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Old 03-25-2009, 12:58 AM   #1
swordfishblue swordfishblue is offline
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Default Casablanca: What's the Theme?

Hey guys and girls, I need some help. I have to write a critique paper on Casablanca for my film studies class but i'm stuck with the theme of this movie. What's the director trying to say?
I know i'm one of those mid twenties who think black and white movies are boring maybe that's why i can't get into this movie. The most exciting black and for me are the opening of Kill Bill and Casino Royale. So That's where i'm coming from.

But anyway i need some input so i can start my paper. It's due next Tuesday. Thanks
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Old 03-25-2009, 01:03 AM   #2
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lol the thread title sounded JUST like a bruce pullen thread...

anyways...OP, not that you should use this website as a reference (definitely don't ) and i'm pretty sure these are frowned upon, but it might be a good place just to help get you started and get your brain thinking:

http://www.sparknotes.com/film/casablanca/themes.html

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Old 03-25-2009, 01:12 AM   #3
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I have to say I am surprised, I also have trouble watching most older (black & white) movies, but this is one movie that I actually enjoy. I think that is one reason it is such a classic. I also think the theme is pretty obvious, I think you can figure it out.
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Old 03-25-2009, 04:53 AM   #4
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My teacher kind of hinted that the theme is about rising up for a cause instead of being selfish. I must say i've always seen this movie as love story i mean based on posters and dvd covers i've seen. It looks like there is more to the story. But i have to admit i would have never watched anywhere but in the class with a group of people. I'd probably sleep through it if i was watching it at home by myself.

Thanks for the tips.
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Old 03-25-2009, 04:58 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swordfishblue View Post
Hey guys and girls, I need some help. I have to write a critique paper on Casablanca for my film studies class but i'm stuck with the theme of this movie. What's the director trying to say?
I know i'm one of those mid twenties who think black and white movies are boring maybe that's why i can't get into this movie. The most exciting black and for me are the opening of Kill Bill and Casino Royale. So That's where i'm coming from.

But anyway i need some input so i can start my paper. It's due next Tuesday. Thanks
I have all of the answers right here....... but this breaks my heart......


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Old 03-25-2009, 07:12 AM   #6
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Ouch.

Do us all a favor, and promise to watch it at some point.

But to help guide you in your paper, keep in mind that the movie was made in 1942, which was when, exactly?

If you said "the middle of World War II" you are correct!

The big idea of the movie is that sometimes you have to make personal sacrifices for a bigger/more important cause.
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Old 03-25-2009, 11:08 AM   #7
swordfishblue swordfishblue is offline
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Originally Posted by toefer View Post
Ouch.

Do us all a favor, and promise to watch it at some point.

But to help guide you in your paper, keep in mind that the movie was made in 1942, which was when, exactly?

If you said "the middle of World War II" you are correct!

The big idea of the movie is that sometimes you have to make personal sacrifices for a bigger/more important cause.
I've tried to watch on TCM whenever it comes on But i never sit thru the whole thing. I guess i lack patience. But i watched the full movie for first in my class. I guess it helps to watch with a group of people.

Anyway i have till Tuesday to turn the paper. So i'll rent it and watch it again for my critique paper. Funny thing i gotta write about the kind of lighting and colors the director used in the movie stuff like that. It's a black/white movie!!! lol
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Old 03-25-2009, 11:34 AM   #8
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Off the top of my head - the theme is hope vs apathy.

In the movie, Casablanca is a city of refugees, people who have lost everything, their home, their country, their prospects. All they want is to be able to go to some place safe.

Similarly, Rick is a defeated man. He was abandoned by the woman he loved, and all the causes he fought for have been crushed. Now he wants no risks, and turns a blind eye to the Nazis. The return of Ilsa tears down that illusion of complacency.
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Old 03-25-2009, 11:53 AM   #9
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Redemption and reconciliation. But most of all, the sacrifice of the individual and his/her desires for the greater good.

