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“Rick’s Café Américain” and “Blue Parrot” bars in the movie Casablanca

Casablanca is a 1942 Oscar-winning movie directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.

The movie takes place during the Second World War. Many people who are trapped in Europe are looking for ways to get to America. The way to get to America by ship requires reaching Lisbon. Since it is not possible to go directly to Lisbon, they first travel from Paris to Marseille and then to Oran on the opposite shore of the Mediterranean Sea. From there, trains, automobiles and caravans are used to cross Africa and in this way they reach Casablanca, a French colony. Here, the lucky ones are able to get visas by money, man of influence they meet or chance and later travel to Lisbon. From Lisbon, it is easy for them to reach America.

Many scenes in the movie take place in Rick’s bar. Rick is an American who escapes from France to Casablanca when the Germans invade Paris. On the way to Casablanca, before boarding the train from Paris to Marseille, he is abandoned by Ilsa, the woman he loves. In one day, by a great coincidence, Ilsa arrives at Rick’s bar with her husband in Casablanca, and the events that will lead Rick to choose between love and patriotism in the film’s finale begin.

Since our topic is not movie criticism, I will not elaborate too much on the subject. Let’s get to the point and discuss the names of the two bars used as locations in the movie Casablanca in light of the plot of the movie. One of the bars is “Rick’s Café Américain” owned by the character Rick, played by Humphrey Bogart, the leading actor of the movie, and the other is “Blue Parrot” owned by the character Signor Ferrari, played by Sydney Greenstreet.

The name of Rick’s bar “Rick’s Café Américain” emphasizes two things: Rick and America. In Rick’s bar, live American-style music is played on the piano. The people having fun are generally wealthy people from different cities in Europe. While they are drinking and having fun in the bar, they are also trying to meet important people of influence in order to get a visa. This bar is also an important stop on the way to America.

The other bar with a local style, “Blue Parrot”, doesn’t include the name of its owner Signor Ferrari or any other word that refers to a country in its name. Imagine if Ferrari used his own name in the name of the bar he owns. How do you think that would be? The Ferrari character would be even more prominent. But the movie is not about Rick and Ferrari. If the screenwriters had used the word Ferrari in the name of the bar, they would have weakened the impact that Rick and his bar had on our minds on the road to America. The name of the “Blue Parrot” bar is not really important. The important point is that the name of the bar does not include the name of its owner or the name of any other country. In this way, the audience is not distracted from the emphasis on Rick and the target country, America.

We do not have any information if the screenwriters of the movie put so much thought into the names of the bars, but Casablanca, one of the most beautiful movies of all time, gets full marks from us for its choice of bar names as well as its many cult features.

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