Casablanca (1942)

Casablanca (1942)

Would you agree with the statement that Casablanca can be read as a work of propaganda?

Assignment – Casablanca (1942)

Director

Michael Curtiz

Protagonist

Rick Blaine

Theme

Sacrifice

“I stick my neck out for nobody”

This line sums up Rick Blaine’s life philosophy at the beginning of the film.

Casablanca was first screened in New York on 26 November, 1942, coinciding with the Allied invasion of North Africa and the capture of the city of Casablanca. It was more widely released on 23 January, 1943, during the high-profile meeting between Churchill and Roosevelt in Casablanca itself. The critical reception to the film was generally good, and it was nominated for eight Academy® Awards and won three: the Academy® Awards for Best Picture, Directing and Writing: Adapted Screenplay. The main theme song, ‘As Time Goes By’, also became a great hit. To understand the reason why this film is deemed a classic, new audiences need to consider the historical context of the film in a way that the audience in 1943 didn’t need to.

Would you agree with the statement that Casablanca can be read as a work of propaganda? Is the making of fictional films as propaganda ever justified? Be detailed in your response. You might like to consider whether film directors and screenwriters are always, to an extent,trying to persuade the audience to see things in a certain way. What is the difference between a justified ‘message’ and ‘propaganda’?

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