In World War II, Europe was a dangerous place. Naturally, people wanted to escape the danger. The most popular place to escape to was America. Far from the battles of the war, still viewed as the land of equality and opportunity. It was nearly impossible to escape to America straight from the countries of Europe, so people would make their way to Morocco and obtain an exit visa. The exit visas let them travel to Lisbon, which was a safe place that they could get to America from. Getting those exit visas wasn’t an easy task, and they were nearly priceless to a refugee living in Casablanca at the time..
This is part of the premise of Casablanca, the film. With so much time on their hands working on getting these visas, people need someplace to go. If you were waiting to go to America, you’d want to hang out somewhere that was itself American. In Casablanca, that was Rick’s cafe. Owned and operated by American expatriate Rick Blaine. In the film, two German couriers are killed by a man named Ugarte. They were carrying a pair of these same exit papers. Ugarte plans on selling these papers to the highest bidder to make himself rich, but he gets arrested before he can make the sale.
Anticipating something like that happening, Ugarte entrusts Rick to keep the papers safe. To make matters worse, Rick’s former love arrives in Casablanca. Ilsa was a woman who ran out on Rick in Paris, but to return to a man she loved, but thought was dead. The two plan on running away together using the letters, but Rick makes the choice to let Ilsa escape with her lover Laszlo, who is a major leader in the Czech rebellion. He has recently escaped from a German concentration camp, and he needs the letters in order to escape to America so that he can continue his work to fight to keep the Germans out of Czechoslovakia.
His escape has drawn the attention of a German Major, Strasser. Major Strasser has contact with a corrupt official in the French police force of Casablanca, Captain Renault. Renault uses his legal powers to try to keep Laszlo in Casablanca so that Strasser can recapture him, or kill him. Ilsa explains to Rick why she left him in Paris, and asks him to let Laszlo use one of the letters to escape to America, but she doesn’t know where her heart lies. She says that Rick has to “think for both of them. Rick does the thinking for both of them, sending Ilsa off with Laszlo to America, leaving Rick to escape to another country. In comparing this movie to reality because it’s set in the past, one of the things that I had to look at is the political world then, historically. In this respect, Casablanca is a fairly accurate movie. Casablanca was a city rocked by turmoil and secretly warring factions, with the French rulers having difficulty maintaining a balanced leadership. Here, the movie’s perception matches up with reality.
The French had a hard time keeping the peace in Casablanca, because there were many riots against French rule. That sort of historical fact is less obvious in the film, but it’s still shown that there was a lot of tension and that it was a tense balance between factions. The outdoor scenes in the movie show a fairly arid climate. This is an accurate representation of what the climate is like in Casablanca. Casablanca has a fairly mild, dry, climate, with very little rain during the year. In the movie, the French are in control of the city of Casablanca.
This is also an accurate historical fact. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, French colonists moved into the area and controlled the city with a puppet sultanate. Later, in 1910, they assumed actual control of the city. Their rules lasted until The movie involves spies and corruption, which were actually very common in World War II, like in all wars. Many times in the movie, people are secretly double crossed and don’t know until it’s too late, which is actually very common in the spy game.
The corruption of officials to help someone who should be their enemy is also very common. Renault should have every reason to hate Strasser, yet he still helps Strasser to apprehend Laszlo. The city of Casablanca may not have been as neutral and as much like a meeting ground as it seemed, as it was a very important strategic port for the allies and their naval operations in the area. It also served as a meeting place between Winston Churchill and President Roosevelt in 1943 to discuss the progress of the war. In the final scene of the movie, Ilsa and Laszlo escape on a plane.
Casablanca was a good place to catch a plane or a boat to Lisbon, which is where Ilsa and Laszlo went once they’d escaped from the nazi major, Strasser. After people made it to Morocco and got their exit visas, they could go to Lisbon and escape to the United States, where they were much safer than in Europe. The Unites States began to practice tougher immigration laws at this time, fearing that enough refugees would bring the war to our doorstep, but many people still made it to the land of the Red, White, and Blue.
Many scenes in the movie focus on Rick’s Cafe, which is a popular nightclub with American style, including music. The cafe has a piano player named Sam. Clubs like this were popular during World War II. Inside of a foreign country, places to eat or drink that had the atmosphere of the other countries that were in the war, as a little taste of home. There were American style bars that catered to U. S. Soldiers in countries across the world, especially in England, and Rick’s cafe in Casablanca was a very believable setting inside of the movie.
The architecture style of the building is a style that would be used for a building in Morocco. It has the stucco-style walls with the raised archways,. The light cream color of the buildings, and the light building materials keep the buildings cooler during the day, and warmer during the nights. As a whole, the movie Casablanca is fairly accurate to real life. Even though it’s a dramatization based on an unpublished play, it is very true to life. Casablanca truly was a place that was a center for conflict during World War II, including riots against the French leaders.