Follow TV Tropes

Following

History Headscratchers / Casablanca

Go To




to:

** The point of the original headscratcher, I believe, is that Strasser could have called the airport and had the plane held up, as well as ordering a squad of police to meet him at the airport (which he did). However, he didn't have that kind of authority. Strasser was just a visiting German officer, not a Vichy official. He had just enough influence with the police, since they knew he was already working with Renault, but he had absolutely no power to call the airport and tell them to stop a plane taking off.


Added DiffLines:

** Ugarte knowing Rick has the papers is one thing; knowing where Rick hid them (or if he even still has them) is another. He can only reveal that he handed them to Rick for safekeeping, if he did tell that much.


Added DiffLines:

** On that topic... The resolution of the plot seems to leave that couple hanging, doesn't it? Louis isn't going to be in his office to sell them letters of transit in the morning, and it's doubtful any of his officers are prepared to dummy up papers for them... then again they could possibly afford Ferrari's prices now.

Added DiffLines:

** It's definitely Weygand. Even in Vichy France a paper with DeGaulle's signature on it would be worthless.


** Furthermore, while I've no doubt that Strasser would very much ''like'' to just stitch Laszlo up on some trumped up false charges and get him out of the way, the situation is pretty touchy. He's popular and well-liked, there's clearly a very powerful undercurrent of pro-resistance, anti-Vichy / Nazi sentiment among the populace of Casablanca, and remember that Casablanca (as with the rest of Morocco / Vichy) is officially neutral; he's a wanted man in German-occupied territory, but while he's in Casablanca technically Laszlo has as much right to be freely walking around there as Strasser does as long as he obeys the law. Overplaying their hand and arresting Laszlo on charges that are too-obviously trumped up and falsified risks risks backfiring on them and creating a civil unrest that would at least take men and resources to put down, and at worst might create an unstable situation that the Allies would no doubt be all-too-willing to exploit to cause trouble for the Axis Powers.

to:

** Furthermore, while I've no doubt that Strasser would very much ''like'' to just stitch Laszlo up on some trumped up false charges and get him out of the way, the situation is pretty touchy. He's popular and well-liked, there's clearly a very powerful undercurrent of pro-resistance, anti-Vichy / Nazi sentiment among the populace of Casablanca, and remember that Casablanca (as with the rest of Morocco / Vichy) is officially neutral; he's a wanted man in German-occupied territory, but while he's in Casablanca technically Laszlo has as much right to be freely walking around there as Strasser does as long as he obeys the law. Overplaying their hand and arresting Laszlo on charges that are too-obviously trumped up and falsified risks risks backfiring on them and creating a civil unrest that would at least take men and resources to put down, and at worst might create an unstable situation that the Allies would no doubt be all-too-willing to exploit to cause trouble for the Axis Powers.


** Furthermore, while I've no doubt that Strasser would very much ''like'' to just stitch Laszlo up on some trumped up false charges and get him out of the way, the situation is pretty touchy. He's popular and well-liked, there's clearly a very powerful undercurrent of pro-resistance, anti-Vichy / Nazi sentiment among the populace of Casablanca, and remember that Casablanca (as with the rest of Morocco / Vichy) is officially neutral; he's a wanted man in German-occupied territory, but while he's in Casablanca technically Laszlo has as much right to be freely walking around there as Strasser does as long as he obeys the law. Overplaying their hand and arresting Laszlo on charges that are too-obviously trumped up and falsified risks risks backfiring on them and creating a civil unrest that would at least take men and resources to put down, and at worst might create an unstable situation that the Allies would no doubt be all-too-willing to exploit to cause trouble for the Axis Powers.

to:

