Originally Posted by JimHull
I don't see the goal of "Casablanca" as being to secure Laszlo and Ilsa's freedom as much as it is to secure the letters of transit themselves. One leads to the other, but I think everyone in the story (even the young girl and her new fiance) are trying to get those letters. Once Ugarte decides to give them to Rick, balance is upset and the story begins.
I should say though that I don't think it is the most important part of the story.
Since "Die Hard" has been brought up a couple of times...problems exist in that story because some thieves are trying to rob a bank. They're posing as terrorists, but really they're just common thieves. Stopping them is the goal of the story and Officer McClane is the one leading the charge towards that goal. He is both Main Character and Protagonist.
In "Die Hard," the authors focused completely on resolving the problems affecting everyone and only spent a little bit of time on the emotional argument. In the end, Powell changes to be more like McClane and shoots poor Alexander Godunov.
"Casablanca" on the other hand, was completely focused on Rick and Ilsa's relationship as well as Rick's own personal issues about sticking his neck out for anyone. The problems affecting everyone, the missing letters, were important to the meaning of the story but they certainly weren't the main focus of the piece.
You have to have every piece in order for a story to be complete, but it is up to the author's creativity to determine which parts he or she feels are more important or more deserving of attention.
Originally Posted by NikeeGoddess
what many "WRITERS" are you talking about? isn't it just one dood (or is it 2?) who thinks lazlo is the protag and others trying to convince him that he's wrong?!
when i first saw this post about someone rewatching casablanca to prove a point, i laughed. but now i see it differently. billmarq was going out of his way to see if he could see what this guy was seeing in lazlo. obviously, he couldn't do it b/c yeah, the guy is deranged.
Nikee, before calling Jim -- or anyone who argues that Rick is the Main character while Laszlo is the Protag -- deranged, you should understand the issue.
Let me lay it out for you.
In theory, the protag pursues the Story goal, while the Main character is who the story is about.
According to Jim, Laszlo's pursuit of the stolen letters of transit is the story goal; therefore, he is the protagonist.
Jim also says, "I should say though that I don't think it is the most important part of the story."
So it can be Rick's story. Rick is the central character in the screenplay, while Laszlo is the protagonist who pursues the Story goal.