This essay will look at many similar as well as contrasting themes between the movies Citizen Kane (1941) and Casablanca(1942). Citizen Kane and Casablanca were produced a year apart, but each came to the screen from different places. While Casablanca was based upon an earlier screenplay, Citizen Kane was an original work written by Orson Wells and Herman Mankiewicz. While Citizen Kane was an American Drama based following the life of Newspaper magnate Charles Foster Kane, Casablanca was a Romantic Drama following the expatriate & night club owner, Rick Blaine, in the city of Casablanca, Morocco. The original ideas for Citizen Kane came from Orson Wells who wanted to write a screenplay about a newspaper magnate Charles Randolph Hearst; on the other hand, Casablanca was based upon a stage play called Everybody Comes to Rick's. .
Citizen Kane begins at the gates of the Kane Mansion at the time of Charles Foster Kane's death and returns thru a series of flashbacks to the beginning of his life, while Casablanca begins in the bar of Rick Blaine's in Casablanca and the entire movies is almost entirely shot within the bar itself. On theater hand, Citizen Kane follows the rise of Charles Foster Kane and there are multiple sets spread throughout the entire movie. Casablanca is about a couple who give their lives for the sake of values both of them believe in more than themselves, while Citizen Kane is about one man who ends up ruining his life and the lives of others because of corruption and power over others. While the love between Rick and Ilsa in Casablanca goes thru a cycle of separation, love and healing separation, the live between Charles Foster Kane and Susan Alexander, the opera singer, being in love and ends in separation and distrust. .
While Citizen Kane's plot is based upon the person of Charles Foster Kane, the plot of Casablanca is based upon the situation of the French, German's, Italian's and Nazi's who all end up at Rick's bar waiting to escape the country and be free.