Casablanca Movie Poster Image




Brief violence and lots of tension in top-notch classic.
Parents recommendPopular with kids
  • Review Date: May 18, 2003
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Classic
  • Release Year: 1942
  • Running Time: 102 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

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.

Positive role models

In this film both the hero and heroine are characters of great nobility. They are honorable, choose to do the right thing, and, in the process, help defeat their Nazi enemies. They are unselfish, brave, and highly moral. An African-American entertainer is depicted as a close friend of the hero: the two have drinks together and are on equal footing.


Opening sequence includes French police rounding up citizens and refugees for interrogation after the murder of a Nazi officer. People look frightened as uniformed officials accost them. One resistance fighter caught by the police makes a run for it and is shot, falls 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 despicable Nazi military officer is shot and killed.


Several romantic kisses are shared by a couple very much in love. Some dialogue implies that a high-ranking member of the police asks refugees for sexual favors in return for exit visas.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The central setting for this story is a nightclub. Alcoholic beverages are poured and consumed continuously, with some characters showing signs of intoxication. The hero is seen alone in his home, nursing his heartbreak by getting very drunk. Smoking is pervasive throughout as was usual and acceptable in the early 1940s when the action takes place.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this iconic love story, with its heroic characters, rousing message, and beautiful black-and-white production values should appeal to teens, as well as adults. Younger viewers will get more out of the film with some historical context. There are two sequences during which characters are shot and killed. Police are seen rounding up frightened citizens and refugees. Characters drink (sometimes to excess) and smoke throughout.

What's the story?

Set in French-controlled Casablanca in the early part of WWII, CASABLANCA follows hardboiled American nightclub owner Rick (Humphrey Bogart), who agrees to hide some stolen (and highly coveted) transit letters, which are used to by refugees to leave the country and escape from the Nazis. Police Captain Renault (Claude Rains) and Nazi Major Strasser (Conrad Veidt) are tipped off that Rick might have the letters, and they put the pressure on him. Strasser is also hunting escaped Czech resistance leader Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), who arrives at Rick's with Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman). Rick and Ilsa have a history, and Rick is still deeply angry at the stunning beauty. What ensues is a story of love, betrayal, sacrifice, narrow escapes, and the most memorable airport tarmac scene in film history.

Is it any good?


This is probably the most famous Hollywood movie 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 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 an icon, and it has been endlessly copied and parodied. The Woody Allen movie Play It Again, Sam (rated PG, but not for kids as the entire plot is about seduction) is an affectionate tribute to Casablanca and other Bogart movies.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what makes a movie stand the test of time. Is it the characters? The themes of good and evil? The unforgettable dialogue? Which contemporary movies do you think will last?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 26, 1942
DVD release date:November 17, 1998
Cast:Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid
Director:Michael Curtiz
Studio:Warner Bros.
Character strengths:Courage, Integrity
Run time:102 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Casablanca was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 11 years old June 15, 2010


Great movie, it's one of the classics!!!! i think anybody could see it, and if you see it in black and white, you can't really see the smoking!=.
What other families should know
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byjesusfreek April 9, 2008
Teen, 15 years old Written byAceJournalist May 21, 2011

Best Movie Ever!

This is my favorite movie! smoking, drinking, and violence (as mentioned above) are present, but not an issue for older kids (CSI is a lot worse).
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Great role models


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