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What makes a movie a classic?


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I'm doing a paper for a film studies class and part of the assignment is to list the five most important characteristics we should look for in deciding if a film is going to be a classic. And why is Casablanca a classic?


I would just like some opinions from others on this if anyone would be so kind.



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I think some films like Casablanca are classics because they make members of the audience feel that they are actually in Casablanca during that time period and they are one of the people in the cafe. It?s like sitting in on a real-life situation and we are one of the characters in the film. Also, the many characters in the film are varied and have vastly different personalities, like real people. Plus, some of the realistic characters come and go. They aren?t in every scene. Sometimes they appear for just a few minutes, then they disappear, then other realistic characters come into the film. A surprising number of films have just two or three main characters who dominate the whole show, but Casablanca has many realistic characters who appear at different times. The mystery about Rick?s past and future is interesting. Who is he? What did he do before, and what is he going to do next? We don?t know, but we can imagine. That makes him seem more like a real character.

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A film, book, or a piece of art is classic if it has:


1. A timeless message which still resonates.


2. Gives insight into the human condition, going beyond a one dimensional character type.


3. Portrays multi faceted complex subject matter which can be seen on more than one level..


4. Draws upon history, sociology, psychology, philosophy, and or art and science to achieve the above stated goals.


5. You walk away feeling that you have been changed, enlightened or somehow removed beyond yourself from seeing, reading or seeing a work of art.


The best classics are yet to be made should be concluding anaylisis.

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It is something special that is not kept to one generation. I can remember watching Casablanca with my dad. It was one of his favorites. I told my dad that I was going to own a copy one day(this was before DVD and VCR's.) He laughed and said I better marry a rich man. When I bought my first color TV,I bought a CED Disc Player. After I bought the TV and Player I only had enough

money on me to buy two movies. I bought Casablanca and Maltese Falcon.

My dad was amazed and thought it was funny that I bought a color TV and two b&w movies. The first color Movie I ever owned was the Adventures of Robin Hood with Errol Flynn. I no longer have the disc player and have a far better TV.

but I still enjoy these classics every time I watched them. My definition of a classic fillm is

1. Film is enjoyed every time it is watched.

2. It stays fresh and stands out.

3. It makes you feel emotions

4. It never gets old or stale.

5. You feel envolved with the plot and characters.

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What makes "Casablanca", for me, are primarily two things. Bogart's "Rick" is playing a tough guy on the outside but inside he's really a **** cat. The way he helps the young couple get the money to get out. The way he is the hero at the end by sacrificing his love for Ingrid by giving her up for the greater good. The second is the writing. I know the pages were coming as they were shooting but this movie has as many great lines of dialogue as any movie. Most of these have gone on to become cliches, if you will. So many of these are classic and probably known by those who may not watch movies with the same gusto as we do.

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