Casablanca is a movie about love and loss, virtue and vice, good and evil, duty and treachery, courage and weakness, friendship and hate. It is a story that ends well, but only because the main characters make a heartbreaking choice. Casablanca is perhaps the most widely viewed motion picture ever made, often finishing on critics' lists second only to Citizen Kane. What accounts for its continuing popularity? What chord does it strike with audiences? What lesson does Casablanca teach Americans about themselves? What influence does popular culture have on public mores? The contributors to Political Philosophy Comes to Rick's take up these questions, finding that Casablanca raises many of the most important issues of political philosophy. Perhaps Casablanca has an enduring quality because it, like political philosophy, raises questions of human life - the nature of love, friendship, courage, honor, responsibility, and justice.
About the Author
James F. Pontuso is Elliot Professor of Political Science at Hampden-Sydney College.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 "As Time Goes By": Casablanca and the Evolution of a Pop Culture Classic Chapter 3 The Historical Context of Casablanca Chapter 4 Historicism, Relativism, and Nihilism, versus American Natural Right in Casablanca Chapter 5 Seductive Beauty and Noble Deeds: Politics in The English Patient and Casablanca Chapter 6 An American Fantasy? Love, Nobility, and Friendship in Casablanca Chapter 7 Casablanca and the "Truth" of Stereotyping: Rick and the American Character Chapter 8 Ilsa's Choice: Love and Tragedy in Casablanca Chapter 9 Bogart's Heroes: The Changing Face of Heroism in American Film Chapter 10 Michael Curtiz: The Mystery-Man Director of Casablanca Chapter 11 On the Argument of Casablanca and The Meaning of the Third Rick Chapter 12 A Movie Skeptic's Thoughts on Casablanca