Plot[ edit ] In DecemberAmerican expatriate Rick Blaine owns an upscale nightclub and gambling den in Casablanca. Although Rick professes to be neutral in all matters, he ran guns to Ethiopia during its war with Italy and fought on the Loyalist side in the Spanish Civil War.
From left to right: Henreid, Bergman, Rains and Bogart Petty crook Ugarte boasts to Rick of "letters of transit" obtained by murdering two German couriers. The papers allow the bearers to travel freely around German-occupied Europe and to neutral Portugaland are priceless to the refugees stranded in Casablanca.
Ugarte plans to sell them at the club, and asks Rick to hold them. Before he can meet his contact, Ugarte is arrested by the local police under the command of Captain Louis Renault, the unabashedly corrupt Vichy prefect of police.
Ugarte dies in custody without revealing that he entrusted the letters to Rick. Then the reason for Rick's bitterness—former lover Ilsa Lund—enters his establishment. She is accompanied by her husband, Victor Laszlo, a renowned fugitive Czech Resistance leader. They need the letters to escape to America to continue his work.
German Major Strasser has come to Casablanca to see that Laszlo fails. When Laszlo makes inquiries, Ferrari, a major underworld figure and Rick's friendly business rival, divulges his suspicion that Rick has the letters.
Privately, Rick refuses to sell at any price, telling Laszlo to ask his wife the reason. Laszlo orders the house band to play " La Marseillaise ". When the band looks to Rick, he nods his head. Laszlo starts singing, alone at first, then patriotic fervor grips the crowd and everyone joins in, drowning out the Germans.
Strasser demands Renault close the club, which he does on the pretext of suddenly discovering there is gambling on the premises.
When he refuses to give her the letters, she threatens him with a gun, but then confesses that she still loves him. She explains that when they met and fell in love in Paris inshe believed her husband had been killed attempting to escape from a concentration camp.
While preparing to flee with Rick from the imminent fall of the city to the German army, she learned Laszlo was alive and in hiding. She left Rick without explanation to nurse her sick husband.
He agrees to help, letting her believe she will stay with him when Laszlo leaves. When Laszlo unexpectedly shows up, having narrowly escaped a police raid on a Resistance meeting, Rick has waiter Carl spirit Ilsa away.
Laszlo, aware of Rick's love for Ilsa, tries to persuade him to use the letters to take her to safety. When the police arrest Laszlo on a minor, trumped-up charge, Rick persuades Renault to release him by promising to set him up for a much more serious crime: To allay Renault's suspicions, Rick explains that he and Ilsa will be leaving for America.
When Renault tries to arrest Laszlo as arranged, Rick forces him at gunpoint to assist in their escape. At the last moment, Rick makes Ilsa board the plane to Lisbon with Laszlo, telling her that she would regret it if she stayed—"Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.
Rick shoots him when he tries to intervene. When policemen arrive, Renault pauses, then orders them to "round up the usual suspects. As they walk away into the fog, Rick says, "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship".
Cast[ edit ] Greenstreet and Bogart The play's cast consisted of 16 speaking parts and several extras; the film script enlarged it to 22 speaking parts and hundreds of extras. The top-billed actors are: Rick was Bogart's first truly romantic role.
Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa Lund. Bergman's official website calls Ilsa her "most famous and enduring role". Film critic Roger Ebert called her "luminous", and commented on the chemistry between her and Bogart: Selznickby lending Olivia de Havilland in exchange.
Henreid, an Austrian actor who had emigrated inwas reluctant to take the role it "set [him] as a stiff forever", according to Pauline Kael until he was promised top billing along with Bogart and Bergman.
Henreid did not get on well with his fellow actors; he considered Bogart "a mediocre actor. Claude Rains as Captain Louis Renault. Rains was an English actor born in London. Conrad Veidt as Major Heinrich Strasser.
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