Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Casablanca (1942)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Casablanca (1942)

In Michael Curtiz' definitive and popular Best Picture-winning classic war-time romantic drama with many memorable sequences:

  • the first view of Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) in his Cafe Americain nightclub playing chess by himself
  • the unexpected entrance of former love Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) with her vulnerable beauty and her request of piano player Sam (Dooley Wilson) to once again play "As Time Goes By" - ("Play it once, Sam, for old times' sake...Play it, Sam. Play 'As Time Goes By.'...I'll hum it for you. Sing it, Sam")
  • Sam's rendition of the song and Rick's strident interruption and first glance at Ilsa: ("You must remember this A kiss is just a kiss A sigh is just a sigh The fundamental things apply As Time Goes By. And when two lovers woo They still say, 'I love you' On that you can rely No matter what the future brings As Time Goes By")
  • the images of Rick's masculine mannerisms and the self-pitying scene later that evening of Rick alone with a cigarette and a bottle asking Sam to play a repeat performance of "As Time Goes By": ("You played it for her, you can play it for me... If she can stand it, I can. Play it!")
  • the flashbacks to bittersweet memories of Paris: ("Not an easy day to forget.... I remember every detail. The Germans wore grey. You wore blue"), and their embrace at the window as the Germans approached: ("With the whole world crumbling we pick this time to fall in love....Was that cannon fire or is it my heart pounding?...I love you so much. And I hate this war so much. Oh, it's a crazy world. Anything can happen. If you shouldn't get away, I mean, if something should keep us apart, wherever they put you and wherever I'll be, I want you to know that...Kiss me. Kiss me as if it were the last time")
  • the ink of Ilsa's goodbye note being washed away in the rain - and then a return to the present, and Ilsa's unexpected appearance in the doorway in a shaft of light
  • Rick's nodding to the band leader to permit the playing of "The Marseillaise" - the French national anthem - and the memorable duel of national anthems with the crowd joining in to sing and drown out the Germans' anthem "Wacht am Rhein" - and Yvonne's (Madeleine LeBeau) proud reaction with tears in her eyes
  • the scene in which Ilsa spoke to Rick about the letters of transit - holding a gun on him: ("You want to feel sorry for yourself, don't you? With so much at stake, all you can think of is your own feeling. One woman has hurt you and you take your revenge on the rest of the world. You're a, you're a coward and a weakling. No. Oh Richard, I'm sorry. I'm sorry, but, but you, you are our last hope. If you don't help us, Victor Laszlo will die in Casablanca"), and then realized she couldn't shoot Rick, and they moved together to embrace: ("Richard, I tried to stay away. I thought I would never see you again, that you were out of my life. The day you left Paris, if you knew what I went through. If you knew how much I loved you, how much I still love you"); soon after, she confessed: ("I can't fight it anymore. I ran away from you once. I can't do it again. Oh, I don't know what's right any longer. You have to think for both of us. For all of us")
  • corrupt police chief Capt. Louis Renault's (Claude Rains) acceptance of his gambling winnings AFTER closing down the cafe, and his sarcastic exclamation: ("I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here")
  • the final farewell scene between trench-coated Rick and Ilsa on the rainy, foggy airstrip in North Africa with "Here's lookin' at you, kid" and Rick's noble sacrifice to give up the love of his life, and let Ilsa leave with her freedom-fighter husband Victor (Paul Henreid) at the airstrip on an airplane bound for Lisbon: ("If that plane leaves the ground and you're not with him, you'll regret it...Maybe not today, and maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of your life...We'll always have Paris. We didn't have - we'd - we'd lost it until you came to Casablanca. We got it back last night...I've got a job to do too. Where I'm going, you can't follow. What I've got to do, you can't be any part of...Ilsa, I'm no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you'll understand that. Now, now. Here's looking at you, kid")
Airport Farewell
  • Renault's two pronouncements to protect Rick from being blamed for the shooting murder of Major Strasser (Conrad Veidt): "Major Strasser has been shot," and his tense pause before ordering: "Round up the usual suspects", and his anti-Nazi, pro-Allied gesture in tossing a bottle of Vichy water into the trash
  • the camaraderie of Renault and Rick, and Rick's closing line to him: "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship" as the two walked off the foggy tarmac to an uncertain and unknown future

Rick Blaine - Solitary Chess Game in Cafe

Entrance of Ilsa

Rick Drinking Alone

Memories of Paris

Rainy Goodbye Note

Demanding the Letters of Transit

Rick: "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship"


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