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Reflecting on the Cast of 'Casablanca': We'll Always Have Paris

Reflecting on the Cast of ‘Casablanca’: We’ll Always Have Paris
Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman (1943) Bros.

Casablanca is undeniably one of the most memorable romance and war films ever produced. Released in 1942, the film features a stellar cast including Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Paul Henreid.

The film is set in Casablanca in 1941, at Rick’s Cafe Americain. This establishment, run by American expatriate Rick Blaine (Bogart), is a combination of a nightclub and a gambling hall. It attracts a mix of Vichy French officials, refugees from various countries aiming to reach America, which was neutral in World War II at that point, and Nazi German officials.

Amidst this eclectic crowd walks Rick’s former love, Ilsa Lund (Bergman), and her fugitive husband, Victor Laszlo (Henreid), who is being pursued by the Nazis. Ilsa pleads with Rick to help them escape the country, rekindling long-buried feelings between her and Rick.

Casablanca achieved significant box office success, earning $4.6 million (equivalent to about $859 million today). The film garnered eight Academy Award nominations and won three: Best Picture, Best Director (Michael Curtiz), and Best Writing (Julius J. Epstein). Curtiz was also renowned for his work on The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) and White Christmas (1954), while Epstein was known for Arsenic and Old Lace (1944).
Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid (1943) Bros.

Besides its stellar cast and huge success, Casablanca is also known for its unforgettable quotes. One of the most famous lines is when Rick says to Ilsa, “We’ll Always Have Paris,” acknowledging their lingering love despite the impossibility of being together.

Another iconic quote comes from Rick’s parting words to Ilsa, “Here’s looking at you, kid.” Initially said during a toast, it gains profound significance during the heartrending moment when he sends her away with her husband for their safety.

If you haven’t seen this classic film yet, it’s a must-watch. It’s currently available for streaming on Max.
1942/1955 Sunset Boulevard / Contributor / Getty // Sunset Boulevard / Contributor / Getty

Character Played: Rick Blaine

Born: December 25, 1899, in New York City

Died: 1957

Best Known For: Films such as The Maltese Falcon (1941), In a Lonely Place (1950) and The African Queen (1951).

Thoughts on Casablanca: Bogart reflected on his romantic role in the film, noting the contrast to his usual tough-guy persona. “Here I am, used to getting out of scrapes with a handy little black automatic. Close-ups of that are a cinch. But these love scenes when I’m not exactly the cuddly type … well, you know what I mean. I’m in a real dilemma. Shall I emulate the sophisticated type of great lover or revert to the tried and true caveman routine, with the lady in a half-nelson and … wham?”
1942/1982 Sunset Boulevard / Contributor / Getty // Dave Hogan / Contributor / Getty

Character Played: Ilsa Lund

Born: August 29, 1915, in Stockholm, Sweden

Died: 1982

Best Known For: Films such as Gaslight (1944), Spellbound (1945) and Notorious (1946)

Thoughts on Casablanca: “Casablanca speaks for itself, and it doesn’t have to shout, just whisper, but a whisper that persists over the years.”
1942/1962 Bettmann / Contributor / Getty // Getty

Character Played: Victor Laszlo

Born: January 10, 1908, in Trieste, Italy

Died: 1992

Best Known For: Films such as Now, Voyager (1942), Hollow Triumph (1948) and Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)
1946/1955 John Kisch Archive / Contributor / Getty // Alexandre Fuchs / Contributor / Getty

Character Played: Captain Louis Renault

Born: November 10, 1889, in Clapham, London, England

Died: 1967

Best Known For: Films including The Invisible Man (1933), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) and Notorious (1946)
1942 Screen Archives / Contributor / Getty

Character Played: Major Heinrich Strasser

Born: January 22, 1893, in Berlin, Germany

Died: 1943

Best Known For: Films including The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), The Man Who Laughs (1928) and Blackout (1940)
1945/1950 John Springer Collection / Contributor / Getty // Bettmann / Contributor / Getty

Character Played: Signor Ferrari

Born: December 27, 1879, in Sandwich, Kent, England

Died: 1954

Best Known For: Films such as The Maltese Falcon (1941), Across the Pacific (1942) and The Verdict (1946)
1944/1952 John Springer Collection / Contributor / Getty // Bettmann / Contributor / Getty

Character Played: Ugarte

Born: June 26, 1904, in Ružomberok, Slovakia

Died: 1964

Best Known For: Films such as M (1931), The Maltese Falcon (1941) and Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

Source:, Warner Bros., Getty