Themes of the movie include integrity and courage. This is the classic film about people of conscience sacrificing personal happiness for the greater good. Further, in the fight against corruption, cynicism, and evil, a few righteous and courageous people can help to change the course of history.
Opening sequence includes French police rounding up citizens and refugees for interrogation after the murder of a Nazi officer. People look frightened as uniformed officials accost them. One resistance fighter caught by the police makes a run for it and is shot, falls to the ground, lifeless. A second shoot-out results in the capture of another Moroccan resident, who dies later off-camera. In the final suspense sequence, a despicable Nazi military officer is shot and killed.
Several romantic kisses are shared by a couple very much in love. Some dialogue implies that a high-ranking member of the police asks refugees for sexual favors in return for exit visas.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The central setting for this story is a nightclub. Alcoholic beverages are poured and consumed continuously, with some characters showing signs of intoxication. The hero is seen alone in his home, nursing his heartbreak by getting very drunk. Smoking is pervasive throughout as was usual and acceptable in the early 1940s when the action takes place.