The 25 Must-See Titles at the 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival

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Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca. Image courtesy of Warner Bros.

Casablanca (1942)

A cynical American expat (Humphrey Bogart) has world torn upside-down when his past love (Ingrid Bergman) walks back into his life, all set during the 1941 occupation of Morocco.

What is there to say about the definitive classic film? Casablanca is the perfect film to inspire a love of golden age cinema. If you want to test a friendship or see if your significant other is the right one for you, show them Casablanca and run away if they don’t like it. I’ll admit, Casablanca isn’t my favorite film of all time, but I can appreciate its place in the cinema firmament. It has an exotic location, a doomed romance, and A-list stars all wrapped up in the horrors of WWII. It’s easy to see why the romance between two people doesn’t “amount to a hill of beans,” but that’s part of the joy. The horrors of WWII were present all around, but audiences of the time could be embraced by this beautiful romance and forget their troubles.

In our current political climate, we need a movie like Casablanca. Humphrey Bogart is pitch-perfect as the world-weary Rick Blaine. And there’s never been a woman more fresh-faced than Ingrid Bergman. If anything, seeing Casablanca will help make sense of those “Vive la France” memes that always pop up on Twitter.

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