Casablanca


1h 42m 1942
Casablanca

Brief Synopsis

An American saloon owner in North Africa is drawn into World War II when his lost love turns up.

Photos & Videos

Casablanca - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Casablanca - Set Stills
Casablanca - Ingrid Bergman Publicity Stills

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Romance
Drama
War
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Jan 23, 1942
Premiere Information
New York opening: 25 Nov 1942
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Everybody Comes to Rick's by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison (unproduced).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 42m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9,221ft

Synopsis

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at a premium, so when two German couriers carrying letters of transit signed by General DeGaulle are murdered and the letters stolen, German Major Strasser and Louis Renault, the prefecture of police, are eager to find the documents. Strasser is particularly concerned that the letters not be sold to Victor Lazlo, the well-known Czech resistance leader, who is rumored to be on his way to Casablanca. That night, Renault and Strasser search for the killer at Rick's Café Americain, a popular nightclub run by the mysterious American ex-patriot Richard Blaine.

Earlier, Ugarte, a shady dealer in exit visas, had asked Rick to hold the stolen letters temporarily, explaining that he has a buyer for them and with the money from their sale, he plans to leave Casablanca. Although Rick fought on the side of the loyalists in Spain, he has grown cynical, and when Renault advises him not to interfere with Ugarte's arrest, Rick replies "I stick my neck out for nobody." He makes a bet with Renault, however, that Lazlo will manage to leave Casablanca despite German efforts to stop him. After Ugarte is arrested, Lazlo and his companion, Ilsa Lund, arrive at Rick's. Ilsa recognizes Sam, the piano player, and while Lazlo makes covert contact with the underground, Ilsa insists that Sam play the song "As Time Goes By." Reluctantly, Sam agrees, and a furious Rick, who had ordered him never to play the song again, emerges from his office to stop him. Rick is taken aback when he sees Ilsa, whom he knew in Paris. Later, after the café is closed, Rick remembers his love affair with Ilsa: After a brief happy time together, the Nazis invade Paris and, worried that Rick will be in danger because of his record, Ilsa advises him to leave the city. He refuses to go without her, and she agrees to meet him at the train station. Instead of coming, though, she sends him a farewell note, and Sam and Rick leave just ahead of the Nazis. Rick's thoughts return to the present with Ilsa's arrival at the café. She tries to explain her actions, but when a drunken Rick accuses her of being a tramp, she walks out.

The following day, Lazlo and Ilsa meet with Renault and, there they learn that Ugarte has been killed while in police custody. After Rick helps a young Romanian couple win enough money at roulette to allow them to leave the country, Lazlo, suspecting that Rick has the letters, asks to buy them. Rick refuses and, when Lazlo asks his reasons, suggests that he ask Ilsa. Angered when Rick allows his orchestra to accompany a rousing rendition of "La Marseillaise," Strasser orders the closing of the Café. That night, while Lazlo attends an underground meeting, Ilsa meets Rick and explains that she stayed behind in Paris because, on the day Rick left Paris she had learned that Lazlo, her husband, whom she had married in secret and thought dead, was alive.

Now realizing that they still love each other, Ilsa tells Rick that he must made decisions for both of them. Meanwhile, the police break up the underground meeting, and Lazlo takes refuge at Rick's. Before he is arrested, he begs Rick to use the letters to take Ilsa away from Casablanca. The next day, Rick sells the café to his competitor Ferare, the owner of the Blue Parrot, and tricks Renault into releasing Lazlo from prison. They head for the airport, but Renault has managed to alert Strasser, who hurries after them. At the airport, Rick tells Ilsa, who thought that she would be staying with him, that she is to leave with Lazlo because she gives meaning to his work. He then tells Lazlo that he and Ilsa loved each other in Paris, and that she pretended she was still in love with him in order to get the letters. Lazlo, who understands what really happened, welcomes Rick back to the fight before he and Ilsa board the plane. Strasser arrives just as the airplane is about to take off and when he tries to delay the flight, Rick shoots him.

Renault then quickly telephones the police, but instead of turning in Rick, he advises them to "round up the usual suspects," and the two men leave Casablanca for the Free French garrison at Brassaville. It is, Rick says, "the beginning of a beautiful friendship."

Cast

Humphrey Bogart

Rick Blaine

Ingrid Bergman

Ilsa Lund

Paul Henreid

Victor Lazlo

Claude Rains

Louis Renault

Conrad Veidt

Major Strasser

Sydney Greenstreet

Ferrari

Peter Lorre

Ugarte

S. Z. Sakall

Carl

Madeleine Lebeau

Yvonne

Dooley Wilson

Sam

Joy Page

Annina Brandel

John Qualen

Berger

Leonid Kinskey

Sascha

Curt Bois

Dark European

Helmut Dantine

Jan Brandel

Marcel Dalio

Croupier

Corinna Mura

Andreya

Ludwig Stossel

Mr. Leuchtag

Ilka Gruning

Mrs. Leuchtag

Charles La Torre

Italian officer Tonnelli

Dan Seymour

Abdul

Jean Del Val

Police officer

Franco Corsaro

French police officer

Jamiel Hasson

Muezzin

Lal Chand Mehra

Policeman

Manuel Lopez

Policeman

Wolfgang Zilzer

Civilian

George Dee

Casselle

Norma Varden

Englishwoman

Winifred Harris

Englishwoman

Arthur Dulac

News vendor

Gerald Oliver Smith

Englishman

Herbert Evans

Englishman

Joe De Villard

Moroccan

Adrienne D'ambricourt

Concierge

Leo Mostovoy

Fydor

Louis Arco

Refuge

Lester Sharpe

Refuge

Jacques Lory

Moor

Arthur Stuart Hull

Elderly admirer

Anita Camargo

Woman companion

George Renavent

Conspirator

Louis Mercier

Conspirator

Geoffrey Steele

Customer

Creighton Hale

Customer

Maurice Brierre

Baccarat dealer

Frank Arnold

Overseer

Dina Smirnova

Woman customer

Gregory Gaye

German

Dick Botiller

Native officer

George Sorel

Navtive officer

Gregory Golubeff

Cashier

Richard Ryen

Heinz

Martin Garralaga

Headwaiter

Olaf Hytten

Prosperous man

Monte Blue

American

George Carlton

American

Michael Mark

Vendor

Leon Belasco

Dealer

Jacques Vanaire

Frenchman

Paul Porcasi

Native

Frank Puglia

Arab vendor

Oliver Prickett

Bartender

Paul Irving

Prosperous tourist

Hans Twardowski

German officer

Henry Rowland

German officer

Albert Morin

French officer

Jean De Briac

Orderly

Lou Marcelle

Narrator

Nino Pellini

Gendarme

Lotte Palfi

William Edmunds

Trude Berliner

Melie Chang

Torben Meyer

Photo Collections

Casablanca - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are several photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of Warner Bros' Casablanca (1942), directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Claude Rains.
Casablanca - Set Stills
Here are a number of Set Stills taken for the Warner Bros. production Casablanca (1943). Sets were photographed prior to shooting for approvals in lighting and design.
Casablanca - Ingrid Bergman Publicity Stills
Here are several photos of Ingrid Bergman taken to help publicize Casablanca (1943). Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
Casablanca (1942) - Production Documents
The following production materials from the film Casablanca (1942) include office memos, telegrams, sheet music, call sheets and other materials.
Casablanca - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for Casablanca (1943). One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.

Videos

Movie Clip

Trailer

Hosted Intro

Promo

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Romance
Drama
War
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Jan 23, 1942
Premiere Information
New York opening: 25 Nov 1942
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Everybody Comes to Rick's by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison (unproduced).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 42m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9,221ft

Award Wins

Best Director

1942
Michael Curtiz

Best Picture

1942

Best Writing, Screenplay

1944

Award Nominations

Best Actor

1942
Humphrey Bogart

Best Cinematography

1942

Best Editing

1942
Owen Marks

Best Music, Original or Comedy Series

1944

Articles

The Essentials - CASABLANCA (1942)


Synopsis

In French occupied Morocco during World War II, "Rick's Cafe Americain", a bar and casino, serves as a way station for expatriates and political refugees. Rick (Humphrey Bogart), the cynical cafe owner, refuses to take sides with any nationality, but when a former lover (Ingrid Bergman) and her new husband (Paul Henried) arrive in Casablanca, desperate for visas, he is drawn into a volatile web of political and romantic espionage.

