Casablanca Analytical Paper
December 17, 2009
Film is a form of expression that can be used to entertain an audience, deliver a
message or both.
The film Casablanca (1942) exposes the chaos, death and destruction
caused by war, while conveying a message about people and how priorities change when
freedom is at stake. Times of war call for sacrifice; wealth, power and sometimes love are
traded for the greater good.
Set during the period of World War II (1939-1945),
Casablanca is a story depicting fictional characters and the effects WWII has on their
lives. The Film at one point or another represents various social classes; from the poor
thief that robs the unsuspecting couple while posing to be a waiter, to the working-class
bartender, and finally to the many wealthy upper-class patrons at Ricks Café Americain.
Even though the film contains various inaccuracies about the period, WWII occurring in
the film as well as in reality served to express society’s true feelings on the war.
Casablanca begins to the tune of “La Marseillaise”, the French national anthem,
as a narrator described the route refugees took from Europe to America.
The route began
via train to Marseilles, across the Mediterranean to Oran, Algeria, and lastly by train,
plane, or by foot to Casablanca where with an exit visa an individual could travel to
Lisbon, Portugal and subsequently to America.
WWII history tells us that this was not
the usual route refugees took, but rather most refugees traveled to Vienna, Prague, Paris
The French ruled city of Casablanca serves as the primary setting of this
Here, we meet the main character, Rick Blaine. Blaine is an American and the
owner of Rick’s Café Americain, a popular nightclub and casino in Casablanca.
When we are first introduced to Rick, a man named Ugarte, a patron of this
establishment, approaches him.
Ugarte makes a living by selling exit visas to people in