** Furthermore, while I've no doubt that Strasser would very much ''like'' to just stitch Laszlo up on some trumped up false charges and get him out of the way, the situation is pretty touchy. He's popular and well-liked, there's clearly a very powerful undercurrent of pro-resistance, anti-Vichy / Nazi sentiment among the populace of Casablanca, and remember that Casablanca (as with the rest of Morocco / Vichy) is officially neutral; he's a wanted man in German-occupied territory, but while he's in Casablanca technically Laszlo has as much right to be freely walking around there as Strasser does as long as he obeys the law. Overplaying their hand and arresting Laszlo on charges that are too-obviously trumped up and falsified risks risks backfiring on them and creating a civil unrest that would at least take men and resources to put down, and at worst might create an unstable situation that the Allies would no doubt be all-too-willing to exploit to cause trouble for the Axis Powers.Powers.
** In short, this is essentially a politically and militarily complicated example of JurisdictionFriction. Strasser is the high-ranking fed who is technically out of his jurisdiction but has connections that let him throw his weight around nevertheless, while Louis is the parochial small-town police chief who privately resents and seethes at having this out-of-towner muscle in on his turf but has to smile and suck it up because of his bosses, while secretly looking for any reason he can to undermine him.


*** Regarding the dialogue, It's almost certainly "Weygand" -- the letters of transit, when finally seen late in the film (Rick takes them out and inspects them in a quiet scene just prior to arriving at the airport), are marked with "Etat Francais" (French State), the legal name of Vichy France. There's no way Vichy would have a (to them) traitor general signing their official documents.

to:

*** ** Regarding the dialogue, It's almost certainly "Weygand" -- the letters of transit, when finally seen late in the film (Rick takes them out and inspects them in a quiet scene just prior to arriving at the airport), are marked with "Etat Francais" (French State), the legal name of Vichy France. There's no way Vichy would have a (to them) traitor general signing their official documents.


** It's almost certainly "Weygand" -- the letters of transit, when finally seen late in the film, are marked with "Etat Francais" (French State), the legal name of Vichy France.


Added DiffLines:

*** Regarding the dialogue, It's almost certainly "Weygand" -- the letters of transit, when finally seen late in the film (Rick takes them out and inspects them in a quiet scene just prior to arriving at the airport), are marked with "Etat Francais" (French State), the legal name of Vichy France. There's no way Vichy would have a (to them) traitor general signing their official documents.


* There's a lot of discussion I've read about why Major Strasser has some but not a lot of authority in Casablanca. Many people refer Casablanca as Vichy, but in the film it's said multiple times that Casablanca is "Unoccupied France". What exactly does that mean? It's not Free France as people have to meet in secret and Germans are welcome to come and go. But it's not Vichy either since it's said not to be and Strasser can't just walk in and run the show. There's also debate over whether Lorry says "DeGaul" or "Weygand". If this is Unoccupied France, then the first makes sense.

to:

* There's a lot of discussion I've read about why Major Strasser has some but not a lot of authority in Casablanca. Many people refer Casablanca as Vichy, but in the film it's said multiple times that Casablanca is "Unoccupied France". What exactly does that mean? It's not Free France as people have to meet in secret and Germans are welcome to come and go. But it's not Vichy either since it's said not to be and Strasser can't just walk in and run the show. There's also debate over whether Lorry Lorre says "DeGaul" or "Weygand". If this is Unoccupied France, then the first makes sense.


Added DiffLines:

** It's almost certainly "Weygand" -- the letters of transit, when finally seen late in the film, are marked with "Etat Francais" (French State), the legal name of Vichy France.

Added DiffLines:

** The age is not the issue (she is legally married at least), but she is clearly uncomfortable with Renault's way of "offering help" and that's what doesn't sit well with Rick. Also she's troubled because of her relationship if her husband finds out, and that's obviously a sore spot for Rick.

Added DiffLines:

** Most likely Ugarte did spill the beans (and the Nazis just finished him off when they had what they wanted), but they don't know what happened to the letters after Ugarte's arrest. They assumed Ugarte would have them with him at the arrest, but now the case is more complicated: Rick is a cautious man and doesn't want to be involved in those things, so he may have given them to someone else by now. Also Strasser and Renault know quite well that Rick would be a tougher nut to crack than Ugarte. So they try to play it clever until they know for sure where those goddamn letters are. Renault even tells it exactly like that: He is convinced that Rick has the letters, but he knows he won't find them with him.


