you, kid.
With all these ingredients, director Michael Curtiz and producer Jack Warner came up with a recipe for a movie that became a beloved classic, a status recognized when the Library of Congress named Casablanca as one of the most important American films.
Betty June Moore
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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You must remember this ..., 24 Aug. 2006
By 
Themis-Athena (from somewhere between California and Germany) - See all my reviews
Aaaahhh ... Bogey. AFI's No. 1 film star of the 20th century. Hollywood's original noir anti-hero, epitome of the handsome, cynical and oh-so lonesome wolf (with his "Casablanca"'s Rick Blaine alone, one of the Top 5 guys on the AFI's list of greatest 20th century film heroes); looking unbeatably cool in white dinner jacket or trenchcoat and fedora alike, a glass of whiskey in his hand and a cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth. Endowed with a legendary aura several times larger than his real life stature, and still admired by scores of women wishing they had been born 50+ years earlier, preferably somewhere in California and to parents connected with the movie business, so as to have at least a marginal chance of meeting him.

Triple-Oscar-winning "Casablanca," directed by Michael Curtiz, was and still is without question Bogart's greatest career-defining moment, the movie on which his legendary status is grounded more than on any other of his multiple other successes. The film's story is based on Murray Burnett and Joan Alison's play "Everybody Comes to Rick's," renamed by Warner Brothers in order to tag onto the success of the studio's 1938 hit "Algiers" (starring Charles Boyer and Hedy Lamarr). Building on the success of 1941's "The Maltese Falcon" and further expanding Bogart's increasingly complex on-screen personality, it added a romantic quality which had heretofore been missing; eventually making this the AFI's Top 20th century love story (even before the No. 2 "Gone With the Wind"), while second only to "Citizen Kane" on the AFI's overall list of Top 100 20th century movies; with a unique, inimitable blend of drama, passion, humor, exotic North African atmosphere, patriotism, unforgettable score (courtesy of Herman Hupfeld's "As Time Goes By," Max Steiner and Louis Kaufman's violin) and an all-star cast, consisting besides Bogart of Ingrid Bergman (Ilsa), Paul Henreid (Victor Laszlo), Claude Rains (Captain Renault), Dooley Wilson (who, a drummer by trade, had to fake his piano playing as Rick's friend Sam), Conrad Veidt (Major Strasser), Sydney Greenstreet (Ferrari) and Peter Lorre (Ugarte). And the movie's countless famous one-liners have long attained legendary status in their own right ...

Looking at this movie's and its stars' almost mythical fame, it is difficult to imagine that, produced at the height of the studio system era, it was originally just one of the roughly 50 movies released over the course of one year. But mass production didn't equal low quality; on the contrary, the great care given to all production values, from script-writing to camera work, editing, score and the stars' presentation in the movies themselves and in their trailers, was at least partly responsible for its lasting success. In fact, the screenplay for "Casablanca" was constantly rewritten even throughout the filming process, to the point that particularly Ingrid Bergman was extremely worried because she was unsure whether at the end she (Ilsa) would leave Casablanca with Henreid's Victor Laszlo or stay there with Humphrey Bogart (Rick).

Little needs to be said about the movie's story. After the onset of WWII, Casablanca has become a point of refuge for Jews and other desperate souls from all corners of Europe, fleeing the old world with the hope of building a new life in America. Unofficial center of Casablanca's society is Rick's "Cafe Americain," where gamblers, refugees, French police, Nazi troops, thieves, swindlers and soldiers of fortune come together on a nightly basis, to make connections, conduct their shady business, or simply forget the uncertainty of their fate for a few precious hours. And presiding over this mixed and colorful society is Rick Blaine, expatriate American without any hope of returning to the United States himself (for reasons never fully explained), officially not interested in politics but only the flourishing of his business, but soft-hearted underneath the hard shell of his cynicism. From Rick's perspective, everything is going just swell and the way it is meant to be: he is reasonably well-respected, has a good working relationship with Captain Renault, the local representative of the Vichy government (based on mutual respect as much as on the fact that Renault is a guaranteed winner at Rick's gambling tables and, by way of reciprocation, turns a blind eye to whatever less-than-squeaky-clean transactions Rick may be tolerating in his cafe, always ready to have his police round up "the usual suspects" instead of the truly guilty party of a crime if that person's continued freedom promises to be more profitable); and although aware of Rick's not quite so apolitical past, the Germans are leaving him alone as well, as long as he stays out of politics now. Until ... well, until famous underground resistance leader and recent concentration camp-escapee Victor Laszlo and his wife Ilsa walk into Rick's cafe, into his place "of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world" - and with one blow, administered to the melancholy tunes of "As Time Goes By," the carefully maintained equilibrium of his little world comes crashing down around him.

