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Plot Summary

The film opens with an image of a spinning globe and the sounds of "La Marseillaise," the
French national anthem. A voiceover explains the significance of the city of Casablanca, in
French-ruled Morocco. During World War II, many people wanted to escape Europe for
America, and Lisbon, Portugal, became the most popular port of exit. Getting to Lisbon was not
easy. A tortuous refugee path brought people to Casablanca, where they would search for an exit
visa for Portugal. As the narrator finishes the description, the camera shows Casablanca's
bustling market. Over the radio, the French police announce that two German officers were
murdered on a train and that the murderer is headed for Casablanca. Shortly thereafter, an
important German officer, Major Strasser, arrives at the Casablanca airport and is greeted by the
local French commander, Captain Louis Renault. Strasser asks about the couriers, and Louis says
that the murderer, like everyone else, will be at Rick's that evening.
The scene shifts to Rick's Café Americain, a stylish nightclub and casino. Ugarte approaches
Rick, the bar's owner, and asks if he will hold some letters of transit for him. Rick observes dryly
that the murdered German couriers were carrying letters of transit, but accepts the letters and
hides them in the piano played by his house musician, Sam. Signor Ferrari, owner of the rival
bar, the Blue Parrot, offers to buy Rick's, but Rick says his bar isn't for sale. Yvonne, Rick's
neglected lover, tries to arrange a date for that evening, but Rick dismisses her attempts to pin
him down and calls a cab to send her home. Louis tells Rick he's going to make an arrest and
warns Rick against protecting the couriers' killer. "I stick my neck out for nobody," Rick
responds. Louis also mentions Victor Laszlo, a famous Czech nationalist, will be arriving in
Casablanca and warns Rick against trying to assist Laszlo, whose political activities are a threat
to Nazi Germany. In the conversation that ensues, we learn that Rick was involved in anti-fascist
wars in the 1930s, supporting the republicans in the Spanish Civil War and the Ethiopians
against Italy. Strasser's arrival cuts the conversation short. With the German officer present,
Louis decides the time has come to arrest the murderer of the German couriers. Cornered, Ugarte
appeals to Rick for help, but Rick does nothing.
After things calm down, Laszlo enters the bar with Ilsa. They have come in search of exit visas.
Strasser approaches Laszlo with hostility, and Louis politely requests that Laszlo report to his
office the next day. Meanwhile, Ilsa and Sam, who recognize each other, begin to talk. At first
Sam refuses Ilsa's request that he play "As Time Goes By," but eventually he relents. The music
brings Rick to the piano. "I thought I told you never to play—" he begins, breaking off when he
sees Ilsa. Laszlo and Louis join the group and Rick sits down for a drink, violating his rule of
never drinking with customers. When the couple leaves, Rick picks up the check, breaking
another personal rule.
Later that evening, Rick drinks alone after the bar closes. Sam plays "As Time Goes By" again,
and Rick thinks about the past. In a flashback, we see a happier, less haggard Rick in Paris with
Ilsa by his side. They drive through the city, ride a boat down the Seine, pop open a bottle of
champagne, and dance at a club. Although they are clearly in love, they avoid all questions about
each other’s pasts. When they hear word that the German army is approaching Paris, Rick knows
he will have to leave the city. Rick proposes to Ilsa, who tries her best to hide her anguish, saying
she doesn't plan that far in advance. Rick isn't worried, however. He thinks they'll leave together
the next day for Marseille. At the train station the next day, Rick waits in the pouring rain, but
Ilsa is nowhere to be found. Sam arrives and shows Rick a note. The note is from Ilsa and says
that she can never see him again.
At this point, the flashback ends, and the scene shifts back to Casablanca. Ilsa enters the bar. She
wants to explain what happened in Paris, but Rick is drunk and angry, and Ilsa leaves.
The next day, Ilsa and Laszlo go to Louis's office, where Strasser tells Laszlo he will never
escape Casablanca alive. The couple then goes to the Blue Parrot to visit Signor Ferrari and
arrive just as Rick is leaving. As Laszlo talks with Ferrari, Ilsa tells Rick that Laszlo is her
husband and has been for years, even when she and Rick were together in Paris. Ferrari says he
can obtain a visa for Ilsa but not for Laszlo. The couple decides not to split up. Ferrari suggests
they speak to Rick, whom he suspects is holding Ugarte's stolen letters of transit.
That evening at Rick's, a young Bulgarian woman, Mrs. Brandel, approaches Rick to ask if Louis
is "trustworthy." Louis, as Rick knows, has a habit of offering female refugees exit visas in
exchange for sex. Rick says Louis's word is good, but, not wanting to let Mrs. Brandel's new
marriage be harmed, he arranges for her husband to win big at the roulette table so they can buy
a visa on their own. Later, Laszlo asks to speak to Rick. He offers to buy the letters of transit, but
Rick says he'll never sell them. When Laszlo asks why, Rick replies, "Ask your wife."
German soldiers have gathered around Sam's piano and are singing the German national anthem.
Laszlo tells the band to play "La Marseillaise," the French national anthem, and leads the patrons
of the bar in a stirring rendition of the song, which drowns out the Germans. Strasser is furious
and demands that Louis shut down Rick's. Louis closes Rick's on the pretext that gambling takes
place there, even as he accepts his evening's winnings.
Back at their hotel, Laszlo asks Ilsa if there is anything she wants to tell him about Paris, and she
replies “No.” Husband and wife reaffirm their love for each other. As Victor leaves for a meeting
of the underground resistance, Ilsa leaves too and surprises Rick by showing up in his apartment.
She pleads with him for the letters of transit, urging him to put aside his personal feelings for
something more important. When Rick still refuses, she pulls a gun on him. Rick dares her to
shoot, but Ilsa cannot. Instead, she breaks down in tears and claims she still loves Rick. They
embrace.
Later, Ilsa explains what happened in Paris. After she married Laszlo, he had to return to Prague,
where he was arrested and put in a concentration camp. Months later, she heard he was killed in
an escape attempt. She met Rick shortly thereafter. Ilsa learned Laszlo was still alive just when
she and Rick were about to leave Paris together. Laszlo needed her, and she decided to stay with
him. She didn't tell Rick because she knew he wouldn't leave Paris if he found out, and then the
Gestapo would arrest him. Her story finished, Ilsa says she'll never be able to leave Rick a
second time, but she begs that he help Laszlo escape. As for whether she will go with Laszlo or
stay with Rick, she says she doesn't know what's right anymore and tells Rick, "You have to
think for both of us."
Later that evening, Laszlo claims to know that Rick loves Ilsa and asks for the letters of transit
for her sake. Just then the German soldiers burst into Rick's and arrest Laszlo. The next day,
Rick pleads with Louis to release Laszlo, saying that Laszlo can be arrested on a more serious
charge, possession of the stolen letters of transit. Rick also tells Louis that he plans to use the
letters to escape with Ilsa. That afternoon, Rick sells his club to Ferrari. That evening, back at
Rick's, as he hands the letters to Laszlo, Louis emerges from the shadows to make the arrest. Just
as suddenly, Rick pulls out a gun and points it at Louis. He orders Louis to call the airport to
make sure that evening's flight to Lisbon will take off as planned. Louis pretends to call the
airport, but actually calls Strasser.
At the airport, Rick makes Louis fill in the letters of transit for Mr. and Mrs. Victor Laszlo. Ilsa
objects, but Rick says he did the thinking for both of them and decided that for Laszlo to
continue doing his work, he needs Ilsa by his side. Rick tells Laszlo that Ilsa visited him last
night and pretended to still love him to get the letters. He knew she was lying, Rick says, because
it was over a long time ago. As Rick is talking, Ilsa sobs in the background.
After goodbyes, the Laszlos board the plane. Just then Strasser arrives. He calls the radio tower
to prevent the plane's taking off, but Rick shoots him, and the plane leaves. The French police
arrive, and Louis, who has seen everything, orders, "Round up the usual suspects." As the cops
drive off, Louis congratulates Rick on becoming a patriot and then becomes a patriot himself,
symbolized by his throwing out a bottle of Vichy water (water produced in the unoccupied
region of France that persecuted Jews and tried to win Nazi favor). Rick and Louis walk along
the runway together. Louis says he can arrange for Rick to escape to Brazzaville, another French
colony in Africa, and then announces he will go, too. The movie ends with Rick saying the
famous final line, "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship." "La
Marseillaise" plays in the background.

