Surely you know the story. It’s WWII. France has fallen. Refugees from Europe are flowing into Casablanca. Humphrey Bogart is the cynical owner of Rick’s Cafe. His life is disrupted byt he reappearance of former lover Ingrid Bergman, who is married to Resistance leader PaulÂ Henreid. They need to escape to the US. Which way will Bogart go? Will he obey the demands of his heart? His greed? His honour? The film hasn’t aged a day since its release, its grip is as powerful as …ver, and if ever a script deserved to be committed to memory (every line isquotable), this is it. As perfect a Hollywood movie as has ever been made.
Warner has wisely resisted the temptation to provide a stereo remix. Instead, the mono has been cleaned up, and is almost completely noise-free. Who cares about sound effects when you’re hanging on every word? The dialogue is crisp and clear. No complaints with this mono.
A HUGE improvement over the previous DVD. The transfer has been beautifully cleaned up.Shots that earlier edition were dirty and full of grain are now pristine. Grain is virtually undetectable. The print is in well-night perfect condition, with no speckles or scratches. The picture is sharp enough to draw blood, and the sumptuous black-and-white photography is free of edge enhancement halos. This is Casablanca as it was meant to be experienced.
The extras are also a big step up from the last disc. Disc 1 features two commentaries: one by Roger Ebert, the other by film historian Rudy Behlmer. Ebert goes shot by shot through the film, focusing on how the film works so well. Behlmer, on the other hand, gives us a detailed history of the film. Lauren Bacall introduces the film, accompanied by various historical clips. “A Good Cast Is Worth Repeating” is an essay on the films where many of the cast members ofCasablanca also starred together. Also on Disc 1: the theatrical trailer; the 1992 re-releasetrailer; trailers for The Adventures of Robin Hood, Yankee Doodle Dandy andTreasure of the Sierra Madre; cast, crew and awards lists. The menu’s main page andintro are animated and scored.
Disc 2 has a feature-length documentary: “Bacall on Bogart.” Here Lauren Bacall narrates an in-depth biography of Bogart. “The Children Remember” are reminiscences by the children of Bogart and Bergman. There is also a fair bit of rare historical material: outtakes and deleted scenes (the audio for both has been lost, but the deleted scenes are provided with subtitles), and eight scoring stage sessions. “You Must Remember This: A Tribute to Casablanca” is hosted once again by Bacall, and is a documentary brought back from the previous release.Finally, there is a collection of DVD-ROM features as well.
There is so much material here that there is, inevitably, some repetition. That said, there isenough here to keep fans of the film (and who isn’t?) busy for a long time. The most attractivefeature, however, is the glorious new look the movie itself has.
Special Features List
- Roger Ebert Commentary
- Film Historian Rudy Behlmer Commentary
- Introduction by Lauren Bacall
- “A Great Cast Is Worth Repeating” Essay
- Theatrical and Re-Release Trailer
- Bonus Trailers
- Cast, Crew, and Awards Lists
- “The Children Remember” Featurette
- “Bacall on Bogart” Feature Documentary
- Deleted Scenes and Outtakes
- Scoring Stage Sessions
- “You Must Remember This”: A Tribute to Casblanca