Casablanca (1942)

By Michael Schilf · December 13, 2010

Screenplay Genre: Drama / Romance

Movie Time: 102 minutes


Ugarte (Peter Lorre) comes to Rick's Café Américain, a swank nightclub owned by American expatriate Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), with letters of transit he obtained by killing two German couriers. The papers allow the bearer to travel freely around German-controlled Europe, and Ugarte plans to sell the documents to the highest bidder but leaves the letters with Rick for safekeeping. (00:10:15)

2. LOCK IN (End of Act One)

Even though Ugarte is captured by Captain Louis Renault (Claude Rains), a corrupt police official accommodating the Nazis, before he can sell the letters of transit to Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), a infamous Czech Resistance leader, Rick isn't locked in until Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), Victor's wife and Rick's past lover in Paris, who re-enters Rick's life. (00:31:16)


Laszlo and Ilsa seek out Signor Ferrari (Sydney Greenstreet), one of Rick's competitor's and owner of a club called The Blue Parrot. Ferrari; however, his is only able to secure one exit visa for Ilsa, explaining that "it would take a miracle" to get Laszlo out of Casablanca. But the couple agrees that they are "only interested in two visas". Ferrari then hints that Rick has possession of Ugarte's letters of transit. (00:58:30)

4. MAIN CULMINATION (End of Act Two)

Ilsa confronts Rick in the deserted café, holding a gun on him in a desperate attempt to retrieve the letters of transit, but Rick dares her to "Go ahead and shoot." Unable to pull the trigger, Ilsa confesses that she still loves him, and only after this confession does Rick decide to help Laszlo escape Casablanca, leading Ilsa to believe that she will stay behind with Rick when Laszlo leaves. (01:21:19)


After Laszlo is jailed on a minor charge, Rick convinces Renault to release Laszlo, promising to set him up for a much more serious crime: possession of the letters of transit, However, Rick double crosses Renault, forcing him at gunpoint to assist in the escape. There is a final twist upon the twist, however, when at the last moment, Rick makes Ilsa get on the plane to Lisbon with her husband. (1:33:10)