Producer: Hal B. Wallis
Director: Michael Curtiz
Screenplay: Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein, Howard Koch, based on the play Everybody Comes to Rick's by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison
Art Direction: Carl Jules Weyl
Cinematography: Arthur Edeson
Costume Design: Orry-Kelly
Film Editing: Owen Marks
Original Music: Max Steiner
Cast: Humphrey Bogart (Richard "Rick" Blaine), Ingrid Bergman (Ilsa Lund Laszlo), Paul Henreid (Victor Laszlo), Claude Rains (Captain Louis Renault), Conrad Veidt (Maj. Heinrich Strasser), Sydney Greenstreet (Senor Ferrari), Peter Lorre (Ugarte).
BW-103m. Closed captioning. Descriptive video.

Why Casablanca is Essential

In the six decades since its 1942 release, Casablanca has grown into such a legend that it almost transcends mere cinema. Its lines of dialogue can be quoted by people who have not even seen the film: "Here's looking at you, kid," "I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship," and the oft misquoted "Play it, Sam."

The production design of Casablanca has come to represent the aesthetics of romantic longing. Its smoky casino, fog-shrouded runway, trench coats, potted palms and gruff-voiced pianist repeatedly surface in contemporary films, commercials, television programs and even restaurant decor as respects are paid to this quintessential Hollywood classic.

If Citizen Kane (1941) represents the pinnacle of artistic derring-do and Gone With the Wind (1939) epitomizes the colorful bombast of the American epic, then Casablanca is surely the film that defines cinematic cool.

The ingredients that have made Casablanca such a timeless classic are not easy to pinpoint. Produced by Warner Bros. at the height of the Hollywood studio system, Casablanca embraced what is now known as "invisible style." Rather than dazzling the eye with eye-catching visuals and histrionic acting, it seduces the viewer by creating a seamless, lush universe that gradually envelops the audience. Hardly an effortless accomplishment, "invisible style" required an absolute mastery of the various cinematic elements by its collaborators, including Hungarian director Michael Curtiz (Mildred Pierce, 1945), director of photography Arthur Edeson (The Maltese Falcon, 1941), Art Director Carl Jules Weyl (The Big Sleep, 1946), composer Max Steiner (Gone With the Wind) and soon-to-be-director Don Siegel (Dirty Harry, 1972), whose dynamic opening montage invests the film with a sense of political urgency.

It took no less than six writers to transform Murray Burnett and Joan Alison's un-produced play Everybody Comes to Rick' into Casablanca, taking a conventional exotic romance (patterned after Algiers (1938) and Only Angels Have Wings, 1939) and investing it with a subtle, richly-textured brand of drama all its own.

Although George Raft and Ronald Reagan were rumored to have been considered for the starring role, only Humphrey Bogart could have endowed the character with such emotional depth in so few words. Tight-lipped and tough on the outside, while wounded and sentimental within, Bogart's performance as Rick Blaine is the capstone to this extraordinary cinematic achievement that shows no sign of succumbing to the frailties of age.

by Bret Wood
The Essentials - Casablanca (1942)

The Essentials - CASABLANCA (1942)

Synopsis In French occupied Morocco during World War II, "Rick's Cafe Americain", a bar and casino, serves as a way station for expatriates and political refugees. Rick (Humphrey Bogart), the cynical cafe owner, refuses to take sides with any nationality, but when a former lover (Ingrid Bergman) and her new husband (Paul Henried) arrive in Casablanca, desperate for visas, he is drawn into a volatile web of political and romantic espionage. Producer: Hal B. Wallis Director: Michael Curtiz Screenplay: Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein, Howard Koch, based on the play Everybody Comes to Rick's by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison Art Direction: Carl Jules Weyl Cinematography: Arthur Edeson Costume Design: Orry-Kelly Film Editing: Owen Marks Original Music: Max Steiner Cast: Humphrey Bogart (Richard "Rick" Blaine), Ingrid Bergman (Ilsa Lund Laszlo), Paul Henreid (Victor Laszlo), Claude Rains (Captain Louis Renault), Conrad Veidt (Maj. Heinrich Strasser), Sydney Greenstreet (Senor Ferrari), Peter Lorre (Ugarte). BW-103m. Closed captioning. Descriptive video. Why Casablanca is Essential In the six decades since its 1942 release, Casablanca has grown into such a legend that it almost transcends mere cinema. Its lines of dialogue can be quoted by people who have not even seen the film: "Here's looking at you, kid," "I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship," and the oft misquoted "Play it, Sam." The production design of Casablanca has come to represent the aesthetics of romantic longing. Its smoky casino, fog-shrouded runway, trench coats, potted palms and gruff-voiced pianist repeatedly surface in contemporary films, commercials, television programs and even restaurant decor as respects are paid to this quintessential Hollywood classic. If Citizen Kane (1941) represents the pinnacle of artistic derring-do and Gone With the Wind (1939) epitomizes the colorful bombast of the American epic, then Casablanca is surely the film that defines cinematic cool. The ingredients that have made Casablanca such a timeless classic are not easy to pinpoint. Produced by Warner Bros. at the height of the Hollywood studio system, Casablanca embraced what is now known as "invisible style." Rather than dazzling the eye with eye-catching visuals and histrionic acting, it seduces the viewer by creating a seamless, lush universe that gradually envelops the audience. Hardly an effortless accomplishment, "invisible style" required an absolute mastery of the various cinematic elements by its collaborators, including Hungarian director Michael Curtiz (Mildred Pierce, 1945), director of photography Arthur Edeson (The Maltese Falcon, 1941), Art Director Carl Jules Weyl (The Big Sleep, 1946), composer Max Steiner (Gone With the Wind) and soon-to-be-director Don Siegel (Dirty Harry, 1972), whose dynamic opening montage invests the film with a sense of political urgency. It took no less than six writers to transform Murray Burnett and Joan Alison's un-produced play Everybody Comes to Rick' into Casablanca, taking a conventional exotic romance (patterned after Algiers (1938) and Only Angels Have Wings, 1939) and investing it with a subtle, richly-textured brand of drama all its own. Although George Raft and Ronald Reagan were rumored to have been considered for the starring role, only Humphrey Bogart could have endowed the character with such emotional depth in so few words. Tight-lipped and tough on the outside, while wounded and sentimental within, Bogart's performance as Rick Blaine is the capstone to this extraordinary cinematic achievement that shows no sign of succumbing to the frailties of age. by Bret Wood

Pop Culture - CASABLANCA (1942)


Pop Culture 101 - CASABLANCA

Casablanca did not truly strike a resounding chord with American culture until about 20 years after its 1942 release. In the 1960s, a few years after Humphrey Bogart's death in 1957, a movie theater called The Brattle in Cambridge, Massachusetts started reviving Casablanca for three weeks every year, drawing enthusiastic and increasingly larger crowds. Eventually, fans started showing up wearing trench coats and snap-brim hats like Bogie. These fans would even recite dialogue with the film, a la The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975).

As a bona fide cultural artifact and generational touchstone for millions of people, Casablanca has inspired countless spoofs and references in other films. Perhaps the most famous is Woody Allen's playful homage to the film and Bogart's persona in Play It Again, Sam (1972), directed by Herbert Ross. In this imaginative comedy, Allen plays an unlucky-in-love neurotic whose muse happens to be the ghost of Humphrey Bogart. Other references to Bogie and Casablanca can be seen in What's Up, Doc? (1972) and Murder By Death (1976).

Of course, not all references to this essential film classic are in good taste. Exhibit A for the prosecution: Caboblanco (1980), a murky rip-off of the Michael Curtiz classic starring Charles Bronson as a barkeeper in Peru and Jason Robards in Conrad Veidt's Nazi role. More recently, the plot was lifted for the Pamela Anderson Lee opus, Barb Wir (1996) with Lee in the Bogart role!

Another, more lighthearted spoof occurred in Bugs Bunny's return to animated shorts, "Carrotblanca" (1995) which saw many of our favorite Warner Bros. cartoon stars filling the shoes of Bogie and company: Bugs (in the Bogie role), Sylvester (as Slazlo), Daffy Duck (as Sam), Tweety (as Usmarte), Pepe le Pew (as Louie), and Yosemite Sam (as General Pandemonium).

