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Casablanca Blu-ray

United States
Ultimate Collector's Edition Warner Bros. | 1942 | 103 min | Rated PG | Dec 02, 2008

Casablanca (Blu-ray)
Large:


Video
Codec: VC-1 (17.92 Mbps)
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.37:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.37:1

Audio
English: Dolby Digital Mono
French: Dolby Digital Mono
Spanish: Dolby Digital Mono

Subtitles
English, English SDH, French, Spanish

Discs
50GB Blu-ray Disc
Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD)

Packaging
Slipcover in original pressing

Playback
Region free

Price
List price: $64.98, Price history
Amazon: $43.94 (Save 32%)
New from: $33.98 (Save 48%)
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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
8.9
586
ratings.


Blu-ray rating
Video 4.5 of 54.5
Audio 4.0 of 54.0
Extras 4.5 of 54.5
Based on 13 user reviews

Movie appeal

 
Drama100%
Romance40%
War29%
Film-Noir25%
Melodrama23%
66%
popularity
829
collections
228
fans




Casablanca

 (1942)

Casablanca Blu-ray delivers stunning video and great audio in this must-own Blu-ray release

Rick Blaine owns a nightclub in Casablanca during World War II. Ilsa, a woman Rick was once in love with when he lived in Paris and never quite got over, walks into his nightclub. She’s in town with her husband, Victor Laszlo, a resistance leader with Nazis hot on his trail.

For more about Casablanca and the Casablanca Blu-ray release, see Casablanca Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 5.0 out of 5.

Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, Peter Lorre
Director: Michael Curtiz

» See full cast & crew


Casablanca Blu-ray, Video Quality

  4.5 of 5

The black-and-white video presentation is in the original Academy aspect ratio of 1.37:1, featuring Warner's VC-1 encode. While it is miraculously noise-free, with only the smallest traces of grain, the signs of processing and noise reduction do not seem to inhibit the vibrancy or dynamics of the picture. This Blu-ray is not meant to make viewers feel like they are watching film from 65 years ago--that was not Warner's intention. Rather, it is intended as more of a museum piece that has been carefully excavated, cleaned up and restored to a relatively asceptic state. In some cases, film is DNR'ed to death, but Warner seems to have taken great pains to remove the noise, grunge and grain without losing too much detail in the process. The effect is disarming. For the first time, Bogart's facial expressions have a clarity and resolution that seems to bridge the past and present.

The only feature that suffers is depth. Watch the beginning of the film. The opening shot over Casablanca shows a minaret and palm tree in the foreground with buildings behind them, breaking off where the ocean stretches back to the horizon. While the landscape shot is detailed and convincing and the sky shows organic qualities, the picture appears two-dimensional. Less noise reduction would have resulted in a dirtier picture, but may have yielded better feel for front- to-back depth and shadow detail. But these amount to six-of-one, half-dozen-of-the-other arguments and minor quibbles. The bottom line is that Warner took pains to clean up the picture as much as possible, and it pays off in every frame of Casablanca.


Casablanca Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  4.0 of 5

The audio, too, is clean but without the resolution apparent in the video. The prevailing view at Warner and among many HT fanatics is that older movies do not deserve a high definition, lossless audio track. This fallacy needs to end. There is tremendous detail to mine in old analog recordings, and Casablanca certainly qualifies as a worthy candidate. But just as the Ultimate Edition DVD version got the same packaging as this Ultimate Edition Blu-ray release, the audio also got the same packaging: a Dolby Digital monaural track. While it does sound phenomenal in many ways, and probably undeserving of criticism, two things about this track bother me. First, it ignores the capabilities of the format and does not even attempt to deliver superior audio resolution to Blu-ray adopters shelling out significantly more money for Warner's BD titles. Secondly, the mono isn't assigned to the center channel but to the front L/R as if the audio engineers are still targeting stereo systems of the 20th century. Warner needs to understand that its target audience now has a center channel speaker.

That said, it's to Warner's credit that Casablanca's sound was not overprocessed by the development of a multichannel track. And in fact the sonic merits of the Dolby Digital track are good, considering the aging source material. Dialog and gunshots have good presence and Wilson's voice, clearly inspired by Louis Armstrong (what singer at that time wasn't?) appears open and vibrant. Again, the depth was lacking, as the soundstage was not just narrow, due to the lack of stereophonics, but also shallow. I don't think any but the most critical audiophiles will find fault with this track, but I am such a listener and believe that there is more detail in that content than what Warner provided in DD.


Casablanca: Other Editions



1-disc
$14.69
3-disc set
$36.19
1-disc
$16.08
1-disc

1-disc

Casablanca UCE
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Casablanca Blu-ray, News and Updates



Casablanca: 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition Blu-ray - January 17, 2012

In March, Warner Home Entertainment will release a 70th Anniversary Casablanca Blu-ray edition. This drama follows Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre), an American expatriate tested when his old flame Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman, Spellbound) ...

Lightning Deal: Casablanca Ultimate Collector's Edition Blu-ray f... - September 7, 2009

Amazon has an interesting BD-related "lightning deal" going on now: for a very limited time, you can buy 'Casablanca (Ultimate Collector's Edition)' for only $28.99 (55% off MSRP). This offer expires today at 2 p.m. PDT, or when stock runs out. Update: the ...

Casablanca Regular Blu-ray Edition Coming Up - July 10, 2009

An early announcement to retailers indicates that Warner Home Video is set to re-release 'Casablanca' on a regular edition Blu-ray on September 15. So far this great classic had only been available in the US as part of a two-disc Ultimate Collector's Edition (with ...

» Show more related news posts for Casablanca Blu-ray


Casablanca Blu-ray, Forum Discussions



Topic Replies Last post
Casablanca 70th Anniversary Blu-ray Review (

Official Thread

)
961 Jul 20, 2014
Casablanca...worth the blind buy? 50 Dec 01, 2008
Casablanca To $$$$$$$$$$$ 26 Dec 04, 2008

» Show more forum discussions for Casablanca Blu-ray



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