The movie's two-disc special edition is unquestionably superior to any prior single-disc edition; featuring not only an improved video transfer but also, and notably, a new introduction by Lauren Bacall, additional documentaries ("Bacall on Bogart" and "The Children Remember" with Stephen Bogart and Ingrid Bergman's daughters Pia Lindstrom and Isabella Rosselini) besides the excellent "You Must Remember This" already included on the one-disc edition, newly-discovered deleted scenes, treasures from the production history, commentary tracks with Roger Ebert and historian Rudy Behlmer, as well as several audio documents and fun stuff like web links and the "Looney Tunes" homage "Carrotblanca."

Not only to Bogart and Bergman fans all over the world, "Casablanca" is film history's all-time crowning achievement, a "must" in every movie lover's collection, and one of the few films that truly deserve the title "classic." If you don't already own it, this two-disc special edition is a great occasion to remedy that omission!
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid this version!!- it's not the remastered 70th Ann. Edition, 31 Jan. 2013
The transfer used for this steelbook is the older, inferior Warner transfer- NOT the new, remastered version done for the 70th Anniversary! You can see the differences if you go to caps-a-holic dot com, and search for Casablance under 'C'...you will see the comparison between the US and the German (DE) blurays. The inferior German disc is the same as this new UK bluray steelbook. Buyer beware.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Cinematic Classic, and a Stunning Blu Ray Edition, 13 Jun. 2010
By 
A. Foxley (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Casablanca [Blu-ray] [1942] (Blu-ray)
'Casablanca' is, of course, one of the cinema's all-time greats. Much-loved and admired, and referenced widely, it will regularly pop up in lists of the greatest movies ever made. But surely a film made in 1942 would have little to offer the Blu Ray format, and this is just a cynical way to market the film all over again?

You might think that. But you'd be wrong - many of us will be familiar with the film through TV screenings, VHS and DVD releases from sub-standard prints, which don't do the film justice. This Blu Ray edition uses a lovingly restored HD transfer which gives the film a whole new lease of life - few people, perhaps even during its original theatrical run, will have experienced a version of the film that looks and sounds anything like as good as this.

It also boasts an impressive array of bonus features - although unfortunately, they're supplied in standard definition only - which are ported from the 2 disc DVD special edition. There's some fascinating stuff to be found here, including documentaries, audio material and, most unusual of all, the wonderful Looney Tunes homage 'Carrotblanca', starring Bugs Bunny in the Humphrey Bogart role. If you're a fan of the film, you can't afford to miss this - and if you've never quite managed to get around to seeing it, this is the edition which will showcase this brilliant film to its full potential.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best film ever made., 23 Dec. 2006
By 
Richard Barnes (london) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Casablanca [1942] [DVD] (DVD)
'Casablanca' is simply the best movie ever made. It has everything; a great story, a real atmosphere of sophisticated but desperate refugees in wartime, fantastic performances, great music and a powerful, uplifting message of unselfish love. It is humbling and heart-warming in equal measure to read other reviews of 'Casablanca' on this page and see how well loved this film is by so many all over the world (and how well they express it).'Casablanca' is one film that will live for ever.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Languages & Quality, 2 Jan. 2011
This review is from: Casablanca [Blu-ray] [1942] (Blu-ray)
Blu-ray all zone

Ratio of the feature film:
1.33:1 (Black and White)

Languages of the feature film:
Dolby 1.0: English, Brazilian Portuguese, Hungarian and 2 Commentaries

Subtitles for nearly all the videos:
Complex Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Arabic, Czech, Hebrew, Hungarian and English for the hearing impaired

Extra subtitles only available for the feature film:
Bulgarian, Croatian, Estonian, Greek, Icelandic, Polish, Romanian, Serbian, Slovenian, Thai and Turkish

Verdict:
A very good picture and the clear sound, an exceptional edition for an outstanding film! You couldn't expect better for a film shoot in 1942.