And don't forget that our own Essentials host, director Rob Reiner, paid a loving tribute to Casablanca with his own 1989 comedy, When Harry Met Sally. The subject of the film first comes up during Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan's introductory journey to New York City at the beginning of the film. As their relationship continues, the film remains central to their maturing friendship and budding romance.

In 1999, The Oxford Dictionary of 20th Century Quotations added four quotes from famous movies. They are: "E.T. phone home." (E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, 1982); "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." (Gone With the Wind, 1939); "Go ahead, make my day." (Sudden Impact, 1984), and "Here's looking at you, kid." (Casablanca).

Millions of Casablanca fans were outraged in 1998 when the sequel, As Time Goes By, hit bookstores with an initial run of 1.1 million copies. The writer, Michael Walsh, wrote the book as a hired hand and admitted that he was never a huge fan of the film. The Boston Globe observed that the ending to his book "maintains the spirit of the film's finale."

by Scott McGee

Pop Culture - CASABLANCA (1942)

Pop Culture 101 - CASABLANCA Casablanca did not truly strike a resounding chord with American culture until about 20 years after its 1942 release. In the 1960s, a few years after Humphrey Bogart's death in 1957, a movie theater called The Brattle in Cambridge, Massachusetts started reviving Casablanca for three weeks every year, drawing enthusiastic and increasingly larger crowds. Eventually, fans started showing up wearing trench coats and snap-brim hats like Bogie. These fans would even recite dialogue with the film, a la The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). As a bona fide cultural artifact and generational touchstone for millions of people, Casablanca has inspired countless spoofs and references in other films. Perhaps the most famous is Woody Allen's playful homage to the film and Bogart's persona in Play It Again, Sam (1972), directed by Herbert Ross. In this imaginative comedy, Allen plays an unlucky-in-love neurotic whose muse happens to be the ghost of Humphrey Bogart. Other references to Bogie and Casablanca can be seen in What's Up, Doc? (1972) and Murder By Death (1976). Of course, not all references to this essential film classic are in good taste. Exhibit A for the prosecution: Caboblanco (1980), a murky rip-off of the Michael Curtiz classic starring Charles Bronson as a barkeeper in Peru and Jason Robards in Conrad Veidt's Nazi role. More recently, the plot was lifted for the Pamela Anderson Lee opus, Barb Wir (1996) with Lee in the Bogart role! Another, more lighthearted spoof occurred in Bugs Bunny's return to animated shorts, "Carrotblanca" (1995) which saw many of our favorite Warner Bros. cartoon stars filling the shoes of Bogie and company: Bugs (in the Bogie role), Sylvester (as Slazlo), Daffy Duck (as Sam), Tweety (as Usmarte), Pepe le Pew (as Louie), and Yosemite Sam (as General Pandemonium). And don't forget that our own Essentials host, director Rob Reiner, paid a loving tribute to Casablanca with his own 1989 comedy, When Harry Met Sally. The subject of the film first comes up during Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan's introductory journey to New York City at the beginning of the film. As their relationship continues, the film remains central to their maturing friendship and budding romance. In 1999, The Oxford Dictionary of 20th Century Quotations added four quotes from famous movies. They are: "E.T. phone home." (E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, 1982); "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." (Gone With the Wind, 1939); "Go ahead, make my day." (Sudden Impact, 1984), and "Here's looking at you, kid." (Casablanca). Millions of Casablanca fans were outraged in 1998 when the sequel, As Time Goes By, hit bookstores with an initial run of 1.1 million copies. The writer, Michael Walsh, wrote the book as a hired hand and admitted that he was never a huge fan of the film. The Boston Globe observed that the ending to his book "maintains the spirit of the film's finale." by Scott McGee

Trivia - CASABLANCA (1942)


CASABLANCA - Trivia and Other Fun Stuff

"As Time Goes By" didn't win an Oscar® for Best Song in 1943. It wasn't even eligible to be nominated since it wasn't an original work. It was actually a much older song, written for a 1931 Broadway show called Everybody's Welcome.

Casablanca may have been a city of corruption, political intrigue, and pickpockets, but compared to an earlier film Michael Curtiz directed in his native Hungary, the North African city is positively puritan. Directed in a style that recalled D.W. Griffith's Intolerance, Curtiz's Sodom and Gomorrah (1922) was a biblical story that detailed the avarice, lust and greed that eventually brought ruin onto the twin cities. While Casablanca isn't quite that decadent, Curtiz did show an early knack for sinful cities.

Conrad Veidt and Paul Henreid, far from being murderous adversaries, were actually the best of friends. Veidt had intervened on Henreid's behalf to prevent the Austrian refugee from being interned in Britain near the beginning of World War II. Veidt appeared in another milestone of world cinema as the somnambulist Cesare in the silent German film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919). He was also an exotic presence as the mysterious prince in The Indian Tomb (1921). After escaping Nazi Germany, Veidt settled into a Hollywood career doing his best to portray the Nazis in the worst possible light. Sadly, Veidt, whose performance as the villainous Major Strasser was completely different from his own character, died in April 1944, one month after Casablanca swept the Academy Awards®.

Notice some familiar faces from other films? Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet, and Humphrey Bogart starred in The Maltese Falcon (1941). And Claude Rains and Paul Henreid had just completed Now, Voyager (1942) when they signed on for Casablanca.

How about that typo in the credits? Veteran character actor S.Z. Sakall, known to most people as "Cuddles" Sakall, is listed in the credits as "S.K. Sakall."

The opening montage sequence was created by Don Siegel, who went on to direct many important films himself, including Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) and Dirty Harry (1971).

Yes, that's the great Marcel Dalio as the croupier. Dalio had been a great star in French cinema during the 1930s and appeared in two key films of the French poetic realism movement of the 1930s for director Jean Renoir, Grand Illusion (1937) and The Rules of the Game (1939).

The famous last line in the film is heard while Rick and Louis walk off into the fog. Since their backs were to the camera, the studio had more time to come up with a suitable closing line to their scene. Before producer Hal Wallis came up with the perfect line ("Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."), there were a few other possible lines considered:

"Louis, I begin to see a reason for your sudden attack of patriotism. While you defend your country, you also protect your investment."

"If you ever die a hero's death, Heaven protect the angels!"

"Louis, I might have known you'd mix your patriotism with a little larceny."

Another possible ending that was considered was to shoot a coda with Rick and Louis on a battleship taking the war to Hitler's front doorstep. Thankfully, the idea was scrapped when preview audiences responded enthusiastically to the airport-in-the-fog ending. Besides, a new ending would have required more time and money than their schedule allowed.

"Here's looking at you, kid," was originally written as "Here's good luck to you." Also, Bogart's line of resignation that he can't escape Ilsa was previously written as, "Of all the cafes in all the towns in the world, she walks into my cafe Both pieces of rephrasing are attributed to Bogart himself.

Bogart's final speech as he puts Ilsa on the airplane with Victor was allegedly written on the hood of a car at the studio. This legend is granted some merit by the fact that the Epsteins came up with Capt. Renault's famous line, "Round up the usual suspects," while driving to the studio to shoot the final scene.

There has been persistent confusion as to when Casablanca was actually released. The film premiered in New York City in November 1942, in what was called a pre-release engagement. This showing was rushed to theaters to capitalize on the recent events in North Africa, specifically the invasion of American troops into the real Casablanca. Because this kind of free publicity happens only once in a blue moon, Warner Bros. rushed Casablanca to just one theater in New York. But it was not seen by the rest of the country until early 1943, including Los Angeles. As luck would have it, the national release coincided with another Casablanca event, a summit meeting between President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin.

Casablanca was a big budget picture, produced at a final cost of $950,000. The initial $20,000 paid for the screen rights to an un-produced play called Everybody Comes to Rick's was a steal, especially when you consider that the picture turned in a tidy sum of $3,700,000 during the first year of release. However, the studio did not know before the national release what a gold mine they had on their hands. For the New York pre-release, Casablanc was advertised at the Hollywood Theater in Manhattan in a joint ad with Gentleman Jim (1942), an Errol Flynn movie about famed boxer Jim Corbett.

Famous Quotes from CASABLANCA

Captain Renault: What in heaven's name brought you to Casablanca?
Rick: My health. I came to Casablanca for the waters.
Captain Renault: The waters? What waters? We're in the desert.
Rick: I was misinformed.

