What can you say about Casablanca? Nothing that hasn't alreay been said to be honest. It's known for being one of the greatest love stories of all time, in my opinion, it's THE greatest. Why? Because it's the ultimate example of someone who was willing to put aside their own pride and self interests to truly help someone who had hurt them.
Rick is a club owner in the city of Casablanca, which is currently being occupied by the Nazis. He's the kind of character that really only looks out for number one, everyone else doesn't really seem to warrant. Whether the Germans or the French hold the city is of little concern for him. He's a mysterious man with a shady, and more than likely troubled past who is just looking to live comfortably and that's about it. Things seem to be working out for him until the love of his life, the one that got away, Ilsa walks through the door of his club with her husband asking for his help getting out of the country. At first, he turns them down and wonders why "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in the world, she walks into mine". Eventually, he swallows his pride and decides to help them leave town to find friendlier skies. Even at the end, when Ilsa wants to stay with him rather than leave with her husband because she still has feelings for Rick, he forces her to go because of how much danger she will be in if she stayed with Rick. One of the best moments of the movie is when he says "If you don't get on this plane, you'll regret it. Maybe not today and maybe not tomorrow, but soon". I know it's a cliche for people to say "If you love her, let her go" when someone breaks up with them, but in Rick's case, that is literally what he had to do. The best kinds of characters are those that decide to make sacrifices when it would have been just as easy to take what they probably deserve. I only saw this movie about a year ago, and didn't know that much about it going into it, so I was genuinely shocked when I saw the ending. I don't think anyone would have blamed Rick if he let Ilsa stay with him because that's all he wanted, the only moments when you see Rick smile are in the Paris flashbacks and when you see the difference between him then and now, you have to feel bad for the guy. In the end, it's hinted that he and the corrupt police chief are leaving their cushy lives in Casablanca to go join the French resistance, both now having found reasons to pick a side. Renault because he's fed up with the Nazis and Rick because he wants to follow Ilsa's example of courage.