Michael CurtizUSA102 minutes1943B&WEnglish
Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman are star-crossed lovers trapped between love and loyalty in the ultimate Hollywood romantic classic. Bogie plays Yankee ex-pat Rick Blaine, whose air of world-weary cynicism is shaken when his old flame Ilsa Lund (Bergman) turns up at his nightclub-casino in Vichy-controlled Morocco one fateful night with her husband, fugitive resistance leader Victor Lazslo (Paul Heinreid), seeking a crucial letter of transit that will get the hunted man to America. With an imperious Nazi major (Conrad Veidt) closing in, Rick and Ilsa (their slant-rhyming names suggesting their intertwined fates) find themselves torn between their love for each other and their duty to the principles embodied by the courageous, imperilled Laszlo. A remarkably rich supporting cast — including Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet, Claude Rains and Dooley Wilson — ensures that the two leads don't hog all the glory; the score teems with memorable songs (especially the immortal "As Time Goes By"); and the expert direction of Michael Curtiz unerringly balances the elements of suspense, romance, comedy, and stirring wartime propaganda.