** The Germans never actually invaded Morocco (most of the North African campaign was centred around Libya and Egypt until the Allies invaded Morocco in 1942). Morocco, and by extension Casablanca, was under the control of the Vichy French government, since it was a French colony and the Vichy government claimed jurisdiction over international French possessions, and Vichy France was technically independent from direct German control until late 1942 (ironically just after the Allied invasion of Morocco). So technically Strasser ''isn't'' in charge, Louis is. Of course, in practice Strasser can push Louis around to a certain degree because Louis is taking orders from his bosses in France, who are in turn pretty much being bossed around by the Germans, but he still has to officially defer to Louis because he has no official power in Casablanca and there's no Germany military presence backing him up, so he can't throw his weight too much and still has to put up an official facade of deference to Louis' authority. He can't just order Laszlo kidnapped or arrested or executed because officially he's not actually in charge and has no agents directly under his control to obey such order. Furthermore, in practice Casablanca is ''also'' a long way from Vichy or Berlin, Louis is clearly corrupt, and if Strasser crosses the line too far there's little stopping Louis from having him filled with lead and his death blamed on "the usual suspects" (as eventually happens), so Strasser has less direct authority than he'd perhaps like in the situation.
----

to:

** The Germans never actually invaded Morocco (most of the North African campaign was centred around Libya and Egypt until the Allies invaded Morocco in 1942). Morocco, and by extension Casablanca, was under the control of the Vichy French government, since it was a French colony and the Vichy government claimed jurisdiction over international French possessions, and Vichy France was technically independent from direct German control until late 1942 (ironically just after the Allied invasion of Morocco). Furthermore, Vichy France was technically neutral following the German occupation (although obviously pro-German in practice). So technically Strasser ''isn't'' in charge, Louis is. Of course, in practice Strasser can push Louis around to a certain degree because Louis is taking orders from his bosses in France, who are in turn pretty much being bossed around by the Germans, but he still has to officially defer to Louis because he has no official power in Casablanca and there's no Germany military presence backing him up, so he can't throw his weight too much and still has to put up an official facade of deference to Louis' authority. He can't just order Laszlo kidnapped or arrested or executed because officially he's not actually in charge and has no agents directly under his control to obey such order. Furthermore, in practice Casablanca is ''also'' a long way from Vichy or Berlin, Louis is clearly corrupt, and if Strasser crosses the line too far there's little stopping Louis from having him filled with lead and his death blamed on "the usual suspects" (as eventually happens), so Strasser has less direct authority than he'd perhaps like in the situation.
----
situation.
** Furthermore, while I've no doubt that Strasser would very much ''like'' to just stitch Laszlo up on some trumped up false charges and get him out of the way, the situation is pretty touchy. He's popular and well-liked, there's clearly a very powerful undercurrent of pro-resistance, anti-Vichy / Nazi sentiment among the populace of Casablanca, and remember that Casablanca (as with the rest of Morocco / Vichy) is officially neutral; he's a wanted man in German-occupied territory, but while he's in Casablanca technically Laszlo has as much right to be freely walking around there as Strasser does as long as he obeys the law. Overplaying their hand and arresting Laszlo on charges that are too-obviously trumped up and falsified risks risks backfiring on them and creating a civil unrest that would at least take men and resources to put down, and at worst might create an unstable situation that the Allies would no doubt be all-too-willing to exploit to cause trouble for the Axis Powers.


