Need We Say More?
What ultimately makes Casablanca special is the insane amount of passion present in every word spoken and every shot framed. The movie wasn't expected by anyone to be anything special. It was a romance set in wartime, and the story is an old one. But the cast of thousands, the undeniable chemistry between Bogart and Bergman, and the elegant blend of humor and painful, chest-gripping sadness made this movie a treasure. It will remain a classic for the rest of time.
We went into this game fully expecting to sob like children. So how long did we hold out? I'm ashamed to say, not long enough.
"Casa Drank Ya": The Rules
"Out of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine."
It's a gin joint. Rick calls it a gin joint. So you should drink gin. We get to drink gin! Finally! Man, I'm glad we got that settled.
1. Drink for Title Drops. That's every time someone says "Casablanca"
2. Drink when they drink. The movie's set in a gin joint. Or if you'd like, a "saloon".
3. Drink for Daddy Issues.
4. Drink when one of the American Film Academy's chosen top 100 quotes is said. There are six.
All the above rules apply. Also...
1. Drink whenever Rick and Ilsa say each other's names.
2. Drink if sex between two characters could have conceivably occurred after the scene ends. There's certain scenes where this is a definite, and some that you can get creative with.
All of the above rules apply. Also...
1. Drink whenever Rick and Louis say each other's names.
The first time a person playing the drinking game cries during the movie, everyone must finish their drink.
Pooh Daddy: Didn't cry.
Some Guy: Composing a song for Ingrid Bergman
Dijan De Nero: Roots for the solid, steady guy
Bride of Buggerlas: Decoded every bit of costume design
Big Moose: Got lost in every actor's eyes
Seb: Ships Humphrey Bogart with everybody
America made it through the war, but did we emerge victorious after this drinking game? That depends on what you define as "victory".
The Crying Game
However, it would be remiss of me not to bring up some honorable mentions. Of course there's the scene in which Rick finds out that Ilsa has left him, probably forever, and gee whiz, it looks like those Nazis may be more trouble than we initially thought. Sadness. In the rain. With packed bags.
There's the finale, in which Rick gives up his own happiness in order to protect the woman he loves and ensure her and her husband's safety on their way to Lisbon. Also known as one of THE most memorably heartbreaking scenes in cinema. A scene that contains THREE of the six quotes on AFI's top 100 list, by the way.
But our personal favorite comes about three quarters in. Big Moose and Bride of Buggerlas could barely keep still as it approached, causing no end of confusion to The Fuzzy Masked Man, who had never watched this far into the movie.
I'm speaking, of course, of La Marsiellaise.
So there you have it. Those are the scenes that made us cry. Now here are the things that made us laugh.
So Many Men
Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet, Claude Ranier...all of these men need something from Bogart, need it intensely, and there's very often an emotional component to what they need. For example, Peter Lorre's character is looking for protection, and tragically does not receive it (he gets arrested about twenty minutes in, to our dismay). It's not difficult to read into some of these high-stakes relationships and hope for some smidgen of vulnerability and emotional intensity to leap out at us from their depths.
"Slash is better than any hetero relationship, because they're equals, because fucking misogyny!"
Grunts of assent filled the room. We enjoy the tete-a-tete between these men and invent romantic interest between them because we believe that relationships should be between equals, and all two often in media romantic relationships aren't based on equality at all. Most heterosexual romantic comedies focus on the power play between the starring lovers, how they each try to gain the upper hand, and any verbal sparring that happens between the two of them is inspired by that urge to gain power over the other. If you see two men in a movie just being men, treating each other like men and going about their business, some sense of physical attraction just seems like icing on the cake. It's a frustrating reality that while in the real world successful relationships are built on mutual trust and respect, you don't often get good business models for such relationships in motion pictures.
After looking at our imagined romances, what about the very real love triangle in this movie? What can we say about the greatest love story ever told?
And One Gorgeous Woman
"Sexy is the wrong word," Big Moose said after a while. "Ingrid Bergman is beautiful."
Ilsa articulates it perfectly in the movie. Laszlo was a charismatic man with deep convictions who she admired to a point where she thought she was in love. As Bride of Bugglerlas points out, we never even see Ilsa and Laszlo kiss on the lips during the course of the movie.
"Because he's like her dad," she explained. Laszlo is a commanding presence and a good man to have on your side. He isn't tortured (excepting the time he was literally tortured in a concentration camp), he doesn't have regrets about his vocation, and he has clear goals. His morals are clear cut and straightforward, something the director manages to convey visually many times throughout the film.
Meanwhile, Ilsa's relationship with Rick is full of that passionate, heavy stuff of high romance, but the two of them purposely know next to nothing about each other. Ilsa had a rule during their time that Rick couldn't ask any personal questions of her, and for the most part Rick toes that line. Her flight from their affair only manages to throw gasoline onto the flame, and both of them hold up the time they spent together as perfect, idyllic, and irreplaceable.
And you know, they do seem happy in those flashbacks. But a relationship can't survive on intrigue alone. Rick knows that, deep down, and that's why he also knows that she has to get on that plane, with her husband, and leave his life forever.
So the greatest love story ever told is based around how people idealize each other to the point where they love the ideal more than reality.
...Is there any more of that gin? No? Didn't think so.
And Oh Yeah, There's Some Nazis, Too.
Out of the six quotes that made it into the top 100 list I mentioned earlier, four of them tie in directly to the romance plot between Rick and Ilsa. The romance plot is what we usually think of when we think of this movie. Maybe, in a way, the audience is guilty of idealization on some level as well. We glaze over the insinuations of torture, corrupt police activity, sexual exploitation and other groady topics the film covers and focus on the star-crossed lovers and their trials and tribulations. We want to see the love stand out in this bleak world. We want to see the passion. We want to know that the world is worth more than war and sadness.
Two young people meet in the midst of utter chaos and war, fall passionately in love very quickly, learn little about each other, and are torn away by obligations brought on by the war that inevitably ends up dividing them forever? Casablanca is Romeo and Juliet if Juliet was forced to marry Paris instead of choosing to kill herself.
Centuries ago audiences couldn't get enough of the story. And neither could the audiences in 1942.
Drink whenever someone speaks in a foreign language.
Casablanca is a melting pot of culture and activity. At least, so we're led to believe from this movie.
Drink for song title drops.
Huh. That's weird. I could have sworn Casablanca wasn't a musical, but there are SO many song breaks that it might as well be.
Drink whenever the words "America" or "American" are said.
The film takes place in Africa, but our hero is still a pure-blooded American, and the movie never lets you forget it.
For Your Inebriation is written by Krissy Pappau (Hollis Beck). Video footage is taken by Pooh Daddy (Vincent Graham) and edited by Seb (Amy Yourd). All "Casablanca" images are owned by Warner Bros.