In Casablanca, when Rick says this to Laszlo:

She tried everything to get them, and nothing worked. She did her best to convince me that she was still in love with me, but that was all over long ago. For your sake, she pretended it wasn't, and I let her pretend.

does Laszlo believe him? Or is this just a fib they're all willing to pretend is true to move on with their lives?

  • 1
    You seem to presume that Ilsa loved Rick and that Rick knew it. Perhaps she had grown past her pre-war infatuation with Rick, and he knew it, and he was telling the truth to Laszlo in Casablanca. Jul 31, 2012 at 19:06
  • @Michael Stern, if Ilsa is pretending to love Rick and Rick knows it, Casablanca is a lousy romance movie. :) Next time my wife forces me to watch it, I'm going to assume this is the case. Could make it more interesting... Oct 16, 2012 at 17:55

1 Answer 1


I think the ambiguity concerning whether Ilsa is really in love with Rick or with Laszlo is one of the elements that makes Casablanca such a timeless classic. Ingrid Bergman's performance convinced me that she was in love with both of them. Watch her in scenes with Paul Henreid (Laszlo) and you can see what looks like genuine adoration on her face. But the passion between Ilsa and Rick seems just as genuine. So, why couldn't she be truly in love with both of them? These are two very different men that she met at different times in her life, under very different circumstances. Even the kind of love she would have felt for the two men was different.

To answer your questions, yes I do think Ilsa is still in love with Rick at the end, but I don't think she's any less in love with Laszlo. Laszlo is probably (desperately) willing to believe that she isn't. "She did her best to convince me that she was still in love with me, but that was all over long ago" is a lie that both Rick and Ilsa are probably willing to live with so that they can both go on with their lives, and so that Ilsa at least can be happy.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .