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Casablanca

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    95
    from 7 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Casablanca shines in a stunning 4K upgrade, a timeless masterpiece reborn.

    Casablanca 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
    97
  • The 80th Anniversary 4K restoration of Casablanca, from a 1942 fine grain master and supplementary sources, boasts stunning clarity, rich contrasts, and a pristine black and white image, exquisitely detailed and encoded in HEVC for a superior visual experience.

  • Audio
    91
  • The remastered Casablanca audio presents a rich, authentic experience with improved clarity and fidelity, preserving its vintage charm while enhancing its iconic soundtrack and dialogue, alongside a broad subtitle selection.

  • Extra
    92
  • The Warner Bros. 100th Anniversary Collection features a lavishly packaged set of classic films but loses some Blu-ray extras, notably for 'Casablanca,' which retains key commentaries and memorabilia but omits several documentaries and bonus content from previous editions.

  • Movie
    98
  • Casablanca melds timeless romance, wartime intrigue, and moral complexity into a cinematic masterpiece, highlighted by iconic performances and enduring relevance.

    Video: 97

    The 80th Anniversary 4K UHD Blu-Ray release of "Casablanca" is a technical marvel, offering a video quality that is as close to perfection as cinema enthusiasts could have hoped for. Restored from a 1942 fine grain master positive, with ancillary elements contributing to fill gaps, the transfer is executed with meticulous care. Despite the loss of the original camera negative, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has leveraged advanced scanning technology and comprehensive digital restoration to deliver an image in native 3840 x 2160p resolution. Encoded with the HEVC (H.265) codec and presented in the film's original 1.37:1 aspect ratio, the visual presentation retains its historical authenticity while embracing modern technological advantages.

    The restoration's meticulous handling of grain ensures a consistent and natural appearance, enhancing the film's fine details without succumbing to over-processing or digital manipulation. This, combined with superior disc compression, significantly elevates the overall detail, particularly in shadowed areas and textures within the cozy interiors and the vibrant streets of Casablanca. The HDR10 color grading brings an astounding depth to the black-and-white imagery, presenting an expansive greyscale that affords deep blacks and luminous whites without compromising the nuances in between. Scenes are free from noise, telecine judder, and are devoid of any dirt or debris, showcasing an exceptional clarity that makes classic elements leap off the screen.

    Warner's release doesn't just offer an upgrade in visual fidelity; it is a testament to the preservation of cinematic heritage, balancing preservation with technological enhancement. The meticulous restoration and HDR application breathe new life into the film's iconic imagery, from the bustling streets to the intimate interiors of Rick's Café Américain. Such careful attention to detail results in a viewing experience that both respects and revitalizes Michael Curtiz's masterpiece for modern audiences, ensuring that "Casablanca" remains as visually stunning and engaging as ever.

    Audio: 91

    The 4K UHD Blu-Ray audio presentation of "Casablanca" stands as a monument to careful restoration and the preservation of historical cinema sound. The audio track, provided in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono, exhibits a meticulous enhancement over its predecessors, breathing life into the film's original mono soundtrack with a broader range of frequency response and an improved clarity that had been previously unattainable. There is an evident dedication to retaining the authenticity of the 1942 production, embodying the spirit and atmosphere of the era with a clean, hiss-free output that is remarkable for a film of its age. The restoration process has evidently focused on delivering an auditory experience that is as close to pristine as possible, removing instances of noise, crackle, and other auditory artifacts that might detract from the viewing experience.

    The attention to detail in the audio’s restoration is further highlighted by the film’s iconic score and sound effects. The dynamic range allows Max Steiner's Oscar-nominated score to flourish, carrying emotional weight and atmospheric tension without overwhelming the quintessentially sharp and engaging dialogue. Even subtle sonic details, such as ambient noises and background activities, are captured with a clarity that injects a layer of immersive realism into every scene. While the mix remains mono, the richness and fidelity afford it a surprising depth that rivals multi-channel soundtracks in terms of audience engagement.

    Moreover, the inclusivity of multiple language tracks and a wide array of subtitle options demonstrates a commendable effort to make this timeless classic accessible to a global audience. Despite the unavoidable limitations of an 80-year-old source material, slight analog hiss in quiet scenes and minor competitions between dialogue and music being noted, the overall audio presentation of "Casablanca" on 4K UHD Blu-Ray is nothing short of impressive. It respects and enhances the original work's integrity, ensuring that "Casablanca" continues to be experienced by audiences with the reverence it rightfully deserves.

    Extra: 92

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Casablanca" offers an impressive array of extras, prominently featuring on its accompanying Blu-ray disc. Dedicated fans might note the absence of some previously included features, especially the in-depth documentaries and collections of studio memos from earlier releases. However, the available content remains robust, engaging, and enriching for both newcomers and longtime admirers of this timeless classic. Commentary tracks by film critics Roger Ebert and historian Rudy Behlmer provide insightful, scene-specific analysis, complementing a suite of extras that dive deep into the film's production, historical significance, and enduring legacy. Special attention is given to the Warner Night at the Movies feature, replicating a 1942 theater-going experience and offering a nostalgic glimpse into the era. While it's a letdown that some archival material and collectibles have been omitted, the current slate of extras still honors "Casablanca's" remarkable 80-year journey from cinematic gem to cultural landmark.

