Analysing the Societal Values in Movie Casablanca

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Casablanca premiered in 1942, the first year that the United States decided to participate in WWII. It is an exceedingly-gleaming story about how good, not so good, and meticulously individuals lastly convene to ‘fight fascism’ as personified in the Allied, precisely the United States. The film is also filled with sexual love reflected by its theme song and lighting. The movie touches on serious issues, short of pain-bearing weightiness. It does not have a delineation of fascism. It sweetens, softens, falsifies, romanticizes, and attempts to smother or hide the reality of each matter majorly discussed in it. For instance, the Nazi of Germany used in the film is not actual Nazis, as the term would have significance by 1945 as there was no horror yet experienced. Therefore, this paper seeks to analyze the film Casablanca by analyzing the societal values it portrays.

The film is rooted in an age of relative virtuousness about Nazism’s realities, founded on minimal knowledge of the Fascism horror, which would reveal itself later. The Nazis in Casablanca are just villains, not yet monsters. It is conceivably fitting that in the night club scene whereby the singing of the Marseillaise howls down Germans, the Germans aren’t singing the anthem of the Nazis, the Horst Wessel Lied, but a German 19th-century separationist record, ‘Watch on the Rhine.’

At the time, the film reminded Americans of how down righting their thinking had transformed in the months ever since Pearl Harbor. It also existed as a coherent, finished, and politically purposeful film. This is the reason different audiences might classify the film as a war propaganda film and others as a romantic blockbuster. However, the film played a part in war propaganda. It gave an interpretation of the world to its viewers. Moreover, it dealt with one of the most significant issues in the 1930s and 40s, refugees and played a part in how persons viewed and dealt with it. The film is also a philosophical vestige of its place and time and of the manner the world viewed and dealt with the refugees’ question and, in a way, dealt with the issue itself. The film unlocks an unforeseen window into a universe that the Holocaust might happen, especially because the other nations including US declined to take in Jews who were threatened with death and ultimately murdered.

The film can be considered among the first United States war propaganda movies, some of which also glorified Russia’s Stalin. One of the film’s writers, Howard Koch, was a Stalinist and is believed to have input the movie’s politics. The director of Casablanca, Michael Curtiz, went ahead after the film and released one of the greatest political atrocities in film, Mission to Moscow. The film had an outright endorsement of the regime of Stalin. Mission to Moscow and Casablanca raise similar issues but in different ways. The films tell a somewhat similar story. They both provide an account of Stalinist ideologies in the politics world leading up to Stalin and Hitler’s pact as well as the occurrence of the war in 1939.

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Casablanca is a product of the interaction of Russian Stalinism and democratic-bourgeois capitalism during WWII. For example, in Casablanca, Rick Blaine takes guns to Ethiopia in aid against fascist Italy invasion. However, in Mission to Moscow, the Ethiopian Emperor, played by a white actor in terrible black makeup, asks for help from the League of Nations in vain when Italy is overrun.

Casablanca validates the involvement of the United States in the wars to then protectionist Americans. Mission to Moscow assists in making Stalinism tolerable to politically naïve, nationalistic, and unaware Americans. Casablanca also translates political events into biographical and personal terms. The film presents totalitarian propaganda. One of its utmost cited lines, “the problems of three little individuals do not amount to a beans’ hill in this crazy world,” articulates a totalitarian world as the ideas of Stalinism and fascism.

Truthfully, Casablanca is a polemical discourse with Americans opposed to the United States’ involvement in the world war. The film sifts the case against American separateness through the description of Stalinism. The film reiterates its story through biographies of Rick Blaine, Ilsa Lund, Victor Laszlo, Louis Renault, and Sam, the pianist. The central biography is Blaine’s. Before getting to Casablanca, he was a typical Stalinist, similar to Laszlo and Ilsa, his wife. Stalinism’s movement was a massive intellectual and cultural power in a world in which Casablanca was created.

In essence, Casablanca is a film that articulates the culture of the time it was produced. When the war was raging, and a lot of propaganda was going around in terms of films, Casablanca does not disappoint on this front. It addresses political issues, the refugee situation, as well as love. The film acted as war propaganda and advocated for Fascism and Stalinism through encouraging these forms of political systems.                     

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