----------------------------------
Casablanca Scene-by-Scene
Int./
# Transition Scene Title Time Page Comments
Ext.

[Titles over
0 -- -- map of -- --
Africa]

Insert V.O. re.


1 Fade-in -- [revolving -- 1 refugees in
globe] Casablanca

Old Moorish
Establishing
2 Cut to Ext. section of day 1
location
city

Theft of
papers
3 Cut to Int. Police station day 1 announced
(Letters of
transit - LoT)

Street in old
Police check
4 Cut to Ext. Moorish day 2
man’s papers
section

Inscription:
‘Liberté,
Palais de Egalité,
5 Cut to Ext. day 3
Justice Fraternité’.
Suspects
taken inside.

Sidewalk
6 Cut to Ext. day 3 English couple
café

Palais de Roundup
7 Cut to Ext. day 4
Justice continues

Sidewalk Englishman
8 Cut to Ext. day 4
café robbed

Overhead
9 Cut to Ext. day 5 Plane landing
shot

Palais de Refugees look


10 Cut to Ext. day 5
Justice up
Plane
descends past
Overhead
11 Cut to Ext. day 5 sign for
shot
‘Rick’s Café
Americain’

Renault
greets
Germans -
12 Cut to Ext. Airfield day 6 tells them
suspect to be
detained later
at Rick’s

Entrance to
13 Dissolve to Ext. Rick's café night 8
Rick’s

'Rick's Café
14 Insert sign -- -- 8
Americain'

Refugees
raising money
Rick's café -
15 -- Int. night 8 and
main room
negotiating
escape

Rick never
drinks with
customers.
Signs credit
slip: ‘OK.
Rick's café -
Rick;. Denies
16 -- Int. gambling night 10
admittance to
room
German
banker.
Ugarte asks R
to safeguard
LoT.

R slips letters
inside piano.
Ferrari offers
Rick's café -
17 Cut to Int. night 16 to buy café. R
main room
ejects
drunken
Yvonne.

Y mentions
unrequited
love for R. R
18 Cut to Ext. Rick's café night 19
chats to Ren.
Someone
wins 20,000
francs.

Ren. tells R
Rick's café -
19 Cut to Int. night 22 that there’ll
main room
be an arrest.

Ren. tells R
that VL is in
Casablanca. R
bets Ren. that
Rick's café - V will escape.
20 -- Int. night 23
office Ren. says V
needs exit
visas for
himself and a
lady.

Rick's café - Strasser visits


21 Cut to Int. night 27
main room café.

Rick's café - U is detained


22 Cut to Int. gambling night 28 but escapes
room from café.

U fires gun
but is
dragged off.
R: ‘I stick my
neck out for
nobody’. S
interviews R.
V and I enter,
Rick's café - looking for U.
23 -- Int. night 29
main room S and Ren.
ask them to
report to Ren.
in the
morning. I
requests
song. R & I
meet. R joins
I for a drink.

I & V leave
24 Cut to Ext. Rick's café night 48
café.

Rick's café - R & Sam chat.


25 Cut to Int. night 49
main room ‘Play it!’

flashback: Arc
Montage -
de Triomphe.
26 Dissolve to -- Paris in the -- 52
I nuzzles R’s
Spring
shoulder in
car.

Rick's Paris I & R drink


27 Cut to Int. day 52
apartment together.

I & R dance
28 Cut to Int. Paris café night 52
together.

Ilsa's Paris I & R kiss


29 Cut to Int. day 52/3
apartment passionately.

Newsreel
footage of
30 Cut to -- Montage -- 53 German
occupation of
Paris

I & R await
imminent
31 Cut to Ext. Paris café day 54
German
arrival

Sam, I & R
together.
La Belle Price on R’s
32 Cut to Int. afternoon 54
Aurore head. Arrange
to meet at
station.

Railway
station scene
33 Cut to Int. Gare de Lyon night 58 (raining
hard). Sam &
R wait for I.

‘...I cannot go
with you or
ever see you
34 Insert -- Letter -- 58
again... Just
believe that I
love you’

Back to Sam gets R


35 -- -- -- 58
scene onto train.

I comes to
see R. R:
‘Who was it
Rick's café - you left me
36 Dissolve to Int. night 59
main room for?’ Click
here for shot-
by-shot
breakdown of
this scene

Str. asks Ren.


to search R’s
Renault's café and
37 Cut to Int. morning 61
office watch V
round the
clock.

Prefecture V and I
38 Cut to Int. morning 62
lobby arrive.

Interrogation
scene: Ren.,
Str., V & I.
Str. says
Renault's
39 Cut to Int. morning 62 intends to
office
keep V in
Casablanca.
Tells him that
U is dead.

mentioned
that Ferrari
40 Cut to Ext. Black market day 66 has near
monopoly on
Black Market

The Blue Parrot on


41 Cut to Ext. day 67
Parrot perch

R meets F. F
The Blue offers to buy
42 Cut to Int. day 67
Parrot LoT. R
declines.

The Blue V arrives as R


43 Cut to Ext. day 69
Parrot leaves.

Lace-buying
scene. I tells
R: ‘VL is my
husband...
44 Cut to Ext. Black market day 70
and was,
even when I
knew you in
Paris’

F can’t get V
out but praps
The Blue
45 Cut to Int. day 72 visa for I. V
Parrot
tries to
persuafe I to
go but she
won’t leave
him. F
suggests
seeing R to
get papers.

46 Cut to Ext. Rick's café night 76 Neon sign

Y seen with
Germ. officer.
Rick's café - Fight breaks
47 Cut to Int. night 76
main room out. R chats
to Bulgarian
girl.

R helps Bulg.
Rick's café -
girl’s husband
48 Cut to Int. gambling night 86
to win at
room
roulette.

Rick's café - Ren. calls R


49 Cut to Int. night 89
main room sentimental.

R refuses to
sell papers to
Rick's café -
50 Dissolve to Int. night 90 V and
office
suggests he
ask I why.

Singing
Rick's café - scene.
51 Cut to Int. night 91
main room Germans
begin to sing.

Rick's café -
52 Cut to Int. night 92 R looks on.
balcony

Rick's café - Germans


53 Cut to Int. night 92
main room singing.

Rick's café -
54 Cut to Int. night 92 V & R look on.
balcony

Marseillaise is
Rick's café - sung led by V.
55 Cut to Int. night 92
main room Str. & Ren.
close café.

I & V walk to
56 Cut to Int. Hotel hallway night 95
their room.

57 Cut to Int. Hotel room night 95 V tells I that


R told him to
ask her why R
won’t sell him
the papers.
She tells him
nothing.

R & Carl
review the
Rick's café - ledgers. C
58 Cut to Int. night 98
main room leaves for
(political)
meeting.

I begs R to
help her and
V. Draws gun
Rick's café -
59 Cut to Int. night 99 but they end
apartment
up in
passionate
embrace.

I explains to
R that in Paris
she’d heard
that V has
been shot
dead. Only
Rick's café -
60 Dissolve to Int. later 102 found out he
apartment
was alive and
needed her
just before
train. Says
she can’t
leave R again.

V and C hide
from police
61 Cut to Ext. Rick's café night 104
after the
meeting.

V & C take
Rick's café -
62 Cut to Int. night 105 refuge in the
main room
café.

R & I hear
Int./ Rick's café - voices of V &
63 Cut to night 105
Ext. apartment C. R descends
to main room.

Rick's café - R sees C


64 -- Int. balcony/main night 105 tending V’s
room wounded arm.
Rick's café - R tells C to
65 Cut to Int. night 106
apartment take I home.