Rick: Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.

Ilsa: Kiss me. Kiss me as if it were the last time.

Rick: And remember, this gun is pointed right at your heart.
Captain Renault: That is my least vulnerable spot.

Captain Renault: I'm afraid Major Strasser would insist.
Ilsa: You're saying this only to make me go.
Rick: I'm saying it because it's true. Inside of us, we both know you belong with Victor. You're part of his work, the thing that keeps him going. If that plane leaves the ground and you're not with him, you'll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.
Ilsa: But what about us?
Rick: We'll always have Paris. We didn't have, we, we lost it until you came to Casablanca. We got it back last night.
Ilsa: When I said I would never leave you.
Rick: And you never will. But I've got a job to do, too. Where I'm going, you can't follow. What I've got to do, you can't be any part of. Ilsa, I'm no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you'll understand that. Now, now... Here's looking at you kid.

Captain Renault: Major Strasser has been shot. Round up the usual suspects.

Rick: Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Rick: Last night we said a great many things. You said I was to do the thinking for both of us. Well, I've done a lot of it since then, and it all adds up to one thing: you're getting on that plane with Victor where you belong.
Ilsa: But, Richard, no, I... I...
Rick: Now, you've got to listen to me! You have any idea what you'd have to look forward to if you stayed here? Nine chances out of ten, we'd both wind up in a concentration camp. Isn't that true, Louie/

Ilsa: I wasn't sure you were the same. Let's see, the last time we met...
Rick: Was La Belle Aurora.
Ilsa: How nice, you remembered. But of course, that was the day the Germans marched into Paris.
Rick: Not an easy day to forget?
Ilsa: No.
Rick: I remember every detail. The Germans wore gray, you wore blue.

Rick: Don't you sometimes wonder if it's worth all this? I mean what you're fighting for.
Victor Laszlo: You might as well question why we breathe. If we stop breathing, we'll die. If we stop fighting our enemies, the world will die.
Rick: Well, what of it? It'll be out of its misery.
Victor Laszlo: You know how you sound, Mr. Blaine? Like a man who's trying to convince himself of something he doesn't believe in his heart.
v Major Strasser: Are you one of those people who cannot imagine the Germans in their beloved Paris?
Rick: It's not particularly my beloved Paris.
Heinz: Can you imagine us in London?
Rick: When you get there, ask me!
Captain Renault: Hmmh! Diplomatist!
Major Strasser: How about New York?
Rick: Well there are certain sections of New York, Major, that I wouldn't advise you to try to invade.

Captain Renault: Rick, there are many exit visas sold in this cafe, but we know that you've never sold one. That is the reason we permit you to remain open.
Rick: Oh? I thought it was because I let you win at roulette.
Captain Renault: That is another reason.

Ugarte: You despise me, don't you?
Rick: If I gave you any thought I probably would.

Captain Renault: Carl, see that Major Strasser gets a good table, one close to the ladies.
Carl: I have already given him the best, knowing he is German and would take it anyway.

Woman: What makes saloonkeepers so snobbish?
Banker: Perhaps if you told him I ran the second largest banking house in Amsterdam.
Carl: Second largest? That wouldn't impress Rick. The leading banker in Amsterdam is now the pastry chef in our kitchen.
Banker: We have something to look forward to.

Yvonne: Where were you last night?
Rick: That's so long ago, I don't remember.
Yvonne: Will I see you tonight?
Rick: I never make plans that far ahead.

by Scott McGee

Trivia - CASABLANCA (1942)

CASABLANCA - Trivia and Other Fun Stuff "As Time Goes By" didn't win an Oscar® for Best Song in 1943. It wasn't even eligible to be nominated since it wasn't an original work. It was actually a much older song, written for a 1931 Broadway show called Everybody's Welcome. Casablanca may have been a city of corruption, political intrigue, and pickpockets, but compared to an earlier film Michael Curtiz directed in his native Hungary, the North African city is positively puritan. Directed in a style that recalled D.W. Griffith's Intolerance, Curtiz's Sodom and Gomorrah (1922) was a biblical story that detailed the avarice, lust and greed that eventually brought ruin onto the twin cities. While Casablanca isn't quite that decadent, Curtiz did show an early knack for sinful cities. Conrad Veidt and Paul Henreid, far from being murderous adversaries, were actually the best of friends. Veidt had intervened on Henreid's behalf to prevent the Austrian refugee from being interned in Britain near the beginning of World War II. Veidt appeared in another milestone of world cinema as the somnambulist Cesare in the silent German film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919). He was also an exotic presence as the mysterious prince in The Indian Tomb (1921). After escaping Nazi Germany, Veidt settled into a Hollywood career doing his best to portray the Nazis in the worst possible light. Sadly, Veidt, whose performance as the villainous Major Strasser was completely different from his own character, died in April 1944, one month after Casablanca swept the Academy Awards®. Notice some familiar faces from other films? Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet, and Humphrey Bogart starred in The Maltese Falcon (1941). And Claude Rains and Paul Henreid had just completed Now, Voyager (1942) when they signed on for Casablanca. How about that typo in the credits? Veteran character actor S.Z. Sakall, known to most people as "Cuddles" Sakall, is listed in the credits as "S.K. Sakall." The opening montage sequence was created by Don Siegel, who went on to direct many important films himself, including Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) and Dirty Harry (1971). Yes, that's the great Marcel Dalio as the croupier. Dalio had been a great star in French cinema during the 1930s and appeared in two key films of the French poetic realism movement of the 1930s for director Jean Renoir, Grand Illusion (1937) and The Rules of the Game (1939). The famous last line in the film is heard while Rick and Louis walk off into the fog. Since their backs were to the camera, the studio had more time to come up with a suitable closing line to their scene. Before producer Hal Wallis came up with the perfect line ("Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."), there were a few other possible lines considered: "Louis, I begin to see a reason for your sudden attack of patriotism. While you defend your country, you also protect your investment." "If you ever die a hero's death, Heaven protect the angels!" "Louis, I might have known you'd mix your patriotism with a little larceny." Another possible ending that was considered was to shoot a coda with Rick and Louis on a battleship taking the war to Hitler's front doorstep. Thankfully, the idea was scrapped when preview audiences responded enthusiastically to the airport-in-the-fog ending. Besides, a new ending would have required more time and money than their schedule allowed. "Here's looking at you, kid," was originally written as "Here's good luck to you." Also, Bogart's line of resignation that he can't escape Ilsa was previously written as, "Of all the cafes in all the towns in the world, she walks into my cafe Both pieces of rephrasing are attributed to Bogart himself. Bogart's final speech as he puts Ilsa on the airplane with Victor was allegedly written on the hood of a car at the studio. This legend is granted some merit by the fact that the Epsteins came up with Capt. Renault's famous line, "Round up the usual suspects," while driving to the studio to shoot the final scene. There has been persistent confusion as to when Casablanca was actually released. The film premiered in New York City in November 1942, in what was called a pre-release engagement. This showing was rushed to theaters to capitalize on the recent events in North Africa, specifically the invasion of American troops into the real Casablanca. Because this kind of free publicity happens only once in a blue moon, Warner Bros. rushed Casablanca to just one theater in New York. But it was not seen by the rest of the country until early 1943, including Los Angeles. As luck would have it, the national release coincided with another Casablanca event, a summit meeting between President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin. Casablanca was a big budget picture, produced at a final cost of $950,000. The initial $20,000 paid for the screen rights to an un-produced play called Everybody Comes to Rick's was a steal, especially when you consider that the picture turned in a tidy sum of $3,700,000 during the first year of release. However, the studio did not know before the national release what a gold mine they had on their hands. For the New York pre-release, Casablanc was advertised at the Hollywood Theater in Manhattan in a joint ad with Gentleman Jim (1942), an Errol Flynn movie about famed boxer Jim Corbett. Famous Quotes from CASABLANCA Captain Renault: What in heaven's name brought you to Casablanca? Rick: My health. I came to Casablanca for the waters. Captain Renault: The waters? What waters? We're in the desert. Rick: I was misinformed. Rick: Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine. Ilsa: Kiss me. Kiss me as if it were the last time. Rick: And remember, this gun is pointed right at your heart. Captain Renault: That is my least vulnerable spot. Captain Renault: I'm afraid Major Strasser would insist. Ilsa: You're saying this only to make me go. Rick: I'm saying it because it's true. Inside of us, we both know you belong with Victor. You're part of his work, the thing that keeps him going. If that plane leaves the ground and you're not with him, you'll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life. Ilsa: But what about us? Rick: We'll always have Paris. We didn't have, we, we lost it until you came to Casablanca. We got it back last night. Ilsa: When I said I would never leave you. Rick: And you never will. But I've got a job to do, too. Where I'm going, you can't follow. What I've got to do, you can't be any part of. Ilsa, I'm no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you'll understand that. Now, now... Here's looking at you kid. Captain Renault: Major Strasser has been shot. Round up the usual suspects. Rick: Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Rick: Last night we said a great many things. You said I was to do the thinking for both of us. Well, I've done a lot of it since then, and it all adds up to one thing: you're getting on that plane with Victor where you belong. Ilsa: But, Richard, no, I... I... Rick: Now, you've got to listen to me! You have any idea what you'd have to look forward to if you stayed here? Nine chances out of ten, we'd both wind up in a concentration camp. Isn't that true, Louie/ Ilsa: I wasn't sure you were the same. Let's see, the last time we met... Rick: Was La Belle Aurora. Ilsa: How nice, you remembered. But of course, that was the day the Germans marched into Paris. Rick: Not an easy day to forget? Ilsa: No. Rick: I remember every detail. The Germans wore gray, you wore blue. Rick: Don't you sometimes wonder if it's worth all this? I mean what you're fighting for. Victor Laszlo: You might as well question why we breathe. If we stop breathing, we'll die. If we stop fighting our enemies, the world will die. Rick: Well, what of it? It'll be out of its misery. Victor Laszlo: You know how you sound, Mr. Blaine? Like a man who's trying to convince himself of something he doesn't believe in his heart. v Major Strasser: Are you one of those people who cannot imagine the Germans in their beloved Paris? Rick: It's not particularly my beloved Paris. Heinz: Can you imagine us in London? Rick: When you get there, ask me! Captain Renault: Hmmh! Diplomatist! Major Strasser: How about New York? Rick: Well there are certain sections of New York, Major, that I wouldn't advise you to try to invade. Captain Renault: Rick, there are many exit visas sold in this cafe, but we know that you've never sold one. That is the reason we permit you to remain open. Rick: Oh? I thought it was because I let you win at roulette. Captain Renault: That is another reason. Ugarte: You despise me, don't you? Rick: If I gave you any thought I probably would. Captain Renault: Carl, see that Major Strasser gets a good table, one close to the ladies. Carl: I have already given him the best, knowing he is German and would take it anyway. Woman: What makes saloonkeepers so snobbish? Banker: Perhaps if you told him I ran the second largest banking house in Amsterdam. Carl: Second largest? That wouldn't impress Rick. The leading banker in Amsterdam is now the pastry chef in our kitchen. Banker: We have something to look forward to. Yvonne: Where were you last night? Rick: That's so long ago, I don't remember. Yvonne: Will I see you tonight? Rick: I never make plans that far ahead. by Scott McGee

