When you hear the name Casablanca
and you know anything about film, the first thing
that usually pops into one's head is "Play
it, Sam", which actually goes down in history
as the most famous non-quote ever associated with
a film. In short, Humphrey Bogart never actually
utters that line, much like Darth Vader never
actually says "Luke, I am your father."
at Rick's café.
Well, pop-culture nitpicking aside,
arguably a major influence on the Indiana Jones
series. Sure, sure, it does not have a quest for
an ancient treasure and no harrowing chases, but
contributed to Indiana Jones was something more
invisible but monumentally important. Casablanca,
in many ways, influenced much of the Indiana Jones
Unless you are dead, you know the
story. The Nazis have moved into France and all
of the refugees from Europe are fleeing to Casablanca
in Vichy-held Morocco, where they hope to attain
exit visas to the United States and escape the
Third Reich. In the city of Casablanca, the most
popular club is owned by Rick Blaine (played by
Humphrey Bogart), an American ex-patriot who threads
out a living running his bar/casino and walking
the fine line of neutrality with the local Vichy
authorities and the desperate refugees.
Bogart as Rick
One night, Rick's life is thrown
upside-down when a seedy acquaintance named Ugarte
(played by Peter Lorre) slips him exit visas signed
by Charles De Gaulle, which he acquired by murdering
two Nazi officers. The Vichy police find Ugarte
and arrest him, unaware that Rick is now in possession
of the visas. That same night, a lost-love from
the past, Ilsa (played by Ingrid Bergman), arrives
with her husband at Rick's club. Ilsa's husband
is a notorious Resistance hero and the Nazis are
willing to do anything to execute his arrest,
but the laws in Casablanca prohibit such an action
lest he commit a crime. Rick knows it is only
a matter of time before the Nazis circumvent Vichy
authority and take Ilsa and her husband to a concentration
camp. He has the means to help them, via Ugarte's
visas, but he is torn between his anger towards
Ilsa and his conscience.
The film is simply a masterpiece
in its own right, but we're here to talk Indiana
Jones so here goes. If you have not seen this
film, shame on you. See it.
up the usual
Even the casual Indiana Jones fan
will see all kinds of influences that Casablanca
had on the Indy series just during a single viewing.
These influences are wholly atmospheric, but the
atmosphere in Indiana Jones is so powerful and
effective that it puts Casablanca
in a whole new light. From the opening frames,
Indy fans will note the use of the map and the
roving line as it snakes its way from Europe to
Morocco. The opening scenes of Casablanca
exteriors reveal cluttered market streets and
buzzing activity, highly similar to the streets
of Cairo in Raiders of
the Lost Ark. Watching these scenes, one
almost expects Indy to walk by with Marion and
a bag of dates. The other locations in the film
are also heavily influences on Indiana Jones locations.
Rick's club is a middle-eastern version of Club
Obi-Wan from Indiana
Jones and the Temple of Doom. Ironically,
and most likely deliberately, Indiana Jones wears
the same white tuxedo in Club Obi-Wan that Rick
is seen wearing in the opening scenes in Rick's
club. Many people see this as a James
Bond influence, but one look at Indiana's
introduction coming down the stairs in Club Obi-Wan,
much like Rick does in certain scenes of Casablanca,
and it is apparent that a Rick Blaine reference
is more likely.
and his piano.
Senor Ferrari (played by Sydney
Greenstreet) owns the Blue Parrot café
in the film, which bears a slight atmospheric
resemblance to the bar in which Indy and Belloq
have their heated chat. Also, during the Blue
Parrot sequence, take note of Bogey's snap-brim
fedora, which looks very close to Indy's famous
lid. The costuming of Indy and Marion in the final
scene of Raiders of the
Lost Ark is most assuredly a reference
to Rick and Ilsa's legendary good-bye at the airfield.
Indy wears a nice suit with his gray fedora, much
like Rick Blaine, and Marion sports a hat and
outfit extremely similar to Ilsa's. The plane
that lands in the opening of the film bears a
remarkably similar resemblance (minus two engines
of course) to Lao Che's Ford Tri-Motor from Indiana
Jones and the Temple of Doom.
One of the more striking similarities
is the scene at Rick's table when he speaks with
Ugarte in the beginning of the film. The conversation
is framed and filmed much like Spielberg "lensed"
the conversation between Belloq and Indy in the
contributed much to the atmosphere of Indiana
Jones, with its seedy dives, smoke filled rooms,
and general atmosphere of danger and deceit. If
Secret of the Incas
and the adventure serials were templates for the
quest and the action, then Casablanca
filled in the spaces in between.
is available on DVD, beautifully restored with
a full "special edition" treatment.
Grab it if you can. You won't be disappointed.