Quote 5

Rick:   “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."

This sentence, spoken by Rick, concludes Casablanca. Rick says this to Louis after the plane carrying Ilsa and Laszlo to Lisbon has departed, Strasser has been killed, and Louis has abandoned his cynical neutrality to embrace the Allied cause. As Louis and Rick walk side by side down the airport's empty runway, we see that their fates are linked, most overtly in their shared decision to leave Casablanca for Brazzaville, in French Congo. Their fates are linked in other ways as well. On the one hand, friendship with Louis is a consolation to Rick after Ilsa's departure. However, the words speak of hope, not resignation. Both Rick and Louis have earned a new beginning. The friendship between Louis and Rick is not itself new, and their mutual affection has been evident throughout the film. Rick's calling this a "beginning," therefore, implies that the terms of the friendship have changed. Whereas the two were once joined by bonds of self-interest and generally interacted out of necessity, now they share a political bond. Political idealism, in the form of active resistance to Nazi rule and the consolidation of the American-French alliance, has replaced casino kickbacks as the cement of their relationship.