the colonial theatre marquee

Illuminating Cinema: Casablanca

Directed by Michael Curtiz. US. 1942. NR. 1 hour 42 minutes. Warner. Digital.
Sun., February 24, 2019
February 24, 2019
1:00 pm

Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), who owns a nightclub in Casablanca, discovers his old flame Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) is in town with her husband, Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid). Laszlo is a famed rebel, and with Germans on his tail, Ilsa knows Rick can help them get out of the country. With its perfect blend of witty dialogue, superlative performances, and brilliant timing, Casablanca has earned its place as one of the greatest films of all time!

About the Talk & Conversation

This episode of Illuminating Cinema examines one of the most revered films in history, Michael Curtiz’s, Casablanca (1943).

In a 1926 essay, W.E.B. Dubois argued that all art should strive to be propaganda, not in the conventional sense of strengthening the arguments of those in power, but to draw attention to the realities of oppression and injustice. Set significantly in December of 1941 and containing a central protagonist loyal only to his neutrality, Curtiz’s film, through the metaphor of character, examines the expectations, morality and role of the United States at this pivotal time in human history.

Consequently, a central aspect of this discussion will relate to the emergence of the United States as a world leader during this era, from the Depression years of the 1930s through to the beginnings of the Cold War in the late forties.

Similarly, the discussion will analyze the portrayal of self-sacrifice for the greater good encapsulated in the film’s narrative, presenting its audience with an Arthurian dynamic in which personal needs and desires must be abandoned in the face of unrelenting evil. A dynamic that embodied the societal mentality of many European countries, suffering either occupation or Blitz, at the time of the film’s release.

Finally, although currently celebrating its sixty-fifth year, the discussion will focus on the film’s relevancy within the early twenty-first century, especially in relation to its portrayal of the plight of refugees, attempting to escape the merciless destruction of war-torn Europe, victimized by both indifferent Governments and nefarious capitalist criminals, eager to profit from their desperation.

About the Speaker

Andrew Owen received an M.A. and a Ph.D. from Bangor University, Great Britain, and was a fulltime faculty member at Cabrini University. Andrew is also a house manager here at the Colonial.

Andrew’s main areas of interest relate to the social history of censorship within popular culture; analyzing areas related to propaganda, horror, and the societal and cultural dynamics of censorship discourse and practice. Andrew is also interested in the study of humor, especially as it pertains to its usage by subordinated social groups to attack, challenge, or draw attention to the oppressive ideologies and practices of the dominant social group.


1:00PM – Pre-Show Talk in the Third Floor Screening Room
1:30PM – Film Screening in the 1903 Theatre
3:15PM – Post-Show Conversation in the Third Floor Screening Room


Adults: $25
Members, Seniors & Students: $20
Click HERE to purchase a ticket to the Casablanca film screening only.

In addition to admission to the film screening and the pre- and post-film discussions, your Illuminating Cinema ticket includes a free small popcorn, a free small soda, a complimentary theatre cup. Plus $5 beer or wine (at this event only).

A limited number of tickets are available for each Illuminating Cinema presentation so we encourage advance purchases.

Discounts are available when you purchase tickets for all current Illuminating Cinema selections during the same transaction.

Member Passes are not accepted for this program.

About Illuminating Cinema

When the credits end that’s when the conversation begins!

Illuminating Cinema connects you with film fans of all ages for fun, refreshments and engaging conversation. Each presentation begins in our beautiful Garden Suite with a pre-show introduction from a guest speaker who offers insight and observation to help sharpen your focus on the respective film. After the lights go up in the historic 1903 auditorium, we’ll gather in the Garden Suite for a convivial post-film conversation with the speaker and each other.

In addition to admission to the film screening and the pre- and post-film discussions, your Illuminating Cinema ticket includes a free small popcorn, a free small soda, a complimentary theatre cup. Plus $5 beer or wine (at the Illuminating Cinema event only).

Focus your appreciation for film with Illuminating Cinema!