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Casablanca Conference at Casablanca, Morocco
Casablanca Conference at Casablanca, Morocco, 1943

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"Casablanca" Premiered and the Allies Landed Expeditionary Forces in North Africa
November 26, 1942

In the film, hero Rick Blaine settles in Casablanca after fighting fascism (a dictatorship) in Spain. He opens up a nightclub called "Rick's Café American." ("Rick's Place" became World War II military code for the city of Casablanca.) When Rick's former lover, Ilsa, arrives at his café with her French Resistance leader husband, the club owner helps them escape. By film's end, Rick and Ilsa have given up each other to serve a greater good--freedom from fascism. Just as the Allied invasion of Casablanca advanced box office sales, so the film "Casablanca" reinforced the war effort by underscoring the value of freedom and the importance of personal sacrifice. As Rick says to Ilsa in the famous farewell scene, "I'm not 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. Here's looking at you, kid."
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