• Created by: Jones13
  • Created on: 05-03-20 16:49

Political context

Casablanca is an anthem of America's commitment to war- Rick is the embodiment to America's reluctance to join the second world war, his transformation reflects America's entry into world war II.  Casablanca was a holding place for refugees trying to escape Nazi rule.  Casablmca was made in December 1941, the month if the attack on Pearl Harbor, this event changed America's position in war.  Casalblanca refects this with Rick, at the start he is a cynical bar owner who does not care for politics, however at the end he becomes a self-sacraficing idealist who is committed to anti-Narzi war effort.  Ilsa's arrival is unexpected for Rick and shocks him just like Pearl Harbor shocked the world.  Ilsa's arrivial wakes him up and his moral sense is reignited simillarly Pearl Harbor was the event that made Americas decision to enter world war II.

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Social context

Casablaca was produced for a mass audienece and at a time when cinema was very popular.  It was made to try and boost people's morale during the war.  When it was released, Churchill and Roosevelt were attending a summit in Casablanca which gave Warner alot of free publicity.  Casablnca was made for mass audience and was a leisurely escape from everday life - especially from the war.

During the 1940's, men had more power and were more dominating.  They were always out to look their best.  Women however were not seen as strong as they are today, they werent independent and relied on the men to care for them.  You can see this being shown is Casablanca when Rick tells the lady at the bar that she has had enough ot drink and needs to make her way home, he guides her out of the bar and tells one of the workers ourside to ensure she gets home safetly,  he is not rude when sending her away, he is chamring and a gentlemen about it.

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Cultural context

Casablanca reignited the war genre, Hollywood films were made to be patriotic and raise morale.  Agencies in the office of war information were established to ensure films contribited to this morale.  Casablanca inspired many films such as - 'Play It Again Sam' 1972 and 'La La Land' 2016.

The main theme behind Casablanca is war and politics.  In Casablnca we see several different cultures co-exist.  The locals of Casablana are usually represented as traders, the Americans like Rick, the resistance fighters, the Germans and other Europeans.  We see usuall scene of war throughout the city - shootings going on in the street, escaped prisoners, murder, people on the run, bribery and black markets and secret meanings.

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Institutional context


Rick Blaine played by Humphrey Bogart owns a night club in Casablanca.  He discovers his old flame Ilsa played by Ingrid Bergman.  Ilsa is with her husband Victor Laszlo.  Laszlo has the Germans on his tail, Ilsa knows Rick can help them get out of the country.

When was it released - January 1943

Executive producer - Jack warner - developed studios destinctive style, committed to war effort  Producer - Hal B Wallis - recruited actors, assigned scriptwriters, chose director, supervised production and editing.                                                                                                                    Director - Micheal Curtiz - uses high crane shots, unusual camera angles, compelx composition in which characters are framed by physical objects, camera becomes charcters eye, chiasscuro lighting.                                                                                                                  Cinematographer - Arthur Edeson - worked in realsim and expressionism, low key lighting and use of shadows, noir style (noire style uses elements like cynical heroes, stark lighting, frequent use of flashbacks, this genre was mostly used in Americab crime dramasof the post World War II era.                                                                                                                                    Composer - Max Steiner  - set the tone for the whole film, syncronised music to action (mickey mousing)

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