Best Picture Review: “Casablanca” (1943)

Casablanca, 1943
Casablanca, 1943

Sunday evening, Lauren and I sat down to watch the next movie in our Best Picture series, 1942’s “Mrs. Miniver.”  Unfortunately, the DVD was badly scratched and froze up completely after just 41 minutes.  So we bitched to Netflix and popped in the next movie, “Casablanca.”

As you probably know, Casablanca is considered to be one of the best movies ever made, often seen right up at the top of lists with Citizen Kane and the Godfather movies.  Lauren had seen it before, but this was the first time for me.

Based in Morocco in the early 40s, Rick owns a bar that attracts top clientele.  One day, an ex love shows up, and yada yada yada she leaves on a plane with her husband.

I was absurdly confused as to what was going on.  I watched the movie and enjoyed it, but was making extremely little sense of it.  I understood that people wanted out of Europe during the World War and Rick possessed two letters that granted permission to fly out of Casablanca to America.  That’s really about all I got out of it.

So, after the movie, I had to go to Wikipedia and read the complete synopsis… and after I was still confused, I had to re-read certain sentences until I understood what was going on.  The only movie I’ve ever seen that left me scratching my head more was Fight Club, which I’ve seen twice and still don’t know what the hell I saw.

In fairness to what is should have been the best movie I’ve seen on the Best Picture list so far, I’d probably have to go back and rewatch it to fairly judge it.  Clearly there are tons of recognizable quotes and scenes that have been copied and spoofed in countless other shows and movies over the years.

So in the end I was disappointed.  I expected to be blown away by a classic and instead I feel like I have to watch it again so I can like it like everyone else!  Anyone else have this experience with Casablanca?

However, it was still a good movie and the parts that didn’t need to be explained to me (the romantic scenes) were good.  I’m not sure where I’d rank it on the list of movies seen.  On a bright note, what I did see of Mrs. Miniver was pretty good.  We’ll finish watching that as soon as Netflix sends us a DVD that works.

One comment

  1. The British are coming! They are taking over Taco Bell and Jiffy Lube! We can’t stop them! They are are throwing fish and chips and taking hostages. We need help!

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