Casablanca 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 264, November/December 2022

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
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Mild Violence
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
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Black & White
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Not Indicated
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(THX® Digitally Mastered):
Michael Crutiz
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DTS HD Lossless 2.0
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From a play by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison, "Casablanca" is the American Film Institute's all-time Most Romantic Movie. (Tricia Spears)

Special features include an introduction by Lauren Bacall; commentary by Roger Ebert; commentary by Rudy Behlmer; "Warner Night At The Movies," which offers the Now, Voyager theatrical trailer, the "West Point Sends Her Men To War!" newsreel (SD 04:36); the featurettes Vaudeville Days (SD 20:18), and the cartoons The Bird Came C.O.D. (SD 07:43), The Squawkin' Hawk (SD 06:41), and The Dover Boys At Pimento University (SD 08:58), "You Must Remember This: A Tribute To Casablanca" (SD 24:38), "Great Performances: Bacall on Bogart (1988 PBS Special)" (SD 01:23:27), "Michael Curtiz: The Greatest Director You've Never Heard Of" (HD 37:20), "Casablanca: An Unlikely Classic: (HD 34:59) "As Time Goes By: The Children Remember" (HD 06:45), "Who Holds Tomorrow? (1955 "Casablanca" TV Episode" (SD 18:37), "Carrotblanca (1955 WB Cartoon) (SD 08:20), "Scoring Stage Sessions", "Lady Esther Screen Guild Theater Radio Broadcast" and "Vox Pop Radio Broadcast"; deleted scenes (HD 01:40); outtakes (HD 04:58); trailers and a digital copy.

The 1.37:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10 picture, sourced from a new 4K master Digital Intermediate restoration and reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed on film in black and white. The film was restored and remastered by Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging from a 2022 4K 16-bit film scan of the best-surviving nitrate film elements. The 4K scanned digital images went through an extensive digital restoration process to clean and repair the picture. The film has an engaging Americana look. The heavy layer of film grain on previous edition is significant eliminated resulting is a very clear picture. The black-and-white photography is impressive and exhibits a well-balanced gray scale, with deep blacks and revealing shadow delineation. Overall, resolution is softly focused, yet clothing features always appear crisp without a stitch out of place. Dimensional depth is quite impressive. This is a true American classic that, as a newly restored 4K presentation, has never looked better on a home video format. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 2.0-channel monaural soundtrack is undistinguished, but dialogue is consistently intelligible, which is the prominent sound element. The other elements are compressed with dated fidelity. Still, this is very representative of what cinema sound was like in the 1940s. When processed with AuroMatic the sound is greatly improved and enveloping. (Gary Reber)