4K picture: 4.5/5
casablanca was shot on 35MM film (Mitchell BNC) and for the 80th anniversary of the feature film, it has been restored with a new scan of the negatives. The movie of Michael Curtiz had previously been restored to 4k in 2012 on its 70th anniversary, but was only released on Blu-ray. The 4K Blu-ray, in the respected 1:37.1 format, therefore comes from a 4K master with HEVC/H.265 compression and an HDR10 presentation.
Regarding the definition, even if the Blu-ray edition of 2012 was already very good, here, we clearly gain in definition and sharpness compared to the previous one, whether on the faces (we clearly see the make-up ofIngrid Bergman), the costumes or the sets (obviously, Rick’s coffee). All with excellent image depth. The grain is present, very fine, homogeneous and not fixed. No use of DNR, and that’s good. All film defects (hair, etc.) have been erased.
casablanca being in black and white, the most important thing is the contrast and, from this side too, we rediscover the film. The different gray palettes are really great. This one is therefore much more precise, with unobstructed and deeper blacks. This brings out details that we hadn’t discovered in previous editions. In the end, it is a very good restoration that we have there. The publisher has done a very good job for this masterpiece of the seventh art. A true rediscovery of an 80-year-old film. A few slight compression issues were detected, with a few very slight jerks, but nothing that hinders viewing.
Warner Bros France (Batman: The Long Halloween, Elvis) offers us an English track in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. It seems clear to us that we couldn’t have better than a 2.0 track given the means at the time. The dialogues are clear and not obstructed by the effects or the music. The mix, more generally, is good on both channels. There is little to complain about since the film displays 80 years on the clock. A good friendly track, which will please the fans.
The French track is in Dolby Digital Mono (1.0). Obviously, this whole track goes through the center speaker, so we have nothing to say about it. Too bad we don’t have a better lead for the VF. This remains the black point of this edition. In any case, it remains consistent with our memories. (Nb: the rating system for the sound is also based on the different track formats that currently exist and therefore, although these are two good tracks, we cannot put more than the indicated rating).
The box contains: a booklet with period press clippings (English, 32 pages), a double-sided A3 format poster of the film, 7 collector cards of reproductions (16.9 x 13.2 cm): 3 lobby cards ( operating photos), 3 set plans and 1 “travel sheet”.
- Introduction by Lauren Bacall (2′)
- Comments by Roger Ebert
- Comments by Rudy Behlmer
- A Night at the Movies with Warner (50′)
- Behind the scenes of the movie (207′)
- Additional scene (33′)
- Audio (73′)
We start the bonuses with theIntroduction by Lauren Bacallwhich recontextualizes the film and explains why it is a masterpiece. A night with Warner includes different diverse and varied videos, such as the movie trailer A woman seeks her destinynews of the time, the documentary Vaudeville Days which traces the beginnings and history of vaudeville and three cartoons. Everything is related to the film and the whole turns out to be quite interesting.
Behind the scenes of the movie comprises five modules. The first is Bacall on Bogart, a documentary dating from 1988, 1h24 in which Lauren Bacall, wife of Humphrey Bogart, tells the story and the career of her husband. The second is the documentary Michael Curtiz, the greatest director you’ve never heard of. This one, dating from 2012, tells, for 37 minutes, the story and the career of the director with the interventions, among others, of Steven Spielberg or William Friedkin. A must see for all movie buffs. Casablanca: an unexpected classic (2012) returns for 35 minutes to the creation of this cinematic classic. Again, this is a must have for fans of the film. You Must Remember This: A Tribute to Casablanca is a 34-minute documentary dating from 1992 narrated by Lauren Bacall which looks back on the creation of the feature film. A very good addition to the previous supplement. Finally, Over time: children is a short 6-minute video in which Pia Lindstrom, daughter of Ingrid Bergman and Stephen Bogart (son of Humphrey Bogart) brings her perspective to this classic of the 7th art. Friendly.
Additional Scenes includes just over six minutes of outtakes from the film, without soundtrack and divided into two modules. This section also includes the 1955 first episode of the TV adaptation Warner Bros Presents Casablanca. And finally, the Looney Tunes cartoon carrotblancla, with in particular Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, is obviously a parody of the film.
Audio consists of sound documents that lead us into the recording of the film’s music, the alternative songs and those cut from the final cut. We also have a 29-minute radio broadcast from 1943 with the three main actors of the film, available only in VO without subtitles. Finally, we finish the bonuses on another radio program from 1947 (also 29 minutes), still in original version without subtitles.
In all, the box brings together no less than six hours of bonus material for this masterpiece.
- LG 49UH60 4K UHD TV
- Samsung UBD-M8500 4K UHD Blu-ray Player
- Yamaha 4K UHD YHT-1840 amplifier
At his Moroccan nightclub, cynical Rick Blaine closes his eyes to the misery of World War II until his former lover, Ilsa Lund, walks into the room, forcing Rick to choose between living with the woman he he loves and become the hero she needs.
A masterpiece of the seventh art celebrating its 80th anniversary this year, casablanca has the distinction of having been filmed and released in 1942, at the heart of the Second World War. As a result, it was not until 1947 that it arrived in France. For those who do not know it yet, the film tells the intense and impossible love story between the characters embodied by Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman (both masterful in their respective roles) against a backdrop of resistance at the heart of the conflict. A solid screenplay, supported (we too often forget) by a few touches of humour, the superb staging by Michael Curtiz and magnificent black and white photography. A timeless work.