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Casablanca

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    96
    from 7 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Classic films 'Singin' in the Rain' & 'Casablanca' dazzle in 4K, preserving sheer joy & historic impact with enriched A/V, despite varying extras.

    Casablanca 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

    True 4K
    HDR10
    DTS-HD MA
  • Video
    98
  • The Ultra HD Blu-ray release of this American Cinema classic by Warner Bros. achieves a vibrant restoration, preserving grain and deep blacks, boasting improved scans, 4K resolution, and tasteful HDR10 for a lush, detailed experience.

  • Audio
    91
  • The film's audio has been skillfully restored, enhancing clarity and frequency without attempting a faux-surround remix, preserving originality with rich, unfiltered sound and multiple dubs.

  • Extra
    93
  • The Casablanca 4K set omits some 1080p extras but adds significant content like classic cartoons, a Bacall special, original trailers, a night-at-the-movies feature, and in-depth documentaries, preserving the film's legacy with a blend of nostalgia and new insights.

  • Movie
    98
  • Exploring human facets in war, Casablanca's re-release reflects its enduring legacy, blending technical mastery with emotional depth amid love and sacrifice.

    Video: 98

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Casablanca" by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment marks a significant milestone in the preservation and enhancement of this iconic piece of American cinema. The technical execution of this remaster showcases a commitment to quality and authenticity, maintaining the film’s original grain and texture without succumbing to digital compression artifacts. This approach respects the source material's integrity while offering a fresh perspective on its visual composition. Notably, the application of HDR10 enhances the depth and detail of the image, making the shadows richer and the highlights more pronounced, which in turn accentuates the film's timeless black-and-white cinematography. The preservation of grain alongside deep, natural black levels contributes to a more dimensional and immersive viewing experience, setting a new standard for classic film presentations in the digital age.

    During the restoration process, the decision to preserve optical fades and second-generation imagery throughout certain sequences is a testament to the restoration team's dedication to authenticity. This choice ensures that the film's original aesthetic and directorial vision remain untainted, allowing audiences to experience "Casablanca" as closely as possible to its initial release. Furthermore, the remastering process benefitted from advanced scanning technologies and a true 4K resolution, revealing an unprecedented level of detail and clarity in the picture. This meticulous care in handling historical elements underscores the technical prowess behind this 4K UHD release.

    Warner Bros. has indeed risen to the occasion, delivering a version of "Casablanca" that is more vibrant, lush, and detailed than any seen before. The combined efforts of newly scanned source elements, enhanced resolution, and refined color grading culminate in a presentation that not only pays homage to the film’s storied past but also sets a new benchmark for its future. Through this release, "Casablanca" continues to stand as a beacon of cinematic greatness, its visual storytelling enriched for audiences old and new.

    Audio: 91

    The audio presentation of "Casablanca" on 4K UHD Blu-ray offers a commendable reproduction of the film's original sonic landscape. The restoration efforts have resulted in a soundtrack that delivers a fidelity to sound that is both rich and detailed, honoring the film's historic character while enhancing clarity and the range of frequencies. Although the high and low extremes may not rival those found in contemporary soundtracks, the balance struck ensures that very little is lost on the auditory spectrum, preserving the essence of the audio experience. This refined output is exemplified in the music, where its presence is marked yet careful not to overpower the film's invaluable dialogue, maintaining a harmonious audio balance throughout.

    Notably, the decision to eschew a modernized surround sound remix in favor of the original mono audio showcases a commitment to authenticity. This choice enriches the listening experience by providing a more genuine representation of the film's initial release, supplemented by a selection of foreign language dubs and a comprehensive array of subtitles including English SDH, French, German SDH, Italian SDH, Spanish (Castilian), and Dutch. The inclusion of these options enhances accessibility while preserving the original auditory essence for a diverse audience.

    Furthermore, the dialogue has undergone significant improvement, defying its age with newfound clarity that breathes life into every spoken word. The enhanced sonic quality, achieved through a meticulous audio restoration process, assures that the dialogue and music coexist without detriment to each other’s audibility. This careful curation and presentation of "Casablanca’s" audio elements not only pay homage to its legacy but also provide an immersive listening experience that complements the visual splendor of the 4K UHD format.