V tells R he
knew when
first met R
that there
was
Rick's café -
66 Cut to Int. night 106 something
main room
between R &
I. Asks for
LoT for I.
Ren. arrives
to arrest V.

Ren. tells R
not to try to
help V to
escape. R
says that he
and I will use
LoT to leave
Renault's Casablanca.
67 Cut to Int. morning 109
office Says if Re.
releases V
can arrest
him as he
collects LoT
on a more
serious
charge.

R arranges
The Blue
68 Cut to Int. day 112 sale of café to
Parrot
F.

69 Cut to Ext. Rick's café night 113 ‘Closed’ sign

Rick's café - R reads over


70 Cut to Int. night 113
main room LoT.

I heads for
café as V
71 Cut to Ext. Rick's café night 114
pays cab
driver.

I tells R that
V thinks that I
Rick's café - is leaving with
72 Cut to Int. night 114
main room V and asks
why R hasn’t
told V.
Ren. observes
Rick's café -
73 Cut to Int. night 115 from
office
doorway.

R declines
payment for
LoT from V.
Ren.
announces V’s
Rick's café - arrest but R
74 Cut to Int. night 115
main room pulls a gun
and forces
Ren. to phone
airport. Ren.
actually
phones Str.

German Strasser on
75 Cut to Int. night 118
consulate phone.

Airport scene.
Fog surrounds
76 Dissolve to Ext. Airport night 118
transport
plane.

R. holds gun
on Ren. and
announces
that V and I
Int./ Airport will be leaving
77 Cut to night 119
Ext. hangar together.
Iprotests in
vain. Ren.
countersigns
papers.

Str. drives
78 Cut to Ext. Road night 121/2
madly.

R tells V that
I pretended to
love R to get
the LoT. R.
shoots Str.
Int./ Airport Ren.: ‘Round
79 Cut to night 122
Ext. hangar up the usual
suspects’.
Ren. proposes
to leave for
Brazzaville
with R.

80 Fade out -- -- -- 122


For the script, see...

 Epstein, Julius & Philippe with Howard Koch (1942): Casablanca: The
Script [WWW
document] http://www.godamongdirectors.com/scripts/casablanca.pdf

-------------------------------

Based on the play Everybody Goes To Rick’s by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison
Written by Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein, and Howard Koch
Directed by Michael Curtiz
Running time: 103 minutes
Year: 1942

STORY MAP

PROTAGONIST: Rick Blaine, 37, owner of Rick’s Cafe in Casablanca


CHARACTERIZATION/MAIN MISBEHAVIOR: Cynical / Aloof / Jaded
EXTERNAL GOAL: To hide the letters of transit / To help Ilsa and Laszlo escape
INTERNAL GOAL: To be selfish / To be selfless
MAIN DRAMATIC CONFLICT: Ilsa
THEMES: Sacrifice / Redemption
CENTRAL DRAMATIC QUESTION: Will Rick help Laszlo and Ilsa escape Casablanca?
ENDING: Rick gives the letters of transit to Laszlo and Ilsa, and kills Strasser to allow their
escape.
ARC: Rick goes from a hard-nosed cynic to a man who risks his life to help a woman he loves
and a cause greater than himself.

STORY ENGINES

ACT I
Rick hides the missing letters of transit for Ugarte, knowing full well he’s the one who killed the
two German couriers. Laszlo and Ilsa come to Rick’s for the letters of transit, but hear that
Ugarte was arrested. Ilsa has Sam play “As Time Goes By.” Rick rushes over to Sam, furious at
him for playing the song, and is shocked to discover Ilsa with Laszlo. Rick is bitter, but still sits
with them for a drink. He now knows Ilsa and her husband need the letters to leave the city.
ACT II-A
Sam attempts to talk Rick into leaving Casablanca, but Rick won’t listen; he’s still not over Ilsa.
He remembers falling in love during their time in Paris and her leaving him at the train station.
Later, she appears at the cafe and begs his forgiveness, but he insults her and she leaves.

ACT II-B
Outside the Blue Parrot, Ilsa reveals to Rick that Laszlo was her husband while they were
together in Paris. Later, Ilsa, fearing for Laszlo’s safety, meets with Rick again for the letters of
transit. When he won’t give them up, she pulls a gun on him, but can’t shoot. She admits that she
believed Laszlo had died when she was with Rick in Paris and only found out he was alive
moments before they were to leave Paris together. She confesses her love for Rick, begs him to
help Laszlo leave Casablanca. Further, she says she’ll stay with him if he helps Laszlo escape.

ACT III
Rick admits to Renault that he has the letters of transit and of his intent to leave Casablanca with
Ilsa. Rick meets with Laszlo and Ilsa and sells them the letters of transit. Renault attempts to
arrest Laszlo, but Rick pulls a gun on Renault, providing Laszlo and Ilsa an opportunity to
escape. At the airport, Rick has Renault write Laszlo and Ilsa’s name on the letters of transit.
Laszlo and Ilsa board the plane. Strasser arrives and Rick is forced to shoot him, facilitating
Laszlo and Ilsa’s escape.

FULL BEAT SHEET


ACT I
Sequence I: Casablanca is a port for refugees escaping war-torn Europe. Many are trapped,
unable to obtain an exit visa for safe passage to Lisbon. When two German couriers are
murdered, Major Strasser of the Third Reich arrives in Casablanca to oversee the investigation.

1 – OPENING IMAGE: A map of Africa over the opening titles.

2 – A globe spins as the Narrator speaks…

INSERT – A revolving globe. When it stops revolving it turns briefly into a contour map of
Europe, then into a flat map.
Superimposed over this map are scenes of refugees fleeing from all sections of Europe by foot,
wagon, auto, and boat, and a converging upon one point on the tip of Africa -- Casablanca.

Arrows on the map illustrate the routes taken as the voice of a NARRATOR describes the
migration.

NARRATOR (V.O.)

With the coming of the Second World War, many eyes in imprisoned Europe turned hopefully,
or desperately, toward the freedom of the Americas. Lisbon became the great embarkation point.
But not everybody could get to Lisbon directly, and so, a tortuous, roundabout refugee trail
sprang up. Paris to Marseilles, across the Mediterranean to Oran, then by train, or auto, or foot,
across the rim of Africa to Casablanca in French Morocco. Here, the fortunate ones, through
money, or influence, or luck, might obtain exit visas and scurry to Lisbon, and from Lisbon to
the New World. But the others wait in Casablanca -- and wait -- and wait -- and wait.

The narrator’s voice fades away...

3 – A POLICE OFFICER dispatches news across the wire…

POLICE OFFICER

To all officers! Two German couriers carrying important official documents murdered on train
from Oran. Murderer and possible accomplices headed for Casablanca. Round up all suspicious
characters and search them for stolen documents. Important!

4 – TWO POLICEMEN stop a CIVILIAN. When they discover his papers have expired, he runs
and they shoot him in the back. The policemen search his body, find Free French literature.

6 – JAN & ANNINA SETUP: Suspects are rounded up outside the Palais de Justice. Refugees
JAN & ANNINA BRANDEL, a young, attractive couple from Bulgaria, watch as a plane
lands…

ANNINA

(wistfully)

Perhaps tomorrow we’ll be on that plane.

7 – MAJOR STRASSER, a Nazi officer, steps off the plane and is greeted by CAPTAIN LOUIS
RENAULT, the Prefect of Police in Casablanca.

STRASSER

(casually)
By the way, the murder of the couriers, what has been done?

RENAULT

Realizing the importance of the case, my men are rounding up twice the usual number of
suspects.

HEINZE

We already know who the murderer is.

STRASSER

Good. Is he in custody?

RENAULT

Oh, there is no hurry. Tonight he’ll be at Rick’s. Everybody comes to Rick’s.

_______________________

Sequence II: Rick hides the missing letters of transit for Ugarte, knowing full well he’s the one
who killed the two German couriers.
8 – Busy night at Rick’s. SAM, the piano player, sings “It Had To Be You.” Various patrons
attempt to negotiate their way out of the country.

