Triumph of the Human Spirit: Casablanca & Saving Private Ryan Film Comparison

Essay by ogpimpUniversity, Bachelor'sF, November 2004

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Casablanca, the name of a northern Moroccan city and also the name and setting of one of the most critically acclaimed movies of the 20th century. Released in 1942 during world war two, Casablanca is an epic tale that for the time raised the bar of pro-war movies. Set around the story of basically two lovers meeting up again under a different set of circumstances in a war torn world. With actors who deliver a spectacular performance such as Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid (IDBM). Casablanca features a twisted love triangle, which Humphrey Bogart's character Rick, A one time freedom fighter and gun runner, who now owns a Bar in Casablanca, finds his old love Elsa, running from the Germans with her husband Victor. Caught in a moral struggle, Rick must make crucial choices amidst spiritual and world conflict.

Another movie, Saving Private Ryan, which was released in 1998 focuses on the bravery of a group of army men sent out to find and bring back another man behind enemy lines during world war two.

Tom Hanks who plays Capt. John Miller is in charge of this group of men who have to risk neck and limb to save Private Ryan and win the war in France (IDBM). Along with a strong supporting cast, which includes actors such as Matt Damon, Vin Diesel and Edward Burns, brings a strong force to the screen. Both films revel in the most basic theme of any world war two movie, the triumph of the human spirit. These two movies when contrasted in the same light bring many different, styles, techniques and themes into play. The comparison of these two movies is essential to better understand the underlying elements that make these movies classics.

As Casablanca starts out we...