During World War Two, Ricks Café Americain in Casablanca is the meeting place for many people from Europe who want to flee to America. Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), the owner of the café, meets Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman) with whom he had an affair in Paris. But a revival of the old feelings is doomed to failure.
The famous resistance fighter Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid) arrives with his pretty wife Ilsa to Casblanca. Because of this, Major Strasser ( Conrad Veidt ) has also traveled to Casablanca. He wants to prevent the Czechoslovak leader of the resistance movement, who has already escaped several times, from leaving for America. Capitaine Renault (Claude Rains) – who is bound by the collaboration of the French Vichy Régime with the Third Reich – is put in a precarious situation forcing him to help Major Strasser. As a demonstration of power Cap. Renault arrests the murderer of two German officers on the first evening in Ricks Café with Major Strasser. It was supposed to have been Ugarte ( Peter Lorre ), a small time crook, who wanted to sell the transit visas of the two Germans on the black market. However, the transit visas are not in his hands; Ugarte had previously entrusted them with Rick.
Background & information
In Casablanca, Humphrey Bogart stars in the main role. Originally it was planned that the film should put the love story of Ilsa Lund Laszlo with her husband Viktor Laszlo (Paul Henreid) in the foreground. Bogart’s role of Richard Blaine should only be a secondary role and be played by George Raft . Ultimately, Bogard took over the part, but very much to his displeasure, as the project was very chaotic and the script was reworked several times during the shoot. He complains to Orson Welles during the shooting “I’m in the worst film I’ve ever played in.” He did not know yet, that he would ultimately oust star Henreid from his main role. Instead, he and Ingrid Bergmann became the movie dream couple of the century and he received his first Oscar nomination for this role.
The screenplay for the drama is based on a play by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison . The employee, who was responsible for proofing of the potential posters at Warner Bros., described the template as a demanding kitsch and prophesied a great success. He was going to be proven right. Casablanca was awarded an Oscar for best film, best director and best adapted screenplay.