9 –DRINK WITH RICK SETUP: CARL, the fat waiter, attends to the wealthier patrons in the
gambling room.

FIRST WOMAN

Will you ask Rick if he’ll have a drink with us?

CARL

Madame, he never drinks with customers. Never. I have never seen him.
SECOND WOMAN

(disappointedly)

What makes saloon-keepers so snobbish?

MAN

(to Carl)

Perhaps if you told him I ran the second largest banking house in Amsterdam.

CARL

The second largest? That wouldn’t impress Rick. The leading banker in Amsterdam is now the
pastry chef in our kitchen.
10 – RICK refuses entry to the gambling room to a GERMAN.

Rick has no allegiance to the Nazis.


12 – INCITING INCIDENT: UGARTE asks Rick to hide the letters of transit for him. Rick
agrees.

He takes an envelope from his pocket and lays it on the table.

UGARTE

Look, Rick, do you know what this is? Something that even you have never seen. Letters of
transit signed by General de Gaulle. Cannot be rescinded, not even questioned.

Rick appears ready to take them from Ugarte.

UGARTE
One moment. Tonight I’ll be selling those for more money than even I have ever dreamed of,
and then, addio Casablanca! You know, Rick, I have many friends in Casablanca, but somehow,
just because you despise me you’re the only one I trust. Will you keep these for me? Please.

13 – Rick stops Ugarte as he gets up from the table…

RICK

I heard a rumor that those two German couriers were carrying letters of transit.

Ugarte hesitates a moment.

UGARTE

Huh? I heard that rumor, too. Poor devils.

Rick looks at Ugarte steadily.

RICK

(slowly)

Yes, you’re right, Ugarte. I am a little more impressed with you.

_______________________

Sequence III: Renault informs Rick that there will be an arrest in the cafe; the arrest of a
murderer. Rick knows they’re after Ugarte.

14 – As Sam plays “Knock On Wood,” Rick slips the letters of transit into the back of the piano.

15 – FERRARI, owner of the Blue Parrot, offers to buy Rick’s, but Rick declines.

16 – Rick is approached by a jilted lover, YVONNE, an attractive, young French woman.


Yvonne is drunk, distraught over Rick’s indifference with her affection toward him. Rick sends
her home in a cab.
17 – Outside the cafe, Rick bumps into Renault as a plane takes off to Lisbon. Renault catches a
rare glimpse of emotion in Rick, perhaps, a longing to leave Casablanca.

RENAULT

I have often speculated on why you don’t return to America. Did you abscond with the church
funds? Did you run off with a senator’s wife? I like to think you killed a man. It’s the romantic in
me.

Rick still looks in the direction of the airport.

RICK

It was a combination of all three.


RENAULT

And what in heaven’s name brought you to Casablanca?

RICK

My health. I came to Casablanca for the waters.

RENAULT

Waters? What waters? We’re in the desert.

RICK

I was misinformed.

18 – Renault lets Rick know that they are about to make an arrest in the cafe. Rick knows
Renault’s after Ugarte.

RENAULT

Rick, there’s going to be some excitement here tonight. We are going to make an arrest in your
cafe.

RICK

(somewhat annoyed)

What, again?

RENAULT

This is no ordinary arrest. A murderer, no less.

Rick’s eyes react. Involuntarily, they glance toward the gambling room.

Renault catches the look.

RENAULT

If you are thinking of warning him, don’t put yourself out. He cannot possibly escape.

RICK

I stick my neck out for nobody.


RENAULT

A wise foreign policy.

_______________________

Sequence IV: In Rick’s office, Renault claims the letters of transit are intended for Victor Laszlo,
a renowned Czech Resistance leader and fugitive from the Reich. Rick bets Renault 10,000
francs that Laszlo will make it out of Casablanca alive. Later, Renault’s men move in on Ugarte.
He flees and comes to Rick for help, but Rick does nothing and Ugarte is arrested.

19 – Rick invites Renault into his office for a drink. Renault informs him that the arrest is an
effort to show Strasser his loyalty and the efficiency of his department.

RENAULT

Rick, there are many exit visas sold in this cafe, but we know that you have never sold one. That
is the reason we permit you to remain open.

RICK

I thought it was because I let you win at roulette.

RENAULT

That is another reason. There is a man who’s arrived in Casablanca on his way to America. He
will offer a fortune to anyone who will furnish him with an exit visa.

RICK

Yeah? What’s his name?

RENAULT

Victor Laszlo.

20 – Renault feels its his duty to make sure Laszlo never reaches America. Rick believes he’ll
make it: Laszlo escaped a concentration camp and the Nazis have chased him across Europe to
no avail. Rick bets Renault 10,000 francs that Laszlo will make it out.

RENAULT

No matter how clever he is, he still needs an exit visa, or should I say, two.

RICK
Why two?

RENAULT

He is traveling with a lady.

RICK

He’ll take one.

RENAULT

I think not. I have seen the lady. And if he did not leave her in Marseilles, or in Oran, he
certainly won’t leave her in Casablanca.

RICK

Maybe he’s not quite as romantic as you are.

RENAULT

It doesn’t matter. There is no exit visa for him.

RICK

Louis, whatever gave you the impression that I might be interested in helping Laszlo escape?

RENAULT

Because, my dear Ricky, I suspect that under that cynical shell you’re at heart a sentimentalist.

22 – Renault sits at Strasser’s table and informs him that he’s about to arrest the man who
murdered the German couriers.
23 – STRONG MOVEMENT FORWARD: Renault’s men move in on Ugarte. Ugarte shoots
and runs. He finds Rick and begs for help, but Rick doesn’t oblige and Renault’s men apprehend
Ugarte.

25 – Strasser invites Rick to his table and questions him. Rick’s answers are carefully neutral.

STRASSER

You will forgive my curiosity, Mr. Blaine. The point is, an enemy of the Reich as come to
Casablanca and we are checking up on anybody who can be of any help to us.

RICK

(glances toward Renault)


My interest in whether Victor Laszlo stays or goes is purely a sporting one.

STRASSER

In this case, you have no sympathy for the fox, huh?

RICK

Not particularly. I understand the point of view of the hound, too.

_______________________

Sequence V: Laszlo and Ilsa arrive at Rick’s and are questioned by both Renault and Strasser.
Ilsa has Sam play “As Time Goes By.” Rick rushes over to Sam, furious at him for playing the
song, and is shocked to discover Ilsa with Laszlo. Rick is bitter, but still sits with them for a
drink. He now knows Ilsa and her husband need the letters to leave the city.

26 – VICTOR LASZLO enters Rick’s with a pretty young woman on his arm, MISS ILSA
LUND. Ilsa and Sam recognize each other, but don’t say anything to each other.

27 – Laszlo and Ilsa quietly talk at their table, revealing they are there to meet Ugarte for the
letters of transit.
27 – BERGER comes to Laszlo’s table, asking the couple if they’re interested in buying his ring.
He lifts the stone of the ring and reveals an impression of the Lorraine Cross of General de
Gaulle. Their conversation is cut short by Renault.

28 – Though they are suspicious of him, Laszlo and Ilsa welcome Renault to their table.

29 – Strasser approaches, insisting Laszlo discuss matters of his arrival in Casablanca. Renault is
casual about a meeting, calling it a “request.” They agree to meet at Renault’s office the
following morning.

31 – At the bar, Berger informs Laszlo that Ugarte was arrested for murder. He tells Laszlo of a
secret meeting the following night at Caverne du Bois, an organized resistance movement.
32 – Ilsa has the waiter call Sam over to her table. Sam rolls his piano to her and greets her by
name.

33 – Ilsa asks Sam about Rick. Sam is blunt with her, saying that’s she’s bad luck for him. He
begs her to leave Rick alone. In turn, she asks him to sing “As Time Goes By.”

ILSA

Play it once, Sam, for old time’s sake.

SAM

I don’t know what you mean, Miss Ilsa.

ILSA

Play it, Sam. Play “As Time Goes By.”

