Study Guide

Casablanca Luck

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No More Bets

We get the impression that, in Casablanca, it isn't unusual for there to be a gambling room built into the back of a club or restaurant. This is a little foreign to us, obviously. We can't remember the last time we walked into a Denny's and then stepped into the back for a little Pai Gow.

But the fact that there's one at Rick's might hold a bit of symbolism. There's a recurring theme of luck in Casablanca. We don't have to look any further than this line to pick up on the hint:

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

Yeah, what are the chances of that happening? Slightly better than letting it ride on twenty-two at roulette, we'd imagine.

Ugarte hands the letters of transit off to Rick a matter of minutes before he's arrested. That was lucky.

Strasser arrives at the airport just as the plane door has closed and the aircraft starts down the runway. That was lucky, too.

There are a ton of close calls like this throughout the film, perhaps hinting that the events are being guided by another hand. Lady Luck may not have been credited, but she might almost be deserving of top billing. She sure manages to heighten the drama.

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