The Big Idea - CASABLANCA (1942)


The Big Idea Behind CASABLANCA

Casablanca is erroneously thought to be based on one of the biggest flops in Broadway history. This is not true, simply because the play, Everybody Comes to Rick's, never made it to the Big White Way in the first place. Producers Martin Gabel and Carly Wharton optioned the play in 1940, but the project fell through when they could not come up with a suitable script. The authors shopped the project around Hollywood, where Warner Bros. picked up the rights to the obscure play in late 1941. The property languished in the paper-crammed office of Jack Wilk, story editor for Warner East Coast operations in New York, until Irene Lee, the West Coast story editor, stopped in to rummage through the piles of manuscripts lining Wilk's office. She found only one interesting property: a dog-eared typed manuscript with the title "Everybody Comes to Rick's." Below the title were the address and phone numbers of the producers who had left the manuscript sitting for a year, presumably because they did not see any future in it. Once she got to Hollywood, Lee commissioned a written outline and submitted it to Hal Wallis in December 1941, four days after Pearl Harbor. Lee was a trusted advisor to Hal Wallis, so when she had the idea to turn this unwanted manuscript into a Warner Bros. film, he listened.

Not long after Hal Wallis decided to personally shepherd Casablanca from script to screen, he sat down with Philip G. and Julius J. Epstein, known in Hollywood as "The Boys." They were lanky identical twins who had earned a stellar reputation in the movie business for adapting plays, doctoring weak scripts, and adding memorable wisecracks and colorful dialogue to cliched stories. Mediocre scripts for films like Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) were energized after the Epsteins got finished with them and went on to become classics. Once Wallis approached them with the idea of adapting Everybody Comes to Rick's, the Epsteins were happy to do it, although they did not think the project was anything special. It was simply an assignment that put food on the table.

After working on Frank Capra's Why We Fight propaganda series, the brothers started working for Wallis, and right away, their distinctive personalities emerged in their work. It was particularly their irreverence for authority that gave the project power and a timeliness that resonated with World War II-era viewers who had loved ones fighting against totalitarian authorities in Europe and Asia. In fact, the Epsteins never took Jack Warner seriously; For example, Julius called Jack Warner, to his face, the "Butcher of Burbank," a dig at the Warner family's former line of work in Youngstown, Ohio.

The Epsteins were not the only wordsmiths hired to write Casablanca. Howard Koch's participation was secured in response to the demanding production schedule and evolving screenplay. Koch was a onetime radio writer whose "War of the Worlds" script for Orson Welles' broadcast on Halloween 1938 made much of the nation panic, thinking it was under attack by Martians. Koch's screenplays for The Sea Hawk (1940), The Letter (1940), and Sergeant York (1941) were evidence enough that he could strengthen the political and dramatic aspects of Casablanca. Wallis then asked Casey Robinson, the studio's most prolific writer of "women's pictures" (like Dark Victory, 1939, and Now, Voyager, 1942) to play up the passion in the love scenes that would compliment the plot and Bogart's tough but romantic persona.

For most of today's Hollywood producers, finding the right cast is half the battle. That little axiom was just as true in 1942 for Hal Wallis, who found that securing the right actress for Ilsa Lund was no less important. After having tried unsuccessfully in teaming Ingrid Bergman with Humphrey Bogart for a project called All Through the Night (1942), Wallis tried again for Casablanca. This time world politics helped Wallis sway producer David O. Selznick into loaning his contracted star out to a Warner Bros. production. Selznick had secretly been mortified by talk of Sweden, Bergman's native land, joining the Axis Alliance. Apparently, the folks at Warners weren't keeping up with their world politics, and Selznick was eager to strike a loan-out deal before they found out that Bergman might be damaged goods. The deal seemed imminent until Selznick started to worry that he might appear too eager to loan Bergman out to another studio. So, he requested to know more about the proposed project before he gave his official signoff. The Epstein brothers were brought in to give Selznick a clue of what the story was about. The only problem is that the Epsteins did not have a story to tell Selznick. No script had been written yet. Wallis suggested for them to "wing it" during their story conference with Selznick. As for what happened next, it is worth quoting at length the biography Bogart by Eric Lax and A.M. Sperber:

The twins were ushered into Selznick's office, where the producer sat..intent on his lunch. "He was slurping soup," Julius Epstein said. "Never looked up at us once. And I start to tell the story. 'Uh, it's about Casablanca, and the refugees are there, and they're trying to get out, and there's letters of transit, and a fella has them, and the cops come and get him' ---- And I realize I'm talking about twenty minutes and I haven't even mentioned the character of Bergman. So I say, 'Oh, what the hell! It's going to be a lot of s**t like Algiers (a film that Casablanca is often compared to).' "And Selznick looked up and nodded. And we had Bergman."

by Scott McGee

The Big Idea - CASABLANCA (1942)

