Casablanca as Wartime Propaganda
Hollywood's most famous romantic melodrama also an example of
Summary of the Movie:
World War II, the Moroccan city of Casablanca in unoccupied
French North Africa served as an exit point for Europeans seeking
to flee war-torn Europe. An expatriate American, Rick Blaine
(Humphrey Bogart), runs a nightclub in Casablanca where refugees
try to purchase illegal letters of transit allowing them to
escape to America. In December 1941, he is approached by Victor
Laslo (Paul Heinreid), a leader of the anti-Nazi resistance,
and his wife Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), whom Laslo had secretly
married before his capture and imprisonment by the Gestapo,
the Nazi secret police. Unbeknown to Laslo, during the months
when he was presumed dead, Ilsa had an affair with Rick, only
to leave Rick when Laslo reappeared.
Major Strasser (Conrad Veldt) tries to stop Laslo from obtaining
two exit visas stolen from two murdered German couriers. Whether
Laslo and Ilsa will escape to the United States depends on Rick
and on French police Capt. Louis Renault (Claude Rains).
Assignment: To examine Casablanca as an
example of cinematic propaganda.
World War II, the federal government established the Bureau
of Motion Pictures (BMP) to watch over the film industry. In
its "Government Informational Manual for the Motion Picture
Industry," the BMP asked every producer to consider one
central question: "Will this picture help win the war?"
BMP reviewed every film made during the war. Its reports evaluate
the contribution--or lack of contribution--that each film made
to the war effort. Read the BMP Report and write about the way
the report assesses the movie's effectiveness as propaganda.
of Motion Pictures Report