SAM

Oh I can’t remember it, Miss Ilsa. I’m a little rusty on it.

Of course he can. He doesn’t want to play it. He seems even more scared now.

ILSA

I’ll hum it for you.

Ilsa starts to hum.

Sam begins to play it very softly.

ILSA

Sing it, Sam.

And Sam sings.

34 – Ilsa gets lost in the song. Rick storms over, angry at Sam for playing it.
34 – END OF ACT ONE TURN: Rick glares at Ilsa, tries to hide his anger and pain. They are
interrupted by Renault and Laszlo.

LASZLO

One hears a great deal about Rick in Casablanca.

RICK

And about Victor Laszlo everywhere.

LASZLO

Won’t you join us for a drink?


RENAULT

(laughing)

Oh, no, Rick never --

RICK

-- Thanks. I will.

35 – DRINK WITH RICK PAYOFF: Rick joins them for a drink. Rick and Ilsa reveal details
about their last meeting…

ILSA

(to Rick)

I wasn’t sure you were the same. Let’s see, the last time we met --

RICK

-- It was “La Belle Aurore.”

ILSA

How nice. You remembered. But of course, that was the day the Germans marched into Paris.

RICK

Not an easy day to forget.

ILSA

No.

RICK

I remember every detail. The Germans wore gray, you wore blue.

ILSA

Yes. I put that dress away. When the Germans march out, I’ll wear it again.

RENAULT

Ricky, you’re becoming quite human. I suppose we have to thank you for that, Mademoiselle.
36 – Laszlo ends their conversation, saying it’s time to leave. Renault catches another
uncharacteristic act from Rick when Rick covers Laszlo’s tab.

ACT II-A

Sequence I: Sam attempts to talk Rick into leaving Casablanca, but Rick’s not over Ilsa. He
remembers falling in love during their time in Paris and her leaving him at the train station.
Later, she appears at the cafe and begs for his forgiveness, but he insults her and she leaves.

37 – Rick drinks alone in the dark cafe. Sam approaches, pleads with Rick to leave.

SAM
(earnestly)

Please, boss, let’s go. Ain’t nothing but trouble for you here.

RICK

She’s coming back. I know she’s coming back.

SAM

We’ll take the car and drive all night. We’ll get drunk. We’ll go fishing and stay away until she’s
gone.

RICK

Shut up and go home, will you?

SAM

(stubbornly)

No, sir. I’m staying right here.

38 – Sam sits down and plays piano. Rick keeps drinking.

RICK

Sam, if it’s December 1941 in Casablanca, what time is it in New York?

SAM

Uh, my watch stopped.

RICK

I bet they’re asleep in New York. I bet they’re asleep all over America.

Suddenly he pounds the table and buries his head in his arms. Then he raises his head, trying to
regain control.

RICK

Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.

39 – Rick demands Sam play “As Time Goes By.”


40 – FLASHBACK: A montage of Rick and Ilsa in Paris. They travel through the French
countryside. They ride an excursion boat along the Seine. At Rick’s apartment, Rick pops some
champagne…

RICK

Who are you really? And what were you before? What did you do and what did you think?

ILSA

We said “no questions.”

RICK

Here’s looking at you, kid.

42 – FLASHBACK: At Ilsa’s Paris apartment, Ilsa confesses to Rick that the last man in her life
passed away.

43 – FLASHBACK: At a sidewalk cafe, Rick and Ilsa discover the Germans are close to Paris.
Ilsa advises Rick to leave, as with his record, he is sure to be a target of the Germans.

43-47 – FLASHBACK: At La Belle Aurore, Rick, Ilsa, and Sam finish off the last of the
champagne before the Germans arrive. Sam plays “As Time Goes By.” Another announcement
— the Germans will be there tomorrow. Ilsa is stressed, begging Rick to leave town. She agrees
to leave with him the following day. Rick asks Ilsa to marry him, and she begins to cry.

ILSA

I love you so much, and I hate this war so much. Oh, it’s a crazy world. Anything can happen. If
you shouldn’t get way, I mean, if, if something should keep us apart, wherever they put you and
wherever I’ll be, I want you to know...

She can’t go on. She lifts her face to his. He kisses her gently.

ILSA

Kiss me. Kiss me as if it were the last time.

He looks into her eyes, then he does kiss her as though it were going to be the last time.

48 – FLASHBACK: At Gare de Lyon, the train station, Rick and Sam wait for Ilsa. Sam informs
Rick that Ilsa left him a note after he left.
INSERT -- LETTER

Richard,

I cannot go with you or ever see you again. You must not ask why. Just believe that I love you.
Go, my darling, and God bless you.

Ilsa

Raindrops pour down the letter, smudging the writing.

BACK TO SCENE

A whistle blows.
SAM

(frantically)

That’s the last call, Mr. Richard, do you hear me? Come on, Mr. Richard. Let’s get out of here.
Come on, Mr. Richard, come on.

Sam pulls a stunned, reluctant Rick to the train. The train starts to move just as he boards.

From the steps he looks off into the distance, then crumbles the letter and tosses it away as the
steam from the engine clouds over him.

49-51 – MIDPOINT: Back at the cafe, Rick is thoroughly pissed. Ilsa appears and pleads with
him to forgive her, but he’s too hurt. He insults her and she leaves.
ILSA

Can I tell you a story, Rick?

RICK

Has it got a wow finish?

ILSA

I don’t know the finish yet.

RICK

Well, go on, tell it. Maybe one will come to you as you go along.

ILSA

It’s about a girl who had just come to Paris from her home in Oslo. At the house of some friends
she met a man about whom she’d heard her whole life, a very great and courageous man. He
opened up for her a whole beautiful world full of knowledge and thoughts and ideals. Everything
she knew or ever became was because of him. And she looked up to him and worshiped him
with a feeling she supposed was love.

RICK

Yes, that’s very pretty. I heard a story once. As a matter of fact, I’ve heard a lot of stories in my
time. They went along with the sound of a tinny piano playing in the parlor downstairs, “Mister,
I met a man once when I was a kid,” it’d always begin. Huh. I guess neither one of our stories
was very funny. Tell me, who was it you left me for? Was it Laszlo, or were there others in
between? Or aren’t you the kind that tells?

Ilsa gets up and leaves.

Rick’s head slumps over the table.

ACT II-B
Sequence I: Laszlo and Ilsa meet with Strasser and Renault. Strasser lets Laszlo know he’s a
fugitive from the Reich and Renault insists they will be unable to obtain exit visas. Strasser offers
Laszlo an exit visa in exchange for the whereabouts of the resistance leaders across Europe.
Laszlo declines.
52 – Renault and Strasser wait for Laszlo and Ilsa in Renault’s office. Strasser believes Rick has
the letters of transit.

53-54 – Laszlo and Ilsa appear for the meeting. Strasser lets Laszlo know he’s an escaped
prisoner of the Reich and of his intent to keep him in Casablanca. Renault backs up Strasser’s
authority by insisting Laszlo will not be able to acquire letters of transit.

STRASSER

You may be in Casablanca indefinitely...or you may leave for Lisbon tomorrow, on one
condition.

LASZLO
And that is?

STRASSER

You know the leaders of the underground movement in Paris, in Prague, in Brussels, in
Amsterdam, in Oslo, in Belgrade, in Athens.

LASZLO

Even in Berlin.

STRASSER

Yes, even in Berlin. If you will furnish me with their names and their exact whereabouts, you
will have your visa in the morning.

RENAULT

And the honor of having served the Third Reich.

LASZLO

I was in a German concentration camp for a year. That’s honor enough for a lifetime.

STRASSER

You will give us the names?

LASZLO

If I didn’t give them to you in a concentration camp where you had more persuasive methods at
your disposal, I certainly won’t give them to you now.

55 – Strasser informs Laszlo that Ugarte is dead.

RENAULT

I am making out the report now. We haven’t quite decided whether he committed suicide or died
trying to escape.

