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Casablanca (1942)

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Ugarte watches Rick play chess

Rick's Café Américain:

Setting the scene. Rick, the protagonist (Humphrey Bogart), is an American who lives in Casablanca and owns a saloon frequented by some of the most colorful characters ever written. 

They may be his customers, but that doesn't mean Rick won't give them a piece of his mind now and then.  In the picture above, Ugarte (Peter Lorre) watches Rick play chess with himself.

Ugarte: "You despise me, don't you?"
Rick: "If I gave you any thought I probably would."

Rick watches Ugarte get arrested

Later in the evening, Ugarte gets himself arrested:

"Rick, hide me!  Do something!  You must help me.  Rick!" 

But Rick sticks his neck out for nobody, least of all a cut-rate parasite like Ugarte.

Ferrari and Rick discuss business with Sam

Besides its international atmosphere, the biggest draw at Rick's is Sam, the piano player, who contributes such memorable songs as "Knock on Wood" to the soundtrack.

In this scene, Senor Ferrari (Sydney Greenstreet) tries to convince Sam to come work for him at The Blue Parrot, but Sam turns him down.  He claims that the extra money wouldn't matter to him because "I ain't got time to spend the money I make here," but we know it's really Sam's loyalty to Rick that keeps him where he is.  Actually, the role of Sam is actually rather a progressive black character for the early 1940s, being neither a servant nor a comic relief character.  Although serving in a musical capacity, Sam is also a friend and confidant of Rick, the white protagonist, frequently taking care of him and even trying to protect him at times.  Needless to say, this kind of relationship between black and white characters was unusual in films of the time.

Incidentally, Dooley Wilson, who played Sam, was a singer and drummer but couldn't play the piano.  The music for the songs was actually dubbed in by Warners' studio musician Elliott Carpenter.  Also, Wilson was the only member of the CASABLANCA cast who had actually been to the Moroccan city before.

Louis introduces Rick to Ilsa and Lazlo

Rick's already- eventful evening is further complicated by the appearance of Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman) and Victor Lazlo (Paul Henreid), at right, being introduced to Rick by Capt. Louis Renault (Claude Rains), the local Prefect of Police. When they leave, Rick gets drunk.

Multimedia Clips:

Click here"Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine." --Rick (a .WAV file).
Click here "Of all the gin joints . . ."  (a .MOV file courtesy Warner Bros. Home Video).

(For help opening any of the multimedia files, visit the plug-ins page.)

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Last updated: March 10, 2011.
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