NB: The blu-ray cover does say Japanese language and Spanish subtitle but there are actually not on the disc.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars famous for all the right reasons, 20 Dec. 2006
By 
hillbank68 "almac1975" (Fife, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Casablanca [1942] [DVD] (DVD)
One of the most famous and popular films of all time, this is an absolute masterpiece. It tells its bitter-sweet story to perfection ; it is full of atmosphere ; it uses music wonderfully, as an integral part of the story ; it encompasses genuine heroism, political tension, moral ambiguity, many twists and turns in the narrative, excellent dialogue (with, of course, some oft-quoted lines) and to that adds the anti-hero character of Bogart. The direction is superb and all the performances likewise. If ever a film deserved its success, this is it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Round up the Usual Suspects', 7 Jan. 2002
By 
Mr. A. E. Hall "brother_of_sadako" (Liverpool, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Casablanca [1942] [DVD] (DVD)
For the past 10 years or so I have made it my mission to collect and watch classic old movies. The more I watched, the more films I grew to love. And yet Casablanca was one I steered clear of for a while. I was sure I was going to get some sloppy, trite mushy love story. Boy was I wrong! Casablanca, like Citizen Kane and Gone with the Wind before it is reguarded as one of the greatest films ever made. And like those two, it is with good reason. Quite simply, it is my favourite film of all time.

Let's reel off everything good about this film (this may take time so I hope you're sitting comfortably).

The cast: Rick (Bogart) is synnical and yet warm and kind. He lets others go about their business however detestable and stands up for what he believes him. He sticks his neck out for nobody and yet helps his friends whenever he can. Why does he do this? Because, like the best heroes, he is flawed, but the good people in life, like Ilsa, Lazlo and Sam bring out the good in him. Claude Rains as the Police Captain is one of my favourite and one of the most versatile actors of all time. Even he has good in him and comes good before the film finishes. And let's not forget Peter Lorre as Umgati.

Many scenes and lines are burned into cinema history: 'Vultures everywhere', 'Are my eyes really brown', 'I am a drunkard....'That makes him a citizen of the World', 'Maybe not today, mayeb not tomorrow but soon and for the rest of your life', 'this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship'. The settings are also a dream, if I could spend one day in a Hollywood movie, I would spend the evening in 'Rick's' listening to Sam.

Why do I love this film so much? Because it can leave you seething with anger at the sight of the Nazi's taking over the bar, then have the hairs on the back of neck stand on end as the French respond with the National anthem, then frightened as the Captain brings the dream to an end with one blow of his whistle for discovering the backroom, then laughing out loud as his gambling winnings are handed to him - all in the space of a couple of minutes. Funny, moving, inspiring, romantic, exciting, devilish, it is one of a VERY SMALL number of films that really does have it all!

p.s. Just to further dispel a rumour: 'Play it again Sam' just like 'Beam me up Scotty' is an urban myth, it is never spoken!
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vichy et Noir, 18 Aug. 2004
By 
Ian Millard - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Casablanca [VHS] (1942) (VHS Tape)
The geo-political background of this marvellous film, a film which transcends its WW2 propaganda efforts, is still not known to many: after the fall of France in 1940, most of France (except Paris and North and the coastal regions) was, in fact, at least until 1942-43, run by a virtually independent pro-German French administration based in the spa town of Vichy. The overseas colonies of France, from Devil's Island to Indo-China, were ideologically split: some supported Vichy, some de Gaulle's London-based "government", others a mid-way position based around local high-ranking French commanders (French Morocco and Algeria, to name but two).

Casablanca, a port in Morocco, played a quasi-independent game, allied to Vichy but full of all sorts of people, including people in the administration and police, until the Americans and British invaded "by invitation" in 1943 (Operation Torch). This film is set somewhat beforehand, although actually made a little later.

Many propaganda points in the film will not be picked up on by most viewers, as in the scene where the obnoxious Deutsche Bank exec fails to gain entrance to Rick's casino room and storms off saying he will "report it to Der Angriff". how many know that to have been Goebbels' newspaper?

Whatever one's views about WW2, this film can be enjoyed for itself. It is, of course, a classic, a classic noir at that. Everyone should own this film.
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Casablanca [Blu-ray] [1942]
Casablanca [Blu-ray] [1942] by Michael Curtiz (Blu-ray - 2010)
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