During World War II, Europeans who were fleeing from the Germans, sought refuge in America. But to get there they would first have to go Casablanca and once they get there, they have to obtain exit visas which are not very easy to come by. Now the hottest spot in all of Casablanca is Rick's Cafe which is operated by Rick Blaine, an American expatriate, who for some reason can't return there, and he is also extremely cynical. Now it seems that two German couriers were killed and the documents they were carrying were taken. Now one of Rick's regulars, Ugarte entrusts to him some letters of transit, which he intends to sell but before he does he is arrested for killing the couriers. Captain Renault, the Chief of Police, who is neutral in his political views, informs Rick that Victor Laszlo, a resistance leader from Czechoslovakia, is in Casablanca and will do anything to get an exit visa but Renault has been "told" by Major Strasser of the Gestapo, to keep Laszlo in Casablanca. Laszlo goes to Rick's to meet Ugarte, because he was the one Ugarte was going to sell the letters to. But since Ugarte was arrested he has to find another way. Accompanying him is Ilsa Lund, who knew Rick when he was in Paris, and when they meet some of Rick's old wounds reopen. It is obvious that Rick's stone heart was because of her leaving him. And when they learn that Rick has the letters, he refuses to give them to him, because "he doesn't stick his neck out for anyone".