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Casablanca  [DVD]
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Classic war-time drama which has been mis-quoted for decades. During World War II former lovers Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) and Ilse (Ingrid Bergman) are reunited by chance in Casablanca, where he runs a nightclub and she, with her husband (Paul Henreid), is working for the French Resistance. Recriminations, rekindled desires and patriotic duty battle for primacy as Ilse's husband tries to outwit the local Nazis and escape from Morocco, whilst Rick and Ilse re-kindle their love and decide to run away together...
This generously filled two-disc special edition presentation of Casablanca features the film itself in an impressively clean new digital transfer on the first disc, with hiss-free mono sound. It's prefaced by a rather pointless introduction from Lauren Bacall (it would surely be churlish to point out that Casablanca was made two years before Bacall met Bogart) and accompanied by two full-length and fact-packed audio commentaries, one from film critic Roger Ebert, who hardly pauses to take a breath, and the other from film historian Rudy Behlmer, who provides in-depth background detail.
The second disc features a plentiful collection of sundry archival features and more from Bacall, who hosts the two documentaries: You Must Remember This: The Making of Casablanca and a retrospective of Bogie's career, Bacall on Bogart. Of minor interest are two very short deleted scenes--Laszlo and Rick at the jail, and a German officer's pratfall--which in lieu of any surviving audio track have been subtitled from the original script; there's also five minutes of silent outtakes. An audio-only sample of Max Steiner's music-scoring sessions features Dooley Wilson singing "Knock on Wood" and "As Time Goes By". There are brief reminiscences from Stephen Bogart and Pia Lindstrom (son and daughter of Bogie and Ingrid Bergman, respectively); Bugs Bunny and pals in Carrotblanca; a curious 1955 Warner Bros TV version of the movie; audio excerpts from the "Screen Guild Players Radio Production" featuring the principal cast; plus the usual static galleries and other trivia. All in all, it's a valuable two-disc set that really does provide everything you always wanted to know about one of the most famous movies ever made. --Mark Walker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
"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.Read more ›
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?Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This movie is both a war drama and a movie about love. Both main strings are entangled in this movie and solved. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Nini
A simple love story told well. Strong men are such because they are vulnerable; women have huge power but really wish they didn't.. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Dr David Bellamy