10 Memorable Movie Quotes From Casablanca

Revisit the moments that made the film a classic


Set during World War II, the producers of Casablanca (1942) couldn't have known that the film would become a classic. But all these years later, the story of a man (Rick) and a woman (Ilsa) sacrificing their love to support a higher purpose (defeating the Nazis) remains timeless. 

Casablanca won three Academy Awards for best picture, director, and screenplay and is still one of the most popular films of all time, ranked at the top of many movie critic lists. The movie and its theme song, "As Time Goes By," have become pop culture icons.

The film takes place in Casablanca, with most of the action happening at a tavern called Rick's, named for the hero of the story, played by Humphrey Bogart. The plot begins when an old flame, Ilsa Lund (portrayed by Ingrid Bergman), suddenly appears with her husband, Victor Laslow, who's wanted by the Nazis. Rick has to decide whether to put aside his feelings for Ilsa to help Victor escape to help the Resistance. 

Whether you're a Casablanca fan or have never seen the movie, you'll enjoy these memorable quotes from it.

There are some spoilers ahead if you've never seen Casablanca (but what are you waiting for?).

of 10

Play it once, Sam. For old times' sake.

When Ilsa first arrives, before Rick knows she's there, she approaches the piano player (Sam) and asks him to play "As Time Goes By," which was Ilsa and Rick's song during their love affair. Sam resists at first, knowing it will anger Rick. It does and Rick sees that the woman who left him behind in Paris has shown up in his bar after being absent from his life for years.

This line is actually one of the most misquoted from Casablanca. Nowhere in the film does anyone ever say, "Play it again, Sam," as is often repeated. However, Rick later says, "Play it, Sam," as he tries to drown his sorrows as he remembers his time with Ilsa. 

of 10

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

After the bar has closed following Ilsa's appearance and Rick is alone with Sam, he laments her reappearance and shows the audience how devastated he is to see her again, now married to another man. He hits the bottle hard as he recalls their time together. 

of 10

Here's looking at you, kid.

Donaldson Collection / Getty Images

One of the most-quoted lines from Casablanca, "Here's looking at you, kid," is one that Humphrey Bogart ad-libbed during the flashback scenes of Rick and Ilsa falling in love in Paris. Rick speaks it later in the movie to bid Ilsa farewell and the odd, unsentimental phrase has come to be one of the most romantic lines in movie history.

of 10

What is your nationality?

Donaldson Collection / Getty Images

The Nazi Major Strasser is questioning Rick and demands to know his nationality because he's looking for some grounds to arrest him. Rick's reply, and Capt. Renault's chaser are among the lighter moments of the film (and probably represent the lightest moment featuring Major Strasser).

Rick: I'm a drunkard.
Renault: That makes Rick a citizen of the world.
of 10

I came to Casablanca for the waters.

This exchange between Capt. Renault (played with lively humor by Claude Rains) deepens the mystery about Rick and where his allegiance lies. It also gives a little bit of insight into Renault, whose own allegiance is also unclear at this point in the film. We never do find out why Rick really came to Casablanca. 

Renault: What in heaven's name brought you to Casablanca?
Rick: My health. I came to Casablanca for the waters.
Renault: The waters? What waters? We're in the desert!
Rick: I was misinformed.
of 10

I'm shocked to find out that gambling is going on!

Donaldson Collection / Getty Images

Renault is once again the comic relief in Casablanca. He follows Strasser's orders to shut down Rick's Place and an angry Rick asks why (there's no real reason, they're just harassing him). 

Rick: How can you close me up? On what grounds?
Renault: I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here! [a croupier hands Renault a pile of money]
Croupier: Your winnings, sir.
Renault: Oh, thank you very much.
of 10

The problems of three little people...

In his most heroic moment in the movie, Rick persuades a tearful Ilsa that she has to leave him behind and get on the plane with Victor, because the work Victor is doing to defeat the Nazis is too important. 

Rick: Ilsa, I'm no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you'll understand that.
of 10

We'll always have Paris.

Humphrey Bogart And Ingrid Bergman In 'Casablanca'
Archive Photos / Getty Images

Rick lets Ilsa know he forgives her for leaving, and that he still loves her and will fondly remember her and their time in Paris. There's not a dry eye in the house when he utters this classic line. 

of 10

Round up the usual suspects.

Rick has just shot and killed Major Strasser as the Nazi tried to stop Victor and Ilsa's plane from taking off. Renault is the only witness. When the rest of the police arrive, Rick (and the audience) don't know what Renault is going to do. When he tells his staff to "round up the usual suspects," and doesn't turn Rick in, we cheer for Renault finally coming over to the good guys' side.

of 10

I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

The Big Shot
Donaldson Collection / Getty Images

After Ilsa and Victor are safely away and Major Strasser is dead, Rick and Renault walk away together. This last line of Casablanca is a bit tongue-in-cheek because Rick speaks of a beginning as the movie is ending. 

Was this page helpful?