full title Casablanca
director Michael Curtiz
leading actors/actresses Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Heinreid
supporting actors/actresses Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre
type of work Melodrama, war movie
language English (with some German and French)
time and place produced Hollywood, 1942
date of release Released in New York in late 1942 and nationwide in early 1943
producer Hal Wallis
setting (time) December 1941
setting (place) Casablanca in French-ruled Morocco
protagonist Rick Blaine
major conflict The major conflict is between Rick and Ilsa as he tries to understand and she tries to explain their suddenly aborted relationship in Paris. The conflict soon expands beyond their romantic past to involve Laszlo and his attempt to escape to Lisbon.
rising action The conflict between Ilsa and Rick is ignited when Ilsa shows up in Rick's Cafe with Laszlo. Laszlo and Ilsa plan only to pass through Casablanca, but the difficulty of obtaining letters of transit and the fact that the jealous Rick has the letters forces Ilsa and Rick into frequent contact and conflict.
climax The climax of the film appears to be the lovers' reconciliation in Rick's apartment, but Rick's decision at the airport to let Ilsa leave with Laszlo soon trumps this earlier scene.
falling action The falling action begins with Rick's idealistic pronouncements at the airport about personal sacrifice, which justify his decision to let Ilsa leave with Laszlo, and culminates in his murder of Strasser, an act that ensures Ilsa and Laszlo's safe departure but forces Rick into further exile.
themes The difficulty of neutrality; the inescapable past; the power of lady luck
motifs Exile and traveling; dreaming of America in Africa; spotlight
symbols Sam’s piano; Laszlo; the plane to Lisbon and the letters of transit