As Time Goes By

It’s become the definition of a classic movie: a perfectly constructed plot, spellbinding chemistry between its two stars, an unforgettable ensemble cast, and a script larded with immortal lines. But Casablanca, for all its power and beauty, faced a tortuous journey to the big screen. Noah Isenberg, director of the Screen Studies program at the New School, explains why the film remains so compelling and what it can tell us about the moral dilemmas we face today.

Casablanca has become, for audiences around the world, synonymous with the delights movies have to offer. When asked what film he considered to be the greatest, Roger Ebert famously remarked that Citizen Kane deserved the honor — but that the one he …

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