The Big Idea Behind CASABLANCA Casablanca is erroneously thought to be based on one of the biggest flops in Broadway history. This is not true, simply because the play, Everybody Comes to Rick's, never made it to the Big White Way in the first place. Producers Martin Gabel and Carly Wharton optioned the play in 1940, but the project fell through when they could not come up with a suitable script. The authors shopped the project around Hollywood, where Warner Bros. picked up the rights to the obscure play in late 1941. The property languished in the paper-crammed office of Jack Wilk, story editor for Warner East Coast operations in New York, until Irene Lee, the West Coast story editor, stopped in to rummage through the piles of manuscripts lining Wilk's office. She found only one interesting property: a dog-eared typed manuscript with the title "Everybody Comes to Rick's." Below the title were the address and phone numbers of the producers who had left the manuscript sitting for a year, presumably because they did not see any future in it. Once she got to Hollywood, Lee commissioned a written outline and submitted it to Hal Wallis in December 1941, four days after Pearl Harbor. Lee was a trusted advisor to Hal Wallis, so when she had the idea to turn this unwanted manuscript into a Warner Bros. film, he listened. Not long after Hal Wallis decided to personally shepherd Casablanca from script to screen, he sat down with Philip G. and Julius J. Epstein, known in Hollywood as "The Boys." They were lanky identical twins who had earned a stellar reputation in the movie business for adapting plays, doctoring weak scripts, and adding memorable wisecracks and colorful dialogue to cliched stories. Mediocre scripts for films like Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) were energized after the Epsteins got finished with them and went on to become classics. Once Wallis approached them with the idea of adapting Everybody Comes to Rick's, the Epsteins were happy to do it, although they did not think the project was anything special. It was simply an assignment that put food on the table. After working on Frank Capra's Why We Fight propaganda series, the brothers started working for Wallis, and right away, their distinctive personalities emerged in their work. It was particularly their irreverence for authority that gave the project power and a timeliness that resonated with World War II-era viewers who had loved ones fighting against totalitarian authorities in Europe and Asia. In fact, the Epsteins never took Jack Warner seriously; For example, Julius called Jack Warner, to his face, the "Butcher of Burbank," a dig at the Warner family's former line of work in Youngstown, Ohio. The Epsteins were not the only wordsmiths hired to write Casablanca. Howard Koch's participation was secured in response to the demanding production schedule and evolving screenplay. Koch was a onetime radio writer whose "War of the Worlds" script for Orson Welles' broadcast on Halloween 1938 made much of the nation panic, thinking it was under attack by Martians. Koch's screenplays for The Sea Hawk (1940), The Letter (1940), and Sergeant York (1941) were evidence enough that he could strengthen the political and dramatic aspects of Casablanca. Wallis then asked Casey Robinson, the studio's most prolific writer of "women's pictures" (like Dark Victory, 1939, and Now, Voyager, 1942) to play up the passion in the love scenes that would compliment the plot and Bogart's tough but romantic persona. For most of today's Hollywood producers, finding the right cast is half the battle. That little axiom was just as true in 1942 for Hal Wallis, who found that securing the right actress for Ilsa Lund was no less important. After having tried unsuccessfully in teaming Ingrid Bergman with Humphrey Bogart for a project called All Through the Night (1942), Wallis tried again for Casablanca. This time world politics helped Wallis sway producer David O. Selznick into loaning his contracted star out to a Warner Bros. production. Selznick had secretly been mortified by talk of Sweden, Bergman's native land, joining the Axis Alliance. Apparently, the folks at Warners weren't keeping up with their world politics, and Selznick was eager to strike a loan-out deal before they found out that Bergman might be damaged goods. The deal seemed imminent until Selznick started to worry that he might appear too eager to loan Bergman out to another studio. So, he requested to know more about the proposed project before he gave his official signoff. The Epstein brothers were brought in to give Selznick a clue of what the story was about. The only problem is that the Epsteins did not have a story to tell Selznick. No script had been written yet. Wallis suggested for them to "wing it" during their story conference with Selznick. As for what happened next, it is worth quoting at length the biography Bogart by Eric Lax and A.M. Sperber: The twins were ushered into Selznick's office, where the producer sat..intent on his lunch. "He was slurping soup," Julius Epstein said. "Never looked up at us once. And I start to tell the story. 'Uh, it's about Casablanca, and the refugees are there, and they're trying to get out, and there's letters of transit, and a fella has them, and the cops come and get him' ---- And I realize I'm talking about twenty minutes and I haven't even mentioned the character of Bergman. So I say, 'Oh, what the hell! It's going to be a lot of s**t like Algiers (a film that Casablanca is often compared to).' "And Selznick looked up and nodded. And we had Bergman." by Scott McGee

Behind the Camera


According to various sources, Ronald Reagan was the first choice to play Rick Blaine. Reagan was under contract at Warner Bros., and once Hal Wallis decided on the final title for his next film, the studio sent out press releases announcing that Reagan would indeed headline the release, along with Ann Sheridan and Dennis Morgan. The only problem was that according to internal memos regarding casting issues, producer Hal Wallis had Humphrey Bogart in mind from the start.

Another popular rumor has it that George Raft was offered the role first, but this is not entirely accurate. While at one time Raft lobbied to do the film, the film was never officially offered to Raft, whose star power was quickly fading. The story is also substantiated simply because Raft had a history of turning down important roles that later went to Bogart, namely High Sierra (1940) and The Maltese Falcon (1941).

Ever wonder why Dooley Wilson doesn't look quite right tickling those ivories? Arthur "Dooley" Wilson, a Broadway transplant in his first year at Paramount Studios, was actually a drummer. He could not play a lick on the piano and during his scenes the notes were played off-camera by studio pianist Elliot Carpenter.

It was common knowledge around the Warner Bros. lot that Humphrey Bogart found love scenes more embarrassing than pleasurable. He once told an interviewer, "I don't like them, maybe because I don't do them very well. It isn't possible to shoot a love scene without having a hairy-chested group of grips standing four feet away from you, chewing tobacco." Also, Bogart reportedly had to wear three-inch wooden blocks tied to the bottom of his shoes in order to measure up to Ingrid Bergman's height.

One question that has always troubled some Casablanca fanatics is this one: why are there not more shots of the airplane to Lisbon? Answer: the inserted shot of the airplane revving up was the only segment of the climax shot outside a soundstage. Because wartime security measures prohibited the use of high-powered lights outdoors, it took countless requests, meetings, and probably bribes to cut through the red tape in order to properly illuminate the plane for the camera. While inside the soundstage, a creatively lit and painted cardboard cutout, served as the plane to Lisbon. The small group of people seen in the distance, standing beside the plane, were actually a group of midgets from Central Casting, hired to provide the proper scale for the camera's eye.

Neither Ingrid Bergman nor Paul Henreid wanted to appear in Casablanca, the one film that would become their most popular. Bergman thought the material little more than fluff, whereas the role in For Whom the Bell Tolls, one she desperately wanted to do, would do wonders for her career. Once the wrap date for Casablanca approached, Bergman realized happily that she would be able to film the Hemingway story after all. For his part, Paul Henreid had just starred with Bette Davis in Now, Voyager, and the thought of playing second banana to Bogie and Bergman, not to mention Claude Rains, just didn't sound like a promising prospect. Fortunately, he reconsidered.

Rick Blaine's love interest was originally written as an American, and the studio thought that Ann Sheridan would be perfect in the role. But when the leading lady was changed into a European, Sheridan was out, and the part was offered to Hedy Lamarr. However, MGM kept her on a short leash and would not loan her out. French actress Michele Morgan was then offered the part, but her agents asked for too much money, $55,000 to be exact. Warner Bros. eventually got Ingrid Bergman for roughly half that - $25,000.

