Casablanca, Morocco - Facts and Travel Information
The film opened at New York City's Hollywood Theater on Thanksgiving Day, 1942. This was just 18 days after the Allied Forces had landed at Casablanca. Moreover, Casablanca's general release date was January 23, 1943, which was in the very midst of the Casablanca conference of the Allied Powers. In other words, the release schedule of Casablanca happened to be very timely, to say the least.
Casablanca (1942) - The Best Movies in Cinematic History
For instance, the famous, famous line “Play it again, Sam”–just in this small grouping of words, we can see a microcosm of what Casablanca is all about. The film is a meeting point between America's search for machismo and America's “kinder, gentler,” softness that always looks fondly to the past.
The combination of the performances of Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in “Casablanca” should be the very definition of film chemistry. Ingrid Bergman helped create the film's mystique. James Card writes, “At age twelve I was deeply impressed by Ingrid Bergman, walking towards an airplane on a misty runway, the tears on her face just glimpsed beneath the large hat that shadowed her face.”
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To explain further, the zeitgeist in America at that time, related to the War, was centered around the idea of personal commitment. In a political sense, this feeling corresponded to America's commitment to the global political scene. We can say that Casablanca tapped into the mood of the times when released, because the film was about the making of personal commitments as the entrance of politics into individual lives occurred.
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The characters of Casablanca, like the young Americans of the 1960s who spear-headed the protest movement, are “real Americans” lost in a unfriendly locale, fighting to open up a new reality. The enduring appeal of Casablanca, through the 1960s and up to the present, rests on the melding of various thematic elements: colorful, eccentric characters involved in a risque love story; an exotic, foreign locale; melodramatic political incidents; tough, cynical and humorous repartee; sentimental, idealistic interludes (virtual speeches); heroic, selfless commitment to a cause, etc.
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On Friday July 23, 1999, King Hussan died. His death concluded the longest monarchy in modern history of the Arab world with a total of 38 years. Currently, King Hassan's son Crown Prince sidi Mohammed rules Morocco as the 18th king in the Alawite Dynasty.
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In these thematic elements we can see many connections to what would become the American counter-culture movement, including the emphasis on individualism, suggestions of a sexual awakening, the escape offered by drug usage (exotic places), the drama of 1960s politics, a new kind of humor that was critical and smart about American traditions, the simplification of idealism, and the tuning out of the old world. From this perspective, Casablanca's renewed popularity in the 1960s becomes logical. The line “I bet they're asleep all over America” obviously took on a new meaning to the counter-culture movement.
Casablanca is one of the most recognized films in Hollywood history
Conflict between the Spanish and Portuguese in the early 15th century left the Portuguese in control of the Port of Cueta in 1415. In 1578, however, the Moroccans rose against the Portuguese and regained control of that port. This was a start of a nationwide battle that resulted in Moroccan’s reclaiming almost all the coastal towns that were under Portugal's rule by 1700. In 1904 Morocco was divided between France and Spain with France receiving the larger portion. In 1911 Germany sent a gunboat to the French owned coastline of Morocco with the goal of claiming some of it for themselves. Fortunately war was averted when the French made an agreement with Germany whereby the French would keep control of Morocco whilst they allowed the Germans concessions elsewhere.