Focus on Rick's speech to Ilsa when she wants to leave her husband and remain with Rick in Casablanca.
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Old 03-25-2009, 12:02 PM   #10
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sussudio View Post
lol the thread title sounded JUST like a bruce pullen thread...

anyways...OP, not that you should use this website as a reference (definitely don't ) and i'm pretty sure these are frowned upon, but it might be a good place just to help get you started and get your brain thinking:

http://www.sparknotes.com/film/casablanca/themes.html
I was thinking the samething when I saw it, too funny
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Old 03-25-2009, 10:20 PM   #11
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it's definitely a tale of love and sacrifice for the greater good of mankind.

this movie is definitely one of the best movie of all time period. everybody who love movie should take the time to see it, the story is simply wonderful.
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Old 03-25-2009, 10:29 PM   #12
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if you watch one black and white movie in your life then make it this one
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Old 03-26-2009, 12:10 AM   #13
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there is no actual reason to approach a black and white movie differently than a colored movie.

anyone telling you the theme is hurting your opportunity to learn.

watch the movie, take it in, and think about it. if you care enough about movies to take a class in it you should want to. and you really badly need to get over whatever is holding you back on black and white movies.
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Old 03-26-2009, 01:03 AM   #14
Marcusarilius Marcusarilius is offline
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Casablanca is one of the greatest stories ever told. Put away Kill Bill and Rambo for a couple hours and treat yourself to an age where superb story line, sound track, Directing and Acting all came together for one magnificent film.

We can fill in the blanks for you, but the paper is supposed to be about what "You" got out of it. There should be very little right or wrong with this request.
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Old 03-26-2009, 01:57 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregBlu5 View Post
Redemption and reconciliation. But most of all, the sacrifice of the individual and his/her desires for the greater good.

Focus on Rick's speech to Ilsa when she wants to leave her husband and remain with Rick in Casablanca.
Rick's speech at the airport explains it all.

In this movie you have:

Nasty Nazis (they are essential but don't add much to the movie)

The "Free French" who are subject to the Nazis but wage a quiet rebellion against them.

Rick, a self-centered man who gives up the incredibly hot Ingrid Bergman because there are more important things than his personal happiness.

Isla who gives up "true love" due to loyalty to her husband, and the needs of the free world.


If you are getting ready to write a paper, I would suggest watching the last scene (at the airport) first and then watching the whole movie to see how these characters develop, and the themes should become clear.
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Old 08-17-2013, 10:37 PM   #16
jack42 jack42 is offline
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Default The theme for Casablanca

Quote:
Originally Posted by swordfishblue View Post
Hey guys and girls, I need some help. I have to write a critique paper on Casablanca for my film studies class but i'm stuck with the theme of this movie. What's the director trying to say?
I know i'm one of those mid twenties who think black and white movies are boring maybe that's why i can't get into this movie. The most exciting black and for me are the opening of Kill Bill and Casino Royale. So That's where i'm coming from.

But anyway i need some input so i can start my paper. It's due next Tuesday. Thanks
The theme is illustrating that the USA's policy of isolationism during the beginning of World War II was wrong and that the US would have to join in the war against Fascism. This is continually referred to throughout the movie. There is a scene at the beginning when the fat night club owner says to Rick that isolation will not be profitable and all the way through the movie this is referred to. When Victor Lazlo the freedom fighter tells Rick he has to join with him and he says welcome back to the fight as he gets on the plane and the police chief pours a glass of water but notices it is Vichy water (Vichy was also the name of the French government controlled by the Germans) and throws it in the waste basket. Now that you know the theme you can find all the other references in the movie. I also feel your judging a movie's worth by it not being in black and white a very doubtful criteria and suggest you study a few and update your attitude as you are missing out. As for the lighting part there are close ups of Ingrid Bergman where she is breathtakingly beautiful and the lighting must be relevant.

Last edited by jack42; 08-17-2013 at 10:44 PM. Reason: additional text and information
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Old 08-17-2013, 10:42 PM   #17
JavaJulien JavaJulien is offline
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One interpretation I was told in my Film Class was that Casablanca could be viewed as a commentary of the U.S.' actions and feelings during WW2.
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Old 08-17-2013, 11:40 PM   #18
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Quote:
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The theme is illustrating that the USA's policy of isolationism during the beginning of World War II was wrong and that the US would have to join in the war against Fascism.
Uh, it's been four years, I think he's done his paper by now...

But, FWIW, it's the story of several characters who used the war as an excuse to run away from Giving a Damn to learn how to again.
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Old 08-17-2013, 11:47 PM   #19
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I cant believe someone bump this thread awesome
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