by Scott McGee

Behind the Camera

According to various sources, Ronald Reagan was the first choice to play Rick Blaine. Reagan was under contract at Warner Bros., and once Hal Wallis decided on the final title for his next film, the studio sent out press releases announcing that Reagan would indeed headline the release, along with Ann Sheridan and Dennis Morgan. The only problem was that according to internal memos regarding casting issues, producer Hal Wallis had Humphrey Bogart in mind from the start. Another popular rumor has it that George Raft was offered the role first, but this is not entirely accurate. While at one time Raft lobbied to do the film, the film was never officially offered to Raft, whose star power was quickly fading. The story is also substantiated simply because Raft had a history of turning down important roles that later went to Bogart, namely High Sierra (1940) and The Maltese Falcon (1941). Ever wonder why Dooley Wilson doesn't look quite right tickling those ivories? Arthur "Dooley" Wilson, a Broadway transplant in his first year at Paramount Studios, was actually a drummer. He could not play a lick on the piano and during his scenes the notes were played off-camera by studio pianist Elliot Carpenter. It was common knowledge around the Warner Bros. lot that Humphrey Bogart found love scenes more embarrassing than pleasurable. He once told an interviewer, "I don't like them, maybe because I don't do them very well. It isn't possible to shoot a love scene without having a hairy-chested group of grips standing four feet away from you, chewing tobacco." Also, Bogart reportedly had to wear three-inch wooden blocks tied to the bottom of his shoes in order to measure up to Ingrid Bergman's height. One question that has always troubled some Casablanca fanatics is this one: why are there not more shots of the airplane to Lisbon? Answer: the inserted shot of the airplane revving up was the only segment of the climax shot outside a soundstage. Because wartime security measures prohibited the use of high-powered lights outdoors, it took countless requests, meetings, and probably bribes to cut through the red tape in order to properly illuminate the plane for the camera. While inside the soundstage, a creatively lit and painted cardboard cutout, served as the plane to Lisbon. The small group of people seen in the distance, standing beside the plane, were actually a group of midgets from Central Casting, hired to provide the proper scale for the camera's eye. Neither Ingrid Bergman nor Paul Henreid wanted to appear in Casablanca, the one film that would become their most popular. Bergman thought the material little more than fluff, whereas the role in For Whom the Bell Tolls, one she desperately wanted to do, would do wonders for her career. Once the wrap date for Casablanca approached, Bergman realized happily that she would be able to film the Hemingway story after all. For his part, Paul Henreid had just starred with Bette Davis in Now, Voyager, and the thought of playing second banana to Bogie and Bergman, not to mention Claude Rains, just didn't sound like a promising prospect. Fortunately, he reconsidered. Rick Blaine's love interest was originally written as an American, and the studio thought that Ann Sheridan would be perfect in the role. But when the leading lady was changed into a European, Sheridan was out, and the part was offered to Hedy Lamarr. However, MGM kept her on a short leash and would not loan her out. French actress Michele Morgan was then offered the part, but her agents asked for too much money, $55,000 to be exact. Warner Bros. eventually got Ingrid Bergman for roughly half that - $25,000. by Scott McGee

The Critics Corner - CASABLANCA (1942)


The Critics' Corner on CASABLANCA

"The love story that takes us from time to time into the past is horribly wooden and cliches everywhere lower the tension."---William Whitebait, New Stateman, January 16, 1943.

The New York World Telegram decided that Casablanca "is not the best of the recent Bogarts."

The New York Times chimed in by calling it "a picture which makes the spine tingle and the heart take a leap..they have so combined sentiment, humor, and pathos with taut melodrama and bristling intrigue that the result is a highly entertaining and even inspiring film."

"In truth and contrary to popular impression, Casablanca isn't representative of what pictures were like "back then" but is maybe the only picture which succeeded in meeting those old-time studio heads' requirements for what all "entertainment" movies were supposed to be like. It contains almost every element that would appear on an audience checklist: action, adventure, bravery, danger, espionage, exotic locale, friendship, gunplay, humor, intrigue, a love triangle, a masculine hero, a mysterious heroine, patriotism, politics (without being too political), romance, sentimentality, a theme song, a time factor, a venomous villain, and war...Casablanca is that rare lucky film where everything came together, clicked and there was perfection." - Danny Peary, Cult Movies.

"In terms of entertainment value, Casablanca marks a high point in Hollywood production, and has withstood the test of time and fashion more impressively than such ponderous classics of the period as Jane Eyre and Sergeant York...Casablanca takes neither itself nor the war very seriously; the movie has a pre-Pearl Harbor innocence that, fused with the swashbuckling ethic behind Michael Curtiz's direction, makes it ineffably nostalgic and deliciously soft-centered." - Peter Cowie, Eight Years of Cinema.

"An incisive, witty, and enchanting film that is certainly Curtiz's best. It represents the ultimate in the Bogart myth: his Rich Blaine is cynical and tough, hardened by life's misfortunes, yet still sentimental and idealistic." - Georges Sadoul, Dictionary of Films.

Perhaps the greatest praise came from London, where General Charles de Gaulle, leader of the Free French forces, requested a print of Casablanca for a special showing to his staff.

Awards & Honors

1943 belonged to Warner Brothers. With twenty-seven Academy Award® nominations, the studio led all the other studios in the Oscar%reg; race for the first time. Casablanca and Watch on the Rhine (1943) were both Best Picture nominees, and Humphrey Bogart and Paul Lukas, the star of Watch on the Rhine, were both up for Best Actor. Lukas eventually won the Best Actor Oscar®, beating out Bogart who was running for his performance in Casablanca.

When film producer Sidney Franklin announced Casablanca as the Best Picture winner, the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner reported that the audience "gasped in amazement, then quickly regained composure and heartily applauded the unexpected results." The UPI labeled the Warner Bros. flick a dark horse winner and reported that studio head Jack Warner was "just as surprised as everyone else when the plaster Oscar® was thrust in his hand."

The actual producer of Casablanca, Hal B. Wallis, was surprised too. In fact, stunned might be a better word. When Jack Warner rushed the stage to accept the Oscar®, Wallis felt that he, not Warner, should have been on that stage receiving the Best Picture Oscar®. And rightly so. Wallis certainly earned it, not only for his superior production of Casablanca, but also for all his other 1943 productions: Watch on the Rhine, Air Force, Princess O'Rourke, and This is the Army, all of which had won at least one Academy Award®. When Wallis left to go to Paramount in 1944 after two decades at Warner Bros., insiders noted that his motivation was probably Jack Warner's selfish Oscar® night usurpation.

Michael Curtiz was also surprised that Casablanca walked off with Oscars® for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay at the March 2, 1944 Academy Award® ceremonies. The Hungarian-born Curtiz gave an unprepared speech at the ceremony in his best broken English. He said, "So many times I have a speech ready but no dice. Always a bridesmaid, never a mother."

According to Academy Award® rules, a film has to play in Los Angeles in order to be eligible for that year's Academy Awards®. Because Casablanca did not play in L.A. until 1943, it was ruled out of the 1942 competition. It's a good thing, too, since Mrs. Minivier (1942), another drama set during World War II, walked off with the Best Picture Oscar® for 1942. But the next year's Best Picture Oscar® was fated to be Casablanca. Due to the confusing release dates, Casablanca is often listed in reference books as being released in either 1942 (the correct date) or 1943, the year it went into general release.

Compiled by Scott McGee

The Critics Corner - CASABLANCA (1942)

