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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Themes include integrity, loyalty, courage. This is the classic film about people of conscience sacrificing personal happiness for the greater good. Further, in the fight against corruption, cynicism, and evil, a few righteous and courageous people can help to change the course of history. Everyone can make a difference.
Positive Role Models
Both Rick and Lisa are characters of great nobility. They're honorable, choose to do the right thing, and help defeat their Nazi enemies. They're unselfish, brave, highly moral.
Strong female characters with agency. Although the film is set in Morocco, people of color are mostly seen in stereotypical places like souks and markets. Black musician Dooley Wilson plays Sam, a pianist, and delivers one of the most iconic supporting performances in classic Hollywood film.
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Violence & Scariness
Opening sequence includes French police rounding up citizens and refugees for interrogation after murder of Nazi officer. People look frightened as uniformed officials accost them. One resistance fighter caught by police makes a run for it and is shot, falling to the ground lifeless. A second shoot-out results in the capture of another Moroccan resident, who dies later off camera. In the final suspense sequence, a Nazi military officer is shot and killed. Guns are repeatedly used to threaten and manipulate people. Dialogue implies that a high-ranking member of the police asks refugees for sexual favors in return for exit visas.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Several romantic kisses.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Central setting is a nightclub where drinks are poured and consumed continuously, with some characters (including main character) showing signs of intoxication. Smoking is pervasive.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that although Casablanca remains one of the greatest American films ever made, the style and pacing might not appeal to younger kids. Teens will enjoy it more with some historical context. Since it's set during World War II, there's violence related to those trying to escape the Nazi regime. Although the film is highly romantic, love sequences show restraint. The characters often put their values ahead of their personal interest. Characters drink and smoke throughout. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is probably the most famous Hollywood classic of all time, and for good reason. Certainly the most quoted and the most frequently cited as an all-time favorite, Casablanca won Best Picture, Director, and Writer awards at the 1943 Oscar ceremony. The definitive rebuttal to notions of the "auteur" (one author) in film, the romantic drama was put together in pieces by many different sources, with some script pages completed just moments before the cameras rolled. The performances by Bogart and Bergman are so subtle and complex because the actors themselves had no idea how it was going to end. Almost every frame of the movie is iconic, and it has been endlessly copied and parodied.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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