** The Germans never actually invaded Morocco (most of the North African campaign was centred around Libya and Egypt until the Allies invaded Morocco in 1942). Casablanca was under the control of the Vichy French government, since it was a French colony and the Vichy government claimed jurisdiction over international French possessions, and Vichy France was technically independent from direct German control until late 1942 (ironically just after the Allied invasion of Morocco). So technically Strasser ''isn't'' in charge, Louis is. Of course, in practice Strasser can push Louis around to a certain degree because Louis is taking orders from his bosses in France, who are in turn pretty much being bossed around by the Germans, but he still has to officially defer to Louis because he has no official power in Casablanca and there's no Germany military presence backing him up, so he can't throw his weight too much and still has to put up an official facade of deference to Louis' authority. He can't just order Laszlo kidnapped or arrested or executed because officially he's not actually in charge and has no agents directly under his control to obey such order. Furthermore, in practice Casablanca is ''also'' a long way from Vichy or Berlin, Louis is clearly corrupt, and if Strasser crosses the line too far there's little stopping Louis from having him filled with lead and his death blamed on "the usual suspects" (as eventually happens), so Strasser has less direct authority than he'd perhaps like in the situation.

to:

** The Germans never actually invaded Morocco (most of the North African campaign was centred around Libya and Egypt until the Allies invaded Morocco in 1942). Casablanca Morocco, and by extension Casablanca, was under the control of the Vichy French government, since it was a French colony and the Vichy government claimed jurisdiction over international French possessions, and Vichy France was technically independent from direct German control until late 1942 (ironically just after the Allied invasion of Morocco). So technically Strasser ''isn't'' in charge, Louis is. Of course, in practice Strasser can push Louis around to a certain degree because Louis is taking orders from his bosses in France, who are in turn pretty much being bossed around by the Germans, but he still has to officially defer to Louis because he has no official power in Casablanca and there's no Germany military presence backing him up, so he can't throw his weight too much and still has to put up an official facade of deference to Louis' authority. He can't just order Laszlo kidnapped or arrested or executed because officially he's not actually in charge and has no agents directly under his control to obey such order. Furthermore, in practice Casablanca is ''also'' a long way from Vichy or Berlin, Louis is clearly corrupt, and if Strasser crosses the line too far there's little stopping Louis from having him filled with lead and his death blamed on "the usual suspects" (as eventually happens), so Strasser has less direct authority than he'd perhaps like in the situation.


** The Germans never actually invaded Morocco (most of the North African campaign was centred around Libya and Egypt until the Allies invaded Morocco in 1942). Casablanca was under the control of the Vichy French government, since it was a French colony and the Vichy government claimed jurisdiction over international French possessions, and Vichy France was technically independent from direct German control until late 1942 (ironically just after the Allied invasion of Morocco). So technically Strasser ''isn't'' in charge, Louis is. Of course, in practice Strasser can push Louis around to a certain degree because Louis is taking orders from his bosses in France, who are in turn pretty much being bossed around by the Germans, but he still has to officially defer to Louis because he has no official power in Casablanca and there's no Germany military presence backing him up, so he can't throw his weight too much and still has to put up an official facade of deference to Louis' authority. He can't just order Laszlo kidnapped or arrested or executed because officially he's not actually in charge and has no agents directly under his control to obey such orders, and in practice Casablanca is ''also'' a long way from Vichy or Berlin, so he has less direct authority than he'd perhaps like in the situation.

to:

** The Germans never actually invaded Morocco (most of the North African campaign was centred around Libya and Egypt until the Allies invaded Morocco in 1942). Casablanca was under the control of the Vichy French government, since it was a French colony and the Vichy government claimed jurisdiction over international French possessions, and Vichy France was technically independent from direct German control until late 1942 (ironically just after the Allied invasion of Morocco). So technically Strasser ''isn't'' in charge, Louis is. Of course, in practice Strasser can push Louis around to a certain degree because Louis is taking orders from his bosses in France, who are in turn pretty much being bossed around by the Germans, but he still has to officially defer to Louis because he has no official power in Casablanca and there's no Germany military presence backing him up, so he can't throw his weight too much and still has to put up an official facade of deference to Louis' authority. He can't just order Laszlo kidnapped or arrested or executed because officially he's not actually in charge and has no agents directly under his control to obey such orders, and order. Furthermore, in practice Casablanca is ''also'' a long way from Vichy or Berlin, Louis is clearly corrupt, and if Strasser crosses the line too far there's little stopping Louis from having him filled with lead and his death blamed on "the usual suspects" (as eventually happens), so he Strasser has less direct authority than he'd perhaps like in the situation.

