You’d be hard pressed to find any true movie fan that doesn’t include Casablanca in their list of top films of all time. It’s a timeless movie that romances audiences both young and old alike, and with the release of the new 70th Anniversary Edition – it’s quiet easy to relive that feeling with the elegantly packaged gift box and all the collectibles inside. I’m such a sucker for these box sets, and this release had me pretty giddy!
In case you haven’t seen Casablanca and you aren’t familiar with the storyline, the official description is as follows:
Casablanca: easy to enter, but much harder to leave, especially if you’re wanted by the Nazis. Such a man is Resistance leader Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), whose only hope is Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), a cynical American who sticks his neck out for no one, especially Victor’s wife Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), the ex-lover who broke his heart. Ilsa offers herself in exchange for Laszlo’s transport out of the country and bitter Rick must decide what counts more – personal happiness or countless lives hanging in the balance.
70 years later, and I still don’t think Hollywood has topped this. I honestly think that we’ve declined in the quality of film. Films of the 1930’s and 40’s didn’t have all the pizazz of today. No big special effects and some didn’t even have color, yet the scripts and acting were something that you couldn’t shake. Their emotions and their power were undeniable, and that’s why going back and re-watching movies like this is so important – so you don’t forget what true movie magic is.
When someone asks me my favorite scene from a movie, or an example of true magic on screen. I always reference the scene above. We’ll always have Paris, and we’ll always have Casablanca.
Moving forward, if you’re like me, you’re wondering what’s inside the gift box. The collectibles included in this release are really what make it worth having. A 6-page production art book with never-seen-before photos, personal memos and archival documents from the production, a reproduction of the original 1942 film poster, and a set of four collectible drink coasters from “Rick’s Cafe Americian” all accompany the Blu-ray + DVD Combo in this gift set. There were only 81,000 of these sets made, so they truly are limited edition. I managed to pick up 23,443!
Aside from the goodies in the gift set, there are also some wonderful extras on the DVD including two never-before-seen documentaries – Casablanca: An Unlikely Classic and Michael Curtiz: The Greatest Director You Never Heard Of. The new documentaries will complete the most extensive collection of content in one gift set — more than 14 hours of bonus material that also includes a compilation of three comprehensive feature length documentaries: The Brothers Warner, You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story and Jack L. Warner: The Last Mogul.
Why all the Warner Brothers love you may ask? Watch The Brothers Warner and it’ll make plenty of sense to you. The Warner family has made so many huge contributions to the entertainment industry, and I really had no idea the story of the brothers until I watched the documentary several years ago. Since the Warner family hasn’t been involved with Warner Brothers since the selling of the company in 1956, newer generations of movie fans really aren’t aware of the dramatic story that engulfed the brothers during what was really the birth of filming making in our county. I highly recommend checking out the documentaries. It’s fascinating to see how Warner Brothers came to be, and what all went down between the brothers opening their first theater in 1903 and the selling of the company half a century later.
Whether you’re just a fan of movies, or you’re looking for the perfect gift for your movie-loving mom (Mother’s Day is just around the corner!), Casablanca belongs in your movie collection. The Casablanca 70th Anniversary 3-Disc Blu-ray + DVD Combo Edition is available now! So be sure to pick it up while you can!
Review By: Emma Loggins