Sure, compared to today's glitzy blockbust movie standards, it was lacking. Unfortunately, modern movies often rely on over-the-top effects and scenes to carry the movie. The screenplay lacks. Not so with Casablanca. An amazing story and the writing team of Epstein, Epstein, and Koch nailed it, despite many obstacles. I plan to add this movie to the collection ASAP.
Oh, by the way, the Writer's Guild also picked out 100 other movies with the "Best Ever" claim. Here is the top 10:
Screenplay by Julius J. & Philip G. Epstein and Howard Koch. Based on the play "Everybody Comes to Rick's" by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison
2. THE GODFATHER
Screenplay by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola. Based on the novel by Mario Puzo
Written by Robert Towne
4. CITIZEN KANE
Written by Herman Mankiewicz and Orson Welles
5. ALL ABOUT EVE
Screenplay by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Based on "The Wisdom of Eve," a short story and radio play by Mary Orr
6. ANNIE HALL
Written by Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman
7. SUNSET BLVD.
Written by Charles Brackett & Billy Wilder and D.M. Marshman, Jr.
Written by Paddy Chayefsky
9. SOME LIKE IT HOT
Screenplay by Billy Wilder & I.A.L. Diamond. Based on "Fanfare of Love," a German film written by Robert Thoeren and M. Logan
10. THE GODFATHER II
Screenplay by Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo. Based on Mario Puzo's novel "The Godfather"