Conflicted Characters: Rick Blaine vs. Sam Spade
An Analysis of characters in Casablanca & The Maltese Falcon
played by Humphrey Bogart
These characters made Bogart's career. Undeniably among the best films ever made, these characters launched Bogart's career to top leading man status. Although the films feature entirely different story lines there are subtle similarities in each character and retain the iconic Bogart style.
Richard "Rick" Blaine in Casablanca is a very complex and mysterious character. Throughout the film he undergoes a transition which allow the viewers to see his different sides. Rick first appears on screen playing chess, giving the impression that he is a smart and patient man, making calculated and well thought out decisions. The fact that he seems to be playing with himself alludes to an inner struggle or more likely, that he is training himself not to lose (in life or in love). Contrary to the atmosphere provided by his establishment, Rick seems to be unexcited and apathetic to the world around him. He remains mysterious and aloof as he refuses to drink a guests either out of professionalism or a simple lack of interest. A conversation with a drunk woman interested and familiar to Rick, gives the impression that he had once mixed business with pleasure and didn't enjoy the result, providing a possible explanation for a reluctance to indulge with guests. Despite the war going on and the countless refugees that occupy Casablanca, Rick appears apathetic.
This uncaring persona is questioned at several points at the beginning of the film. These instances lead the viewer to believe there is a sentimental and political side to Rick that has yet to be seen. He repeats throughout the film "I stick my neck out for nobody.", this neutral stance perpetuates the capitalistic views that he seems to live by. However it comes into question when Rick denies a Nazi banker entrance to the private room at Rick's Café Américain. Although this...