1942: 1 movie

(Last updated 25 February 2014)

Casablanca 
Direction - Michael Curtiz
Writing - Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein, and Howard Koch.
Production - Hal B. Wallis and Jack L. Warner
Music - Max Steiner
Cinematography - Arthur Edeson
Editing - Owen Marks
Art Direction - Carl Jules Weyl
Set Decoration - George James Hopkins
Costume Design - Orry-Kelly
Makeup Department - Perc Westmore
Production Management - Al Alleborn
Set designer - Harper Goff
Sound Department - Francis J. Scheid and Edward Ullman
Musical director - Leo F. Forbstein
Orchestral Arrangements- Hugo Friedhofer
Songs - M.K. Jerome and Jack Scholl
Montages - James Leicester and Don Siegel
Starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Dooley Wilson,
Claude Rains, Paul Henreid, Peter Lorre, and Conrad Veidt.

   Possibly and justifiably the most acclaimed movie of all time. It's not about any one or two or group of people, nor is it about any one place or time. Rather it's about a lifestyle, a particular scope of emotions. It's a breathless romp in several simultaneous directions, rags to riches, riches to rags, loneliness to love, love to loneliness, individuality to society, society to individuality, and it's about the struggle between law, crime, dictatorship, vigilantes, rebels, and justice. It's about race, creed, and nationality, but it's more so about the intrinsic bond between all people. It's as tragic as it is triumphant, and it's all carried across with perfection by the grand cinematography which is as crisp as it is soft, lush, and warm. It's carried across by the quick-fire ricochet editing, by the heart-strings-pulling music, the master class of actors, and by the set so detailed that it has created a real space in the eternal subconscious. Another vital ingredient which has been largely unsung is the detailed attention to extras. By focusing on so many non-lead or supporting characters, the perceived reality of the situation is exponentially increased.
   The only knocks that could possibly be aimed towards it come from its treatment of women and black people, considering how Ilsa can be seen to have started the whole mess but ends up relying on men to clean it up, and how Sam is always in the background, never center stage, constantly taken for granted, even on the publicity posters for the movie! But in the end, the handling of these issues can be argued as being standard to the era. Furthermore, I think keen minds will glean that the movie's spirit actually lies in the junction between the characters of Sam, Ilsa, and Rick. There is no Casablanca without Sam. Casablanca only comes to life with Ilsa. Rick would have been dead and forgotten long ago without his two friends, let alone have any hope for spiritual growth.

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