Casablanca (1942)

I find this film to be tremendous for two reasons: it's moral stance and it's historical significance.

Declared by many to be the greatest love story of all time, we don't see the lovers succumbing to their carnal desires, but rather to the will to honour each other. This is very admirable - and rare. Bogart and Bergman show cause for true love, though some today would say they are protecting an archaic understanding of marriage.

The fact that this film was made just after the United States had officially entered World War II makes this a war document in and of itself. No one knew how much longer the war would go on nor who would ultimately win. The Germans are clearly depticted as the bad guys, but not nearly as callous as they are in future films. It is more an issue of nationalism during the making of the film - which is superbly depicted in the bar scene where the French overwhelm the Germans in song.


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