    Extra: 93

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray of "Casablanca" stands out not just for its pristine video quality but also for the meticulously curated extras that enrich the viewing experience. While some previously included extras are missing in this set, the selection provided offers a comprehensive dive into the film's legacy and production. Highlights include a documentary featuring cinema experts, a piece by Bacall on Bogart, and an innovative "Night at the Movies" feature that recreates a vintage cinema experience. Additionally, rare finds like Warner Bros cartoons and trailers add historical value. Despite the absence of certain 1080p disc features, the compilation of extras in the 4K disc edition presents a well-rounded perspective on this classic film, ensuring enthusiasts and new viewers alike appreciate its significance in cinema history.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Night at the Movies: Recreates the vintage movie-going experience.
    • Documentary: Casablanca: An Unlikely Classic: Offers an in-depth look at the film's production.
    • Great Performances: Bacall on Bogart: A special feature on Humphrey Bogart.
    • The Dover Boys at Pimento University (1942 WB cartoon): Adds a touch of Warner Bros' animation legacy.
    • As Time Goes By: The Children Remember: Cast relatives share their memories.
    • Additional Footage: Includes deleted scenes and outtakes.
    • Trailers: Features the original theatrical and re-release trailers.

    Movie: 98

    Warner Bros. continues its tradition of honoring their classic films by releasing the iconic "Casablanca" in its latest 4K UHD Blu-ray format, surpassing the previously cherished 70th Anniversary Edition. This release showcases a film that deftly pulls from various genres, creating a masterpiece that not only demonstrates technical brilliance but also offers a deep, engaging story. The performances are timeless, underscoring the enduring appeal of "Casablanca." The meticulous remastering process ensures that both newcomers and long-time fans can experience this cinematic treasure in unparalleled clarity and depth.

    Set against the backdrop of World War II, "Casablanca" explores themes of love, sacrifice, and the human condition through its compelling characters and intricate plot. The heartrending choices faced by Rick, Ilsa, and Laszlo highlight the personal costs of war, blending romance and drama against a tumultuous historical setting. The depiction of various human experiences - from the naivety of young newlyweds to Rick’s struggle between personal happiness and moral duty - adds layers of complexity to the narrative, making it resonate with audiences even decades later.

    Technical aspects of this 4K release receive special attention, correcting past errors and optimizing visual quality to honor the film's iconic status. Despite concerns about quality control in previous editions, this version boasts meticulous enhancements that breathe new life into the gritty, romantic streets of Casablanca. The restoration brings exceptional detail and texture to the fore, ensuring that every frame contributes to an immersive viewing experience that pays homage to this lightning-in-a-bottle cinematic achievement.

    Total: 96

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Casablanca" represents a significant upgrade over all previous home video editions, leveraging the full power of 4K restoration to breathe new life into this timeless classic. The original film elements have been meticulously preserved, offering an image and sound quality that is likely unparalleled since its original theatrical run. This transfer showcases the film's iconic cinematography and audio in a manner that may even surpass its initial viewing experience. Despite the absence of new supplementary materials, the audio/visual enhancements alone provide a compelling reason for both newcomers and longtime fans to explore this edition. The decision not to include new extras, while removing some from the 70th Anniversary Giftset, might seem like a drawback; however, the sheer quality of the restoration more than compensates for this.

    Moreover, Warner Bros. has enriched this release by incorporating almost all the extensive extras from the two previous Blu-ray editions, ensuring that enthusiasts and scholars have ample resources to dive into the film's storied legacy. Included in the package are a standard 1080p Blu-ray and a digital copy, offering a balanced choice for viewing preferences. "Casablanca" itself stands as a monument of cinematic excellence, its narrative and thematic depths underscored by an unparalleled emotional resonance, particularly considering its release during the height of World War II. As such, this release does more than merely present the film; it offers an immersive historical experience.

    In conclusion, the 4K UHD Blu-ray rendition of "Casablanca" serves as an exemplary instance of how technology can rejuvenate classic cinema. While it may tread familiar ground by excluding novel bonus content, the outstanding quality of both video and audio transfers affirms its place as the definitive version for any collector or cinephile. This edition not only honors the film’s legacy but also enhances its accessibility and enjoyment for future generations, cementing "Casablanca's" revered status in the pantheon of film history.