Lent in Casablanca: Night #1

One big theme in “Casablanca” is that Ilsa has to choose between “heroic” Victor and “passionate” Rick.

Thing is, Rick is heroic in his own way.  There are all sorts of people buying and selling exit visas in Rick’s Cafe Americain, all sorts of bartering and subterfuge, but Rick let’s it happen. When a young Hungarian wife is faced with trading sex for exit visas, Rick allows her husband to win twice in roulette. Thus, they earn enough to pay their way without sacrificing virtue or true love.

When Ugarte is arrested, Rick can see the hopelessness of his situation, and he doesn’t interfere.

That night, he mourns Ugarte’s loss: “They grab Ugarte, then she walks in.”

Also, when Victor snitfully tells the orchestra to play “La Marseillaise,” they don’t play a note till Bogie nods his assent. 

We hear a few times about Rick’s past heroics, but he downplays them. In the flashback, we discover that Rick is already on a nazi hit-list.  He’s not as high on the list as Victor, but he’s still there.  In the end, Rick gives up freedom and Ilsa, sending her off to Lisbon with Laszlo. When the time comes, Rick doesn’t hesitate to kill Major Strasser in order to protect Ilsa and Victor.

He does this, because it’s right. He doesn’t know Louis will let him get away with it.

In his own way, Rick is quite heroic.  He does his part the way he sees fit, and being cooler than five Victor Laszlos.

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One Response to “Lent in Casablanca: Night #1”

  1. […] PS: If you missed the original series, “Lent in Casablanca,” you may find it starting here: https://tomzone.wordpress.com/2011/03/10/lent-in-casablanca-night-1/ […]

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