Casablancas Analysis

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Casablanca (1942). Warner Bros. Directed by Michael Curtiz; produced by Hal Wallis and Jack Warner; written by Julius Epstein, Philip Epstein, Howard Koch, Murray Burnett, Joan Alison, and Casey Robinson. Principal characters: Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman), Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), and Captain Louis Renault (Claude Rains). Sound Department: Francis Scheid and Edward Ullman. Music Department: Leo Forbstein, Hugo Friedhofer, M.K. Jerome, Jack Scholl, and Elliot Carpenter. Music by Max Steiner. Directed by Michael Curtiz and with a score by Max Steiner, Casablanca (1942) tells the story of Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), a world-weary ex-freedom fighter who runs a nightclub in Casablanca during the early part of…show more content…
Diegetic music is characterized by jazz band, popular singing, solo piano, and male chorus. These performances are heavily concentrated in the early part of the film. Sam does most of the singing, as in his opening performance of “It Had to Be You,” which begins offscreen and draws the camera into Rick’s Café Américain to reveal the source of the song. Diegetic performance defines the space of Rick’s. Non-diegetic music is orchestral and highly romanticized. By and large, diegetic music is associated with cynicism, while non-diegetic music is affiliated with fanciful idealization. In particular, two scenes best illustrate this development. First, the “Knock on Wood” segment establishes Rick’s as a cynical space, where nothing is quite as it appears and everything is only as it is to exploit someone else. Sam’s performance, by contrast, is quite cheerful. The primarily anempathetic nature of “Knock on Wood” suggests that the diegetic tune is as sardonic as the folks that come to Rick’s. Second, the “As Time Goes By” segment challenges cynicism in favor of romantic idealism, as non-diegetic orchestration floods the soundtrack when Rick sees Ilsa. This meeting marks the point of trauma. The filmmakers’ choice to use non-diegetic music is formulated to

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