Casablanca Turns 75 This Week And Here’s Why It’s More Relevant Than Ever Before


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The story is iconic: a devastating romance starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman as Rick Blaine and Ilsa Lund, star-crossed lovers whose union must be sacrificed for the sake of fighting the Nazis.

This week marks the 75th anniversary of the premiere of Casablanca, a timeless story of love, loss, and redemption many consider to be the greatest movie ever made.


Rushed onscreen at New York’s Hollywood Theater on November 26, 1942, to capitalize on the Allied invasion of North Africa, it was a slow burner at the box office but went on to win hearts worldwide — and the best picture Oscar.

The story is iconic: a devastating romance starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman as Rick Blaine and Ilsa Lund, star-crossed lovers whose union must be sacrificed for the sake of fighting the Nazis.

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Nora Fiore, who runs the “Nitrate Diva” classic film blog, says “Casablanca” is about the triumph of idealism over cynicism, pointing to the passion of the supporting cast, many of whom were refugees who had fled Nazi persecution.

“Sugarcoated though it is, ‘Casablanca’ offers up an allegory of America shedding its isolationism and selfishness and sticking its neck out to help others, especially refugees,” she told AFP.

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The Oscar-winning screenplay by Howard Koch, Julius Epstein, and his twin brother Philip is as remarkable for the sheer number of catchphrases it spawned — from “Round up the usual suspects” to “Here’s looking at you, kid.”

With the death last year of Madeleine LeBeau, who played Rick’s spurned girlfriend Yvonne, there are no surviving cast members, but the movie’s legacy has never been in doubt.

Chosen by British parliamentarians as their favorite film of all time in a 2006 poll, and named the third greatest US movie a year later by the American Film Institute, it still packs out special screenings.

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