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Sound In Casablanca | Analysis

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Film Studies
Wordcount: 1574 words Published: 4th May 2017

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One of the first known movies, Casablanca, was acted by Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid, directed by Michael Curtiz. The music of this movie was made by Max Steiner. The sound is one of the important components in the movie because it shows the emotions of the actors as it also shows the importance of the scene. Moreover, the spoken language must be one important thing that the editor must focus on because it shows the culture of the country where the story-plot of the movie is happening. This movie tells a story of a man, Humphrey Bogart, who is trying to help the woman that he loved before by making her escape from Casablanca with her husband and continue the fight against the Nazi’s oppression. This movie has different sound effects, dialogues and musical tones.

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Firstly, sound effects in movie are some effects like rain and crashes that are added to complete the sense that is created by the camera, so the audience will be able to understand the scene in detail. In this movie, there are a lot of sound effects that are added. The producer used the rain in the scene where Ingrid was leaving with her husband and he used also in the beginning where she and Humphrey were running from the guards. The rain in these scenes gives a sense to the audience about the sadness and torture that the actors are feeling. Moreover, some scenes of this movie have some fastened dialogues. The fastened dialogues are usually used to give the sense to the dialogue how much it is important and urgent. Also, there are many tones used in this movie used by different characters. For example, in the end of the movie, we see that Humphrey and the police man are using a quiet and slow tone. This means that both of them are comfortable and happy with what just happened. In the scene before, we can see that the police man had other feelings by his tone. It was faster and with high volumes which show the anger of the police man. Another example, Humphrey was using the low tone during the whole movie which shows his real personality. He is kind of calm and doesn’t show his emotions to the people surrounding him. On the other hand, Ingrid is the kind of women who gets stressed after a serious action happens. All of this is known from the tones that differ from a low to a high pitch. From here, we would have covered the sound effects that are included in the movie with different characters.

Secondly, one of the most important effects that is used in every movie and gives it more creativity, the music; is used many times in the movie with many different types of songs that differ according to the type of the scene. In the introduction of the movie, we see that the music producer was using the low tone music according to the simple life that he was describing, and suddenly, he changed to high tone music when the police started making the chase. After finishing the chase, he changed it back to a low tone pitch. This means that he was making the music according to the importance of the scene and what it is describing. Basically, he wants to emphasize the importance of the scene as to how serious the Nazi’s are with the unconditional assistance of the French when they are to apprehend suspicious characters in the movie. A particular song, that has been played in the movie which is “Knock on Wood” by M.K. Jerome symbolizes a group chore song, where everyone takes part in singing. The owner of the Café, whom is played by Humphrey Bogart stage name as ‘Rick’, chose the right time and place to hide the transit letters under the song notes on the piano table, while Sam and the customers were singing in sync. In addition, Rick believed that Sam’s piano, is the only safe place to put the transit documents as he knows that the French and the Nazi’s are going to do whatever it takes to locate these transit documents. One important scene, that spurred a wait in many characters in the film, as they await the coming of Victor Laszlo “Paul Henreid” and his wife Ilsa Lund “Ingrid Bergman”, as they pass by Sam’s Piano, Sam plays in a low tune as he remembers the face of Ilsa whom is an ex-lover to Rick , the owner of the Café. This tells the audience that there might be a clash of old memories between Rick and Elsa, thus Sam looks the other way and gets back to the high toned music that he usually plays. One of the best scenes, that I admired is when Ilsa, called Sam the pianist; to come to the table and play for her one of the oldest love songs of all time which is known as “As Time Goes By” by Frank Sinatra. This song triggered great memories between Rick and Ilsa while they were together in Paris. This tells the audience, what a sentimental moment this is and this song fits right in as the lyrics provide an overview of their relationship while they were in Paris. In between the love scene memories that Rick and Ilsa are in, we can see that the only driver that broke apart those two lovers was the rumor that Victor Laszlo is alive. This important figure turns out to be Ilsa’s husband whom was sentenced to a German concentration camp while she was in love with Rick in Paris. The sound effects in this scene, alerts us as to how the German war mechanisms are rushing towards their target as they are coming to take over France starting with the capitol and expanding abroad. This shows the audience how fearsome the Germans are. Another example, at the end of the movie, he used high volume music with the fast kinetics of the characters. This shows how they are worried and want to arrive as fast as they can. After that, when Ingrid and her husband escaped by the airplane and Humphrey started talking with the police man, he used a romantic song. This song shows us how they are happy by this end and hoping for the best in the future. Furthermore, in the scene where the couples were having a cup of coffee, there was no music at all, and then suddenly, a medium level song started with the scene that showed the reaction of the people. This song actually shows how the people are shocked by the air plane hovering Casablanca and its importance for them as to find exit visas to get out of Casablanca and get to America. The editor also used another type of music, the music that he used was sung by the actors. This kind of music gives the movie more reality. He used this type of music in the scene where the French and Nazi soldiers were singing their national anthem. Through this scene, the audience understands what at stake, hope, love and fight for our country against the Nazi Oppression. Furthermore, in the scene, you see how the Germans were silenced as the crowd grew larger for the French cause and Victor Laszlo’s stage figure made the Germans more angry as they felt intimidated by his patriotic actions and gathering a number of people to stand against the Nazis. In this case, we can see that this type of music shows the emotions of the actors and how they are devoted towards their cause. Finally, at the last moments before the ending the film, when Victor and his wife Ilsa were fleeing to Lisbon via the transit documents provided by Rick, we can hear a high pitch volume, showing the intensity of the situation as the German Major Strasser is speeding to reach the airport to stop the plane from going airborne. In addition, while the couple was heading to the plane we can hear in the background “As Time Goes By” in a low tone. By this, we would have discussed the music of this movie with its different tones that made it more interesting.

Thirdly, every movie has its own language that represents the culture of that place. Some movies use different languages according to mixture of the cultures in the movie. In this movie the editor used only English which is one of disadvantages in this movie. He was supposed to use some French when the French soldiers are talking with each other. Furthermore, the spoken language that is used in the street must be Arab because the original people are Arab and most of them are working in the coffee shops and markets. There was only one scene where we have seen the people using their native language. This scene is when the two parts started singing their own anthem. In this case, it is logical to use those languages because a national anthem must be sung in this way or it will destroy the culture of that country. From these examples, we can see that the editor was not able to achieve the goal of using the languages in their place.

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Finally, we can that the movie was able to describe the emotions of the people in many scenes with different types of sounds. He used sound effects to add them to the scenes, so it will be able to show the emotions and feelings without making any disturbance to the audience. Moreover, he used music that is more important because it make the audience expect what is going to happen next and also describe the importance of that scene in the movie. Also, there is the spoken language that was not used by the writer in an appropriate way because he used only English which is not used in that place at that time. By this, we can see that Casablanca can be classified as one of greatest movies of all time due to its sound effects, spoken dialogue and musical features that made it one of the best movies of all times.


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