_______________________

Sequence II: Outside the Blue Parrot, Ilsa reveals to Rick that Laszlo was her husband while
they were together in Paris. Back inside the Blue Parot, Ferrari will only sell an exit visa to Ilsa
because of the heat on Laszlo. Ilsa insists that she will not leave without him. Ferrari believes
Rick has the two exit visas from the German couriers.

57 – Rick meets Ferrari at the Blue Parrot. Ferrari believes Rick has the letters of transit, so he
tells Rick he’ll handle the entire transaction for a small percentage. Rick ignores the offer.

58-59 – Rick bumps into Ilsa outside the Blue Parrot. He apologizes for his behavior, but she’s
not having it. His attitude turns cynical, prompting Ilsa to reveal Laszlo was her husband while
they were together in Paris.

RICK

Did you run on out me because you couldn’t take it? Because you knew what it would be like,
hiding from the police, running away all the time?
ILSA

You can believe that if you want to.

RICK

Well, I’m not running away any more. I’m settled now, above a saloon, it’s true, but... walk up a
flight. I’ll be expecting you.

Ilsa turns her head away.

RICK

All the same, someday you’ll lie to Laszlo. You’ll be there...

ILSA

No, Rick. No, you see, Victor Laszlo is my husband... and was even when knew you in Paris.

60 – Inside the Blue Parot, Ferrari and Laszlo catch Ilsa up to speed: Ferrari cannot risk helping
Laszlo escape the country, but believes he can get an exit visa for Ilsa. Ferrari leaves and Laszlo
pleads with Ilsa to leave without him, but she won’t.

LASZLO

No, Ilsa, I won’t let you stay here. You must get to America. And believe me, somehow I will
get out and join you.

ILSA

But, Victor, if the situation were different, if I had to stay and there were only a visa for one,
would you take it?

LASZLO

(not very convincingly)

Yes, I would.

Ilsa smiles faintly. She doesn’t believe it for even a moment.

ILSA

Yes, I see. When I had trouble getting out of Lille, why didn’t you leave me there? And when I
was sick in Marseilles and held you up for two weeks and you were in danger every minute of
the time, why didn’t you leave me then?
LASZLO

I meant to, but something always held me up.

61 – Laszlo tells Ferrari they will buy two exit visas or nothing. Ferrari lets them in on the fact
the letters of transit were not found on Ugarte.

FERRARI

Those letters were not found on Ugarte when they arrested him.

There’s a moments pause as this sinks in.

LASZLO

Do you know where they are?

FERRARI

No for sure, Monieur, but I will venture to guess that Ugarte left those letters with Monsieur
Rick.

Ilsa’s face darkens. Laszlo quietly observes.

LASZLO

Rick?

FERRARI

He is a difficult customer, that Rick. One never knows what he’ll do or why. But it is worth a
chance.

_______________________

Sequence III: Rick rigs a couple games of roulette for a young Bulgarian couple, providing them
with the money they need to leave Casablanca.

63 – Renault joins Rick at his table. They notice Yvonne enter with a German officer.

RICK

That was some going-over your men gave my place this afternoon. We just barely got cleaned up
in time to open.
He pours a drink for Renault.

RENAULT

Well, I told Strasser he wouldn’t find the letters here. But I told my men to be especially
destructive. You know how the impresses Germans.

64 – Rick breaks up a fight between a French officer and Yvonne’s German’s officer.

64 – After witnessing the fight, Strasser questions Renault’s loyalty. Strasser hints at killing
Laszlo.

STRASSER

Captain Renault, are you entirely certain which side you’re on?

RENAULT

I have no conviction, if that’s what you mean. I blow with the wind, and the prevailing wind
happens to be from Vichy.

STRASSER

And if it should change?

He smiles.

RENAULT

Sure the Reich doesn’t admit that possibility?

Renault lights a cigarette and puffs away.

STRASSER

We are concerned about more than Casablanca. We know that every French province in Africa is
honey-combed with traitors waiting for their chance, waiting, perhaps, for a leader.

RENAULT

(casually)

A leader, like Laszlo?

STRASSER
Uh, huh. I have been thinking. It is too dangerous if we let him go. It may be too dangerous if we
let him stay.

RENAULT

(thoughtfully)

I see what you mean.

67 – The young Annina meets with Rick. She and her husband are trapped in Casablanca without
enough money to obtain an exit visa. Her subtext reveals Renault will provide the visas if Annina
sleeps with him.

ANNINA

Oh, Monsieur, you are a man. If someone loved you very much, so that your happiness was the
only thing that she wanted in the whole world, but she did a bad thing to make certain of it, could
you forgive her?

Rick stares off into space.

RICK

Nobody ever loved me that much.

ANNINA

And he never knew, and the girl kept this bad thing locked in her heart? What would be all right,
wouldn’t it?

RICK

(harshly)

You want my advice?

ANNINA

Oh, yes, please.

RICK

Go back to Bulgaria.

ANNINA
Oh, but if you knew what it means to us to leave Eurpoe, to get to America! Oh, but if Jan should
find out! He is such a boy. In many ways I am so much older than he is.

RICK

Yes, well, everyone in Casablanca has problems. Yours may work out. You’ll excuse me.

67 – Laszlo and Ilsa enter Rick’s and Rick seats them promptly. He’s harsh with Ilsa, has Sam
play “As Time Goes By.”

69-70 – ASSUMPTION OF POWER & JAN & ANNINA PAYOFF: In the gambling room,
Rick rigs the game for Annisa’s husband, Jan, and they earn enough money for their exit visas.

RICK
(to jan)

Have you tried twenty-two tonight? I said, twenty-two.

Jan looks at Rick, then at the chips in his hand.

He pauses, then puts the chips on twenty-two.

Rick and croupier exchange looks. The croupier understands what Rick wants him to do. He
spins the wheel.

Carl follows the proceedings, fascinated.

The shell stops spinning.

CROUPIER

(in French)

Twenty-two, black, twenty-two.

A winner. Renault, at a nearby table, takes notice of what is happening.

The croupier pushes a pile of chips onto twenty-two and Jan reaches for it.

RICK

(not even looking at Jan)

Leave it there.

Jan hesitates, then withdraws his hands.

Carl continues to watch.

The wheel spins. Nobody speaks while it spins.

CROUPIER

Twenty-two, black.

Another winner. The croupier shoves a pile of chips toward Jan.

RICK

(to Jan)
Cash it in and don’t come back.

Jan rises up to go to the cashier.

A CUSTOMER complains to Carl.

CUSTOMER

Say, are you sure this place is honest?

CARL

(fervently)

Honest! As honest as the day is long!

71 – Renault is stopped by Jan and Annisa. They attempt to give him the money for the exit
visas, but he doesn’t accept it.

RENAULT

-- Oh, not here, please. Come to my office in the morning. We’ll do everything business-like.

JAN

We’ll be there at six.

RENAULT

I’ll be there at ten. I am very happy for you both.

71 – Renault approaches Rick…

RENAULT

As I suspected, you’re a rank sentimentalist.

RICK

Yeah? Why?

RENAULT

(chidingly)
Why do you interfere with my little romances?

RICK

Put it down as a gesture to love.

RENAULT

(good-naturedly)

Well, I forgive you this time. But I’ll be in tomorrow night with a break taking blonde, and it will
make me very happy if she loses.

_______________________

Sequence IV: Rick refuses to sell Laszlo the exit visas, telling him the reason has to do with Ilsa.
They are interrupted by German officers singing “Wacht am Rhein.” Laszlo walks downstairs
and leads the orchestra in “Marseillaise,” which Rick permits. Soon the majority of the cafe
joins in a triumphant declaration of defiance against the Germans. Strasser orders Renault to
shut down Rick’s, which he does.

72 – Laszlo meets Rick in Rick’s office. Laszlo stresses the importance of his work and the lives
that could be saved by him getting to America. Laszlo offers him 200,000 francs, but Rick won’t
sell the exit visas at any price. He lets Laszlo know the reason has everything to do with Ilsa.

