Casablanca in unoccupied French territory in the Second World War is the gateway to freedom from Nazi-controlled Europe. Migrants, refugees and rebels have congregated here to seek the elusive exit visas to leave for America. It is a lawless border-town where life is cheap and everything is bartered or bribed for on the black-market. For someone like Richard Blaine, owner of a popular nightspot, an American with a known record of supporting underdog rebellions, and an outsider who would be shot on sight if he set foot in occupied Europe, staying neutral in Casablanca is not just good business, it is the only way to survive. But he does not seem to covet the exit visas that are traded in his cafe that would be his ticket home to America, preferring to remain anonymous amidst the chaos where life will not make any demands of him aside from the cold, hard business of survival.