    Extras included in this disc:

    Introduction by Lauren Bacall: A short introduction to the film by Lauren Bacall.

    Audio Commentary by Roger Ebert: Insightful commentary from the esteemed critic.

    Audio Commentary by Rudy Behlmer: Detailed analysis by the renowned film historian.

    Warner Night at the Movies: A collection of trailers, newsreels, and cartoons designed to replicate a 1942 movie-going experience.

    Great Performances: Bacall on Bogart: An extensive PBS special on Humphrey Bogart's career.

    Michael Curtiz: The Greatest Director You Never Heard Of: A documentary focusing on the director's life and work.

    Casablanca: An Unlikely Classic: Dives into the making and significance of the film.

    You Must Remember This: A Tribute to Casablanca: A comprehensive look at the film's production and legacy.

    As Time Goes By: The Children Remember: Personal reflections from Stephen Bogart and Pia Lindstrom about their parents' roles in the movie.

    Who Holds Tomorrow?: An episode from the 1955 “Casablanca” TV series.

    Carrotblanca: A Warner Bros Cartoon parodying "Casablanca".

    Scoring Stage Sessions: Audio tracks featuring music from the film.

    Lady Esther Screen Guild Theater Radio Broadcast & Vox Pop Radio Broadcast: Vintage radio adaptations of "Casablanca".

    Deleted Scenes & Outtakes: Rare behind-the-scenes footage.

    Trailers: Original and re-release trailers for "Casablanca".

    Movie: 98

    Casablanca, now presented in stunning 4K UHD Blu-ray, continues to be a beacon of cinematic excellence, perennially transcending its wartime love story genre to become a living, breathing testament to the complexities of the human spirit. Directed with finesse by Michael Curtiz and captured through Arthur Edeson's masterful blend of romantic and noir-esque cinematography, this adaptation of Murray Burnett’s and Joan Alison's stage play encapsulates the essence of humanity amidst the throes of conflict. Max Steiner's legendary score breathes life into the hauntingly beautiful narrative, reinforcing the film's timeless appeal. The meticulously crafted story – with Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Paul Henreid at its core – navigates a labyrinth of moral dilemmas against the backdrop of WWII, delivering an exploration of love, sacrifice, and the stark realities of war.

    The film's restoration for its 80th Anniversary Edition showcases an even more refined visual and audio experience, staying true to Warner Bros.' commitment to preserving cinematic heritage. It's remarkable how Casablanca, through its nuanced portrayal of conflicted characters and moral ambiguities, continues to resonate with contemporary audiences, offering a mirror to today’s global conflicts while advocating for hope and redemption. The performances of Bogart and Bergman remain as compelling as ever, emblematic of love lost and found in the most trying of circumstances. It's their story, coupled with Curtiz's directorial brilliance and a script replete with iconic lines, that cements Casablanca's place in the annals of film history.

    Beyond being just a film, Casablanca serves as a canvas reflecting the myriad human experiences during wartime – from the hopeful young couple seeking passage to America to the chilling yet charismatic police captain Renault. Its rich tapestry of characters continues to evoke a broad spectrum of emotions, making every viewing experience both unique and familiar. Curtiz’s ability to intertwine multiple subplots without detracting from the central narrative is a testament to his directorial prowess. In its latest 4K UHD Blu-ray presentation, every frame articulates the technical mastery and storytelling genius that have made Casablanca an enduring classic. While it remains deeply anchored in its era, its themes of sacrifice, love, and moral integrity transcend time, continuing to captivate and inspire generations anew.

    Total: 95

    Warner Bros.' release of "Casablanca" on 4K UHD Blu-ray is a true testament to the studio’s commitment to preserving cinematic history while embracing the latest in home entertainment technology. The restoration work is impeccable, utilizing a 4K 16bit scan of the best surviving nitrate elements to produce an HDR transfer that is nothing short of miraculous for a film of this age. This painstaking effort ensures every frame of Michael Curtiz’s masterpiece is presented with the kind of clarity and detail that far surpasses previous home video editions. The remastered audio complements this visual upgrade beautifully, offering a sonic experience that is as immersive as the visual. While the package maintains the same rich array of extras found in earlier Blu-ray releases, the real star here is the film itself, now more breathtaking than ever.

    The inclusion of both a 1080p Blu-ray and a digital copy ensures that this release caters to a wide range of preferences and setups, making it an enticing offer for both newcomers to classic cinema and die-hard fans of the film. Notably, while there are no new extras beyond what was previously available, the quality of the A/V presentation makes this release stand out. It's an essential acquisition for those who appreciate the artistry of classic films in the finest detail possible.

    In conclusion, Warner Bros.' 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray release of "Casablanca" is an exemplary showcase of how technology can breathe new life into cinematic classics. It is a must-own for film enthusiasts, offering an unparalleled visual and auditory experience that respects the original work's integrity while delivering it to audiences in a way that could have once only been dreamed of. With its stunning image quality, remastered audio, and comprehensive extras, this edition of "Casablanca" stands as a paragon of home video releases and further cements the film’s place not just in cinema history, but in the hearts of those who experience this unforgettable love story anew in its most definitive version yet.