By Nathan M Rose
Dec 01, 2008 08:28 PM EST

Casablanca (Ultimate Collector's Edition) Blu-ray Review

Casablanca (Ultimate Collector's Edition) Blu-ray Review
Purchase  Blu-ray | Digital HD
Casablanca:  easy to enter, but much harder to leave -- especially if you are 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.

Casablanca has remained a beloved favorite for almost seven decades, and was voted the screen's greatest love story and the number three film of all time by the American Film Institute (AFI); and to this day, is still considered a "must see" film by every generation.

Now, this December, Warner Home Entertainment has given the "perfect film", the "perfect treatment" in a special edition blu-ray box set.   The film is elegantly boxed in an intricate laser-cut Moroccan design and includes such collectibles as replicas of actual props; Victor Laszlo's "Letter of Transit", as well as a number of Warner studio documents -- an executive's letter commanding a new PR image for Bogart from gangster to romantic lead; a note from producer Hal Wallis re-titling the film to Casablanca; and a memo from Wallis to Jack Warner strongly urging casting Bogart over George Raft.  You would think that would be enough.  However, Warner Bros. has gone even further to also include a branded passport holder, luggage tag, and a photo book.

The film itself is simply amazing at 1080p touting probably one of the best transfers I have ever seen for a "classic film" to a current medium.  The black and white setting of Casablanca has never looked so detailed with nothing left to the imagination.  It is simply amazing to tell how even back then, when the camera did not pick up every detail, the creator's of the film made sure that everything was in its place down  to the last detail.

The film itself is presented in its original aspect ratio of 4:3 with a Dolby Digital enhanced soundtrack that simply shines through on your home entertainment system.  The extra's on this two-disc blu-ray edition are presented in standard 480p resolution, including 2 Documentaries, a featurtte, score session outtakes, and much more.

If there was ever any doubt how Blu-ray would hold up to classic Hollywood films, this Blu-ray set should put the nay sayers to rest.  Casablanca Special Edition Blu-ray is by far, the most amazing thing I have every had the privilege of watching on my high definition system.

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MPAA Rating: G
Running Time: 102 minutes
Distributed By: Warner Bros.

For more information about Casablanca visit the FlickDirect Movie Database.

Read More Reviews For Casablanca

  • Chris Rebholz   (A)  (Casablanca (70th Anniversary Limited Collector's Edition) Blu-ray Review)

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