The Critics' Corner on CASABLANCA "The love story that takes us from time to time into the past is horribly wooden and cliches everywhere lower the tension."---William Whitebait, New Stateman, January 16, 1943. The New York World Telegram decided that Casablanca "is not the best of the recent Bogarts." The New York Times chimed in by calling it "a picture which makes the spine tingle and the heart take a leap..they have so combined sentiment, humor, and pathos with taut melodrama and bristling intrigue that the result is a highly entertaining and even inspiring film." "In truth and contrary to popular impression, Casablanca isn't representative of what pictures were like "back then" but is maybe the only picture which succeeded in meeting those old-time studio heads' requirements for what all "entertainment" movies were supposed to be like. It contains almost every element that would appear on an audience checklist: action, adventure, bravery, danger, espionage, exotic locale, friendship, gunplay, humor, intrigue, a love triangle, a masculine hero, a mysterious heroine, patriotism, politics (without being too political), romance, sentimentality, a theme song, a time factor, a venomous villain, and war...Casablanca is that rare lucky film where everything came together, clicked and there was perfection." - Danny Peary, Cult Movies. "In terms of entertainment value, Casablanca marks a high point in Hollywood production, and has withstood the test of time and fashion more impressively than such ponderous classics of the period as Jane Eyre and Sergeant York...Casablanca takes neither itself nor the war very seriously; the movie has a pre-Pearl Harbor innocence that, fused with the swashbuckling ethic behind Michael Curtiz's direction, makes it ineffably nostalgic and deliciously soft-centered." - Peter Cowie, Eight Years of Cinema. "An incisive, witty, and enchanting film that is certainly Curtiz's best. It represents the ultimate in the Bogart myth: his Rich Blaine is cynical and tough, hardened by life's misfortunes, yet still sentimental and idealistic." - Georges Sadoul, Dictionary of Films. Perhaps the greatest praise came from London, where General Charles de Gaulle, leader of the Free French forces, requested a print of Casablanca for a special showing to his staff. Awards & Honors 1943 belonged to Warner Brothers. With twenty-seven Academy Award® nominations, the studio led all the other studios in the Oscar%reg; race for the first time. Casablanca and Watch on the Rhine (1943) were both Best Picture nominees, and Humphrey Bogart and Paul Lukas, the star of Watch on the Rhine, were both up for Best Actor. Lukas eventually won the Best Actor Oscar®, beating out Bogart who was running for his performance in Casablanca. When film producer Sidney Franklin announced Casablanca as the Best Picture winner, the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner reported that the audience "gasped in amazement, then quickly regained composure and heartily applauded the unexpected results." The UPI labeled the Warner Bros. flick a dark horse winner and reported that studio head Jack Warner was "just as surprised as everyone else when the plaster Oscar® was thrust in his hand." The actual producer of Casablanca, Hal B. Wallis, was surprised too. In fact, stunned might be a better word. When Jack Warner rushed the stage to accept the Oscar®, Wallis felt that he, not Warner, should have been on that stage receiving the Best Picture Oscar®. And rightly so. Wallis certainly earned it, not only for his superior production of Casablanca, but also for all his other 1943 productions: Watch on the Rhine, Air Force, Princess O'Rourke, and This is the Army, all of which had won at least one Academy Award®. When Wallis left to go to Paramount in 1944 after two decades at Warner Bros., insiders noted that his motivation was probably Jack Warner's selfish Oscar® night usurpation. Michael Curtiz was also surprised that Casablanca walked off with Oscars® for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay at the March 2, 1944 Academy Award® ceremonies. The Hungarian-born Curtiz gave an unprepared speech at the ceremony in his best broken English. He said, "So many times I have a speech ready but no dice. Always a bridesmaid, never a mother." According to Academy Award® rules, a film has to play in Los Angeles in order to be eligible for that year's Academy Awards®. Because Casablanca did not play in L.A. until 1943, it was ruled out of the 1942 competition. It's a good thing, too, since Mrs. Minivier (1942), another drama set during World War II, walked off with the Best Picture Oscar® for 1942. But the next year's Best Picture Oscar® was fated to be Casablanca. Due to the confusing release dates, Casablanca is often listed in reference books as being released in either 1942 (the correct date) or 1943, the year it went into general release. Compiled by Scott McGee

Dick Dinman & Alan K. Rode Salute CASABLANCA Director Michael Curtiz!


DICK DINMAN & ALAN K. RODE SALUTE "CASABLANCA" DIRECTOR MICHAEL CURTIZ: Producer/host Dick Dinman's guest Alan K. Rode, author of the just released and universally praised bio MICHAEL CURTIZ: A LIFE IN FILM, regales Dick with numerous previously unknown facts about the incredible film career and chaotic romantic life of one of the most prolific and volatile yet sensitive film directors of all time.

The award-winning DICK DINMAN'S DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR is the only show devoted to Golden Age Movie Classics as they become available on DVD and Blu-ray. Your producer/host Dick Dinman includes a generous selection of classic scenes, classic film music and one-on-one interviews with stars, producers, and directors. To hear these as well as other DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR shows please go to www.dvdclassicscorner.com or www.dvdclassicscorner.net.

Dick Dinman & Alan K. Rode Salute CASABLANCA Director Michael Curtiz!

DICK DINMAN & ALAN K. RODE SALUTE "CASABLANCA" DIRECTOR MICHAEL CURTIZ: Producer/host Dick Dinman's guest Alan K. Rode, author of the just released and universally praised bio MICHAEL CURTIZ: A LIFE IN FILM, regales Dick with numerous previously unknown facts about the incredible film career and chaotic romantic life of one of the most prolific and volatile yet sensitive film directors of all time. The award-winning DICK DINMAN'S DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR is the only show devoted to Golden Age Movie Classics as they become available on DVD and Blu-ray. Your producer/host Dick Dinman includes a generous selection of classic scenes, classic film music and one-on-one interviews with stars, producers, and directors. To hear these as well as other DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR shows please go to www.dvdclassicscorner.com or www.dvdclassicscorner.net.

Casablanca


In the six decades since its 1942 release, Casablanca has grown into such a legend that it almost transcends mere cinema. Its lines of dialogue can be quoted by people who have not even seen the film: "Here's looking at you, kid," "I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship," and the oft-misquoted "Play it, Sam."

The production design of Casablanca has come to represent the aesthetics of romantic longing. Its smoky casino, fog-shrouded runway, trench coats, potted palms and gruff-voiced pianist repeatedly surface in contemporary films, commercials, television programs and even restaurant decor as respects are paid to this quintessential Hollywood classic.

If Citizen Kane (1941) represents the pinnacle of artistic derring-do and Gone With the Wind (1939) epitomizes the colorful bombast of the American epic, then Casablanca is surely the film that defines cinematic cool.

The plot revolves around "Rick's Cafe Americain", a bar and casino in Northern Africa which serves as a way station for expatriates and political refugees at the dawn of World War II. Rick (Humphrey Bogart) refuses to take sides with any nationality, but when a former lover (Ingrid Bergman) and her new husband (Paul Henried) arrive in Casablanca, desperate for visas, he is drawn into the volatile web of political and romantic espionage.

The ingredients that have made Casablanca such a timeless classic are not easy to pinpoint. Produced by Warner Bros. at the height of the Hollywood studio system, Casablanca embraced what is now known as "invisible style." Rather than dazzling the eye with eye-catching visuals and histrionic acting, it seduces the viewer by creating a seamless, lush universe that gradually envelops the audience. Hardly an effortless accomplishment, "invisible style" required an absolute mastery of the various cinematic elements by its collaborators, including Hungarian director Michael Curtiz (Mildred Pierce, 1945), director of photography Arthur Edeson (The Maltese Falcon, 1941), Art Director Carl Jules Weyl (The Big Sleep, 1946), composer Max Steiner (Gone With the Wind) and soon-to-be-director Don Siegel (Dirty Harry, 1972), whose dynamic opening montage invests the film with a sense of political urgency.

It took no less than six writers to transform Murray Burnett and Joan Alison's unproduced play Everybody Comes to Rick's into Casablanca, taking a conventional exotic romance (patterned after Algiers (1938) and Only Angels Have Wings, 1939) and investing it with a subtle, richly-textured brand of drama all its own.

Although George Raft and Ronald Reagan were rumored to have been considered for the starring role, only Humphrey Bogart could have endowed the character with such emotional depth in so few words. Tight-lipped and tough on the outside, while wounded and sentimental within, Bogart's nuanced performance as Rick Blaine is the capstone to this extraordinary cinematic achievement that shows no sign of succumbing to the frailties of age.

Producer: Hal B.Wallis
Director: Michael Curtiz
Screenplay: Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein, Howard Koch, based on the play Everybody Comes to Rick's by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison
Art Direction: Carl Jules Weyl
Cinematography: Arthur Edeson
Costume Design: Orry-Kelly
Film Editing: Owen Marks
Original Music: Max Steiner
Principal Cast: Humphrey Bogart (Richard "Rick" Blaine), Ingrid Bergman (Ilsa Lund Laszlo), Paul Henreid (Victor Laszlo), Claude Rains (Captain Louis Renault), Conrad Veidt (Maj. Heinrich Strasser), Sydney Greenstreet (Senor Ferrari), Peter Lorre (Ugarte)
BW-103m. Closed captioning. Descriptive video.

by Bret Wood

Casablanca

In the six decades since its 1942 release, Casablanca has grown into such a legend that it almost transcends mere cinema. Its lines of dialogue can be quoted by people who have not even seen the film: "Here's looking at you, kid," "I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship," and the oft-misquoted "Play it, Sam." The production design of Casablanca has come to represent the aesthetics of romantic longing. Its smoky casino, fog-shrouded runway, trench coats, potted palms and gruff-voiced pianist repeatedly surface in contemporary films, commercials, television programs and even restaurant decor as respects are paid to this quintessential Hollywood classic. If Citizen Kane (1941) represents the pinnacle of artistic derring-do and Gone With the Wind (1939) epitomizes the colorful bombast of the American epic, then