Added DiffLines:

** The Germans never actually invaded Morocco (most of the North African campaign was centred around Libya and Egypt until the Allies invaded Morocco in 1942). Casablanca was under the control of the Vichy French government, since it was a French colony and the Vichy government claimed jurisdiction over international French possessions, and Vichy France was technically independent from direct German control until late 1942 (ironically just after the Allied invasion of Morocco). So technically Strasser ''isn't'' in charge, Louis is. Of course, in practice Strasser can push Louis around to a certain degree because Louis is taking orders from his bosses in France, who are in turn pretty much being bossed around by the Germans, but he still has to officially defer to Louis because he has no official power in Casablanca and there's no Germany military presence backing him up, so he can't throw his weight too much and still has to put up an official facade of deference to Louis' authority. He can't just order Laszlo kidnapped or arrested or executed because officially he's not actually in charge and has no agents directly under his control to obey such orders, and in practice Casablanca is ''also'' a long way from Vichy or Berlin, so he has less direct authority than he'd perhaps like in the situation.


** It's not Vichy France in the sense that it's not France at all - it's a nominally independent kingdom of Morocco. The real power, however, was held by Vichy government. And "unoccupied France" at the time was an official term for Vichy France - that is, roughly speaking, southern part of the country - since, unlike in the north, there were no German troops stationed Vichy-controlled territory until the very time the film was released.

to:

** It's not Vichy France in the sense that it's not France at all - it's a nominally independent kingdom of Morocco. The real power, however, was held by Vichy government. And "unoccupied France" at the time was an official a semi-official term for Vichy France - that is, roughly speaking, southern part of the country - since, unlike in the north, there were no German troops stationed in the Vichy-controlled territory until the very time the film was released.


** It's not Vichy France in the sense that it's not France at all - it's a nominally independent kingdom of Morocco. The real power, however, was held by Vichy government. And "unoccupied France" is Vichy France, since there were no German troops stationed in its territory until the very time the film was released.

to:

** It's not Vichy France in the sense that it's not France at all - it's a nominally independent kingdom of Morocco. The real power, however, was held by Vichy government. And "unoccupied France" is at the time was an official term for Vichy France, since France - that is, roughly speaking, southern part of the country - since, unlike in the north, there were no German troops stationed in its Vichy-controlled territory until the very time the film was released.



*** So to add one more, this time a bit Meta: Vichy government in North Africa never felt really secure in the first place. This, in fact, was the very reason why just a few days prior to the film's release it was almost effortlessly defeated by the Allies in the course of Operation Torch, with lots of former collaborators defecting to Free French forces. And this is December 1941 already. Rick may pathetically declare that America is still asleep, but lots of people already sensed that US entry into the war is only a matter of time really - and with Battle of Britain lost by Nazis, it was becoming more and more obvious that Morocco was strategically vulnerable to the Allied attack, regardless of possible German successes in the East. So we can say that Renault was just more insightful (by virtue of his position at the very least) than your average Vichy guy.

to:

*** So to add one more, this time a bit Meta: Vichy government in North Africa never felt really secure in the first place. This, in fact, was the very reason why just a few days prior to the film's release it was almost effortlessly defeated by the Allies in the course of Operation Torch, with lots of former collaborators defecting to Free French forces. And this is December 1941 already. Rick may pathetically declare that America is still asleep, but lots of people already sensed that US entry into the war is only a matter of time really - and with Battle of Britain lost by Nazis, it was becoming more and more obvious that Morocco Casablanca was strategically vulnerable to the Allied attack, regardless of possible German successes in the East. So we can say that Renault was just more insightful (by virtue of his position at the very least) than your average Vichy guy. And yes, one could deduce from his conversations with Strasser that he has serious doubts that Germany will win the war.

Showing 15 edit(s) of 77

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report