RICK

My friend, you could make it a million francs, or three, my answer would still be the same.

LASZLO

There must be some reason why you won’t let me have them.

RICK

There is. I suggest that you ask your wife.


73-74 – Rick and Laszlo are interrupted by German officers loudly singing “Wacht am Rhein”
around a piano. Laszlo storms off to the orchestra and demands they play “Marseillaise.” With a
head nod, Rick gives his permission to the orchestra. Laszlo begins conducting and the orchestra
overpowers the Germans. Soon the majority of the cafe joins in a triumphant declaration of
defiance against the Germans.

75 – As a result of the song, Strasser commands Renault shut down Rick’s Cafe.

STRASSER

If Laszlo’s presence in a cafe can inspire this unfortunate demonstration, what more will his
presence in Casablanca bring on?

75 – Renault shuts down the cafe.


Renault thinks a moment, then blows a loud BLAST on his whistle. The room grows quiet, all
eyes turn toward Renault.

RENAULT

(loudly)

Everybody is to leave here immediately! This cafe is closed until further notice! Clear the room
at once!

An angry murmur starts among the crowd. People get up and begin to leave.

Rick comes quickly up to Renault.

RICK

How can you close me up? On what grounds?

RENAULT

I am shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!

This display of nerve leaves Rick at a loss. The croupier comes out of the gambling room and up
to Renault. He hands him a roll of bills.

CROUPIER

Your winnings, sir.

RENAULT

Oh. Thank you very much.

76 – Strasser approaches Ilsa as she waits for Laszlo’s return, telling her that Laszlo should
return to occupied France or face his death in Casablanca.

76 – On their way out, Ilsa asks Laszlo about Rick. He tells her they’ll “discuss it later.”

_______________________

Sequence V: Fearing for Laszlo’s safety, Ilsa meets with Rick again for the letters of transit.
When he won’t give them up, she pulls a gun on him, but can’t shoot. She admits that she
believed Laszlo had died when she was with Rick in Paris and only found out he was alive
moments before they were to leave Paris together. She confesses her love for Rick, begs him to
help Laszlo leave Casablanca. Further, she says she’ll stay with him if he helps Laszlo.
77-79 – Back at their hotel room, Ilsa begs Laszlo to not attend the underground meeting. Laszlo
insists he’s afraid, but will go on anyway. Ilsa asks again about Rick.

LASZLO

Apparently he has the letters.

ILSA

Yes?

LASZLO

But no intention of selling them. One would think if sentiment wouldn’t persuade him, money
would.

Ilsa is now noticeably uncomfortable.

ILSA

Did he give you a reason?

LASZLO

He suggested I ask you.

ILSA

Ask me?

LASZLO

Yes. He said, “Ask your wife.” I don’t know why he said that.

Laszlo turns off the light. Ilsa walks over to the couch and sits down.

LASZLO

Well, our friend outside will think we’ve retired by now. I’ll be going in a few minutes.

He sits down on the couch next to her. A silence falls between them. It grows strained. Finally...

LASZLO

Ilsa, I --
ILSA

-- Yes?

LASZLO

When I was in the concentration camp, were you lonely in Paris?

Ilsa still cannot look at him.

ILSA

Yes, Victor, I was.

LASZLO

(sympathetically)

I know how it is to be lonely.

(very quietly)

Is there anything you wish to tell me?

ILSA

(speaking low)

No, Victor, there isn’t.

LASZLO

I love you very much, my dear.

79 – Ilsa leaves the hotel a few moments after Laszlo.

79 – Carl informs Rick he can only stay closed for a couple weeks without going broke. Rick
keeps his employees on salary; believes he can bribe Renault into re-opening.

81 – Closing up for the evening, Rick finds Ilsa in his office. She begs him to give them the
letters of transit so Laszlo can continue his work.

ILSA
I know how you feel about me, but I’m asking you to put your feelings aside for something more
important.

RICK

Do I have to hear again what a great man your husband is? What an important cause he’s
fighting for?

ILSA

It was your cause, too. In your own way, you were fighting for the same thing.

RICK

I’m not fighting for anything anymore, except myself. I’m the only cause I’m interested in.

82 – Rick is hard on Ilsa, saying she’d do or say anything for the letters of transit. She criticizes
him for his selfishness.

83 – Ilsa pulls a gun on Rick and demands he give her the letters of transit.

ILSA

For the last time, put them on the table.

RICK

If Laszlo and the cause mean so much to you, you won’t stop at anything. All right, I’ll make it
easier for you.

He moves closer to her.

RICK

Go ahead and shoot. You’ll be doing me a favor.

Her hand drops, and there are tears in her eyes.

She turns and walks away from him.

ILSA

Richard, I tried to stay away. I thought I would never see you again, that you were out of my life.

Rick follows her and takes her in his arms. He presses her tight to him.
ILSA

The day you left, if you knew what I went through! If you knew how much I loved you, how
much I still love you!

Rick kisses her passionately. She is lost in his embrace.

84 – Ilsa admits to Rick that she was married to Laszlo before they met. Laszlo was apprehended
by the Gestapo and forced into a concentration camp. Ilsa received word that he died. She moved
on with Rick, but just before they were to leave Paris, she discovered Laszlo was alive.

RICK

Why weren’t you honest with me? Why did you keep your marriage a secret?

Rick sits down with Ilsa.

ILSA

Oh, it wasn’t my secret, Richard. Victor wanted it that way. Not even our closest friends knew
about our marriage. That was his way of protecting me. I knew so much about his work, and if
the Gestapo found out I was his wife it would be dangerous for me and for those working with
me.

RICK

When did you first find out he was alive?

ILSA

Just before you and I were to leave Paris together. A friend came and told me that Victor was
alive. They were hiding him in a freight car on the outskirts of Paris. He was sick, he needed me.
I wanted to tell you, but I didn’t care. I knew you wouldn’t have left Paris, and the Gestapo
would have caught you. So I... well, you know the rest.

RICK

But it’s still a story without an ending.


86 – END OF ACT TWO TURN: Ilsa can’t deny her love for Rick or her loyalty to Laszlo. She
asks Rick to make the decision for her. He agrees to do it.

ILSA

Oh, you’ll help him now, Richard, won’t you? You’ll see that he gets out? Then he’ll have his
work, all that he’s been living for.

RICK

All except one. He won’t have you.

Ilsa puts her head on Rick’s shoulder.

ILSA
I can’t fight it anymore. I ran away from you once. I can’t do it again. Oh, I don’t know what’s
right any longer. You’ll have to think for both of us, for all of us.

RICK

All right, I will. Here’s looking at you, kid.

ACT III

Sequence I: After their meeting was broken up, Laszlo and Carl hide from the police at Rick’s.
After Laszlo asks Rick to leave Casablanca with Ilsa, French officers burst into Rick’s and arrest
Laszlo.
86 – Laszlo and Carl hide in shadows outside Rick’s Cafe as a police car searches for him. After
the police car passes, they go inside Rick’s.

87 – Rick spots Laszlo and Carl inside. He calls Carl up to his office and instructs him to take
Ilsa home immediately.

88-89 – Rick and Laszlo discuss the cause and Rick’s relationship with Ilsa. Laszlo knows they
were in love once, but holds no ill-will. He asks Rick to use the letters of transit and take Ilsa
away from Casablanca.

RICK

You seem to know all about my destiny.

LASZLO

I know a good deal more about you than you suspect. I know, for instance, that you are in love
with a woman. It is perhaps strange that we both should be in love with the same woman. The
first evening I came here in this cafe, I knew there was something between you and Ilsa. Since no
one is to blame, I demand no explanation. I ask only one thing. You won’t give me the letters of
transit. All right. But I want my wife to be safe. I ask you as a favor to use the letters to take her
away from Casablanca.

RICK

You love her that much?

He looks away for a moment.

LASZLO

Yes, I love her that much.

89 – French officers burst into Rick’s and arrest Laszlo. Rick does nothing to stop them.

_______________________

Sequence II: Rick admits to Renault that he has the letters of transit and of his intent to leave
Casablanca with Ilsa. He devises a plan to sell Laszlo the letters of transit, so Renault can arrest
Laszlo with a heavier charge, sure to please Strasser. Renault agrees with the plan.

90 – Rick attempts to talk Renault into releasing Laszlo, as the charge is not heavy enough to
stick.
RENAULT

Ricky, I’d advise you not to be too interested in what happens to Laszlo. If by any chance you
were willing to help him escape --

RICK

-- What makes you think I’d stick my neck out for Laszlo?

RENAULT

Because one, you’ve bet ten thousand francs he’d escape. Two, you have the letters of transit,
now don’t deny it. And, well, you might do it simply because you don’t like Strasser’s looks. As
a matter of fact, I don’t like him, either.

RICK

Well, they’re all excellent reasons.

RENAULT

Don’t count too much on my friendship, Ricky. In this matter I’m powerless. Besides, I might
lose ten thousand francs.
90 – POINT OF NO RETURN: Rick admits he has the letters of transit and that he wants to
leave with Ilsa.

RENAULT

You didn’t come here to tell me this. You have the letters of transit. You can fill in your name
and hers and leave any time you please. Why are you interested in what happens to Laszlo?

Renault gets out of his chair and crosses to the front of his desk.

RICK

I’m not. But I am interested in what happens to Ilsa and me. We have a legal right to go, that’s
true. But people have been held in Casablanca in spite of their legal rights.
91 – Rick makes a proposition to have Laszlo brought in on a more serious charge.

RICK

Louis, I’ll make a deal with you. Instead of this petty charge you have against him, you can get
something that would chuck him in a concentration camp for years. That would be quite a feather
in your cap, wouldn’t it?

RENAULT

It certainly would. Germany... Vichy would be very grateful.

RICK

Then release him. You be at my place a half hour before the plane leaves.

Renault sits back down in his chair.

RICK

I’ll arrange to have Laszlo come there to pick up the letters of transit, and that’ll give you the
criminal grounds on which to make the arrest. You get him, and we get away.

92 – Renault agrees to Rick’s proposition.

_______________________

Sequence III: Rick meets with Laszlo and Ilsa and sells them the letters of transit. Renault
appears to arrest Laszlo, but Rick pulls a gun on Renault, providing Laszlo and Ilsa an
opportunity to escape. Unbeknownst to Rick, Renault tips off Strasser, calling him instead of
arranging the flight out.

92 – Rick sells the cafe to Ferrari.

RICK

Oh, by the way, my agreement with Sam has always been that he gets twenty-five percent of the
profits. That still goes.

FERRARI

Hmmm. I happen to know that he gets ten percent. But he’s worth twenty-five.
93 – Renault appears at Rick’s cafe, chats with Rick. They hear Laszlo and Ilsa pull up outside
and Renault goes to hide in Rick’s office.

93 – Rick quietly pulls an emotional Ilsa aside and assures her that everything will be okay. Ilsa
believes Rick will give the letters of transit to Laszlo as long she stays with Rick.

94 – As Rick hands Laszlo the letters of transit, Renault appears from the shadows to arrest
Laszlo.

95 – Rick turns the tables, pulling a gun on Renault. He makes Renault call the airport to arrange
a plane.

RENAULT

I suppose you know what you’re doing, but I wonder if you realize what this means?

RICK

I do. We’ve got plenty of time to discuss that later.

RENAULT

Call off your watch-dogs you said.

RICK

Just the same, you call the airport and let me hear you tell them. And remember, this gun’s
pointed right at your heart.

RENAULT

That is my least vulnerable spot.

96 – Renault calls Strasser and speaks to him as if he’s arranging the flight through the two
letters of transit. Strasser hangs up and assembles his men, telling them to meet at the airport.

_______________________

Sequence III: At the airport, Rick has Renault write Laszlo and Ilsa’s name on the letters of
transit. Laszlo and Ilsa board the plane. As they wait to take off, Strasser arrives and Rick is
forced to shoot him to allow their escape. Their plane takes off as Renault’s men arrive. Renault
informs his men that Strasser has been killed and to round up the usual suspects. Rick and
Renault walk off together, the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
97-98 – CLIMAX (Internal): They arrive at the airport. As Laszlo helps load the luggage. Rick
instructs Renault to write Laszlo and Ilsa’s names on the letters of transit. Both Renault and Ilsa
are shocked.

RICK

Last night we said a great many things. You said I was to do the thinking for the both us. Well,
I’ve done a lot of it since then and it all adds up to one thing. You’re getting on that plane with
Victor where you belong.

ILSA

(protesting)

But, Richard, no, I, I --


RICK

-- You’ve got to listen to me. Do you have any idea what you’d have to look forward to if you
stayed here? Nine chances out of ten we’d both wind up in a concentration camp. Isn’t that true,
Louis?

Renault countersigns the papers.

RENAULT

I’m afraid Major Strasser would insist.

ILSA

You’re saying this only to make me go.

RICK

I’m saying it because it’s true. Inside of us we both know you belong with Victor. You’re part of
his work, the thing that keeps him going. If that plane leaves the ground and you’re not with him,
you’ll regret it.

ILSA

No.

RICK

Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of your life.

ILSA

But what about us?

RICK

We’ll always have Paris. We didn’t have, we’d lost it, until you came to Casablanca. We got it
back last night.

ILSA

And I said I would never leave you.

RICK
And you never will. But I’ve got a job to do, too. Where I’m going you can’t follow. What I’ve
got to do you can’t be any part of. Ilsa, I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn’t take much to
see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.
Someday you’ll understand that. Now, now...

Ilsa’s eyes well up with tears. Rick puts his hand to her chin and raises her face to meet his own.

RICK

Here’s looking at you, kid.

98 – Strasser speeds to the airport in his Nazi-mobile.

99 – Rick lets Laszlo know that he’ll be able to leave with Ilsa.

Laszlo extends his hand to Rick, who grasps it firmly.

LASZLO

And welcome back to the fight. This time I know our side will win.

100 – Renault comments that Ilsa knew Rick was lying when he said he wasn’t in love with her
anymore.

RENAULT

Well, I was right. You are a sentimentalist.

RICK

Stay where you are. I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Rick puts a cigarette in his mouth.

RENAULT

What you just did for Laszlo, and that fairy tale that you invented to send Ilsa away with him. I
know a little about women, my friend, She went, but she knew you were lying.

RICK

Anyway, thanks for helping me out.

RENAULT
I suppose you know this isn’t going to be pleasant for either of us, especially for you. I’ll have to
arrest you of course.

RICK

As soon as the plane goes, Louis.

101 – CLIMAX (External): Strasser arrives and Renault informs him that Laszlo is leaving on
the plane. Strasser picks up the phone to call the radio tower. Holding his gun in the pocket of his
trench-coat, Rick commands Strasser to hang up. Strasser pulls a gun and Rick shoots him dead.

101 – Four gendarmes (police) speed up and report to Renault. Renault lets them know Strasser
was shot and to round up the usual suspects.
GENDARME

Mon Capitaine!

RENAULT

Major Strasser’s been shot.

Renault pauses and looks at Rick. Rick returns Renault’s gaze with expressionless eyes.

RENAULT

Round up the usual suspects.

101 – The gendarmes take Strasser’s body and drive off.

102 – Renault pours himself a glass of Vichy water. When he sees the label he tosses the bottle
into the trash and kicks the bin.

102 – Rick and Renault watch the plane leave Casablanca.


103 – CLOSING IMAGE: Rick and Renault walk off into the night.

RENAULT

It might be a good idea for you to disappear from Casablanca for a while. There’s a Free French
garrison over at Brazzaville. I could be induced to arrange a passage.

RICK

My letter of transit? I could use a trip. But it doesn’t make any difference about our bet. You still
owe me ten thousand francs.

RENAULT

And that ten thousand francs should pay our expenses.


RICK

Our expenses?

RENAULT

Uh huh.

RICK

Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

The two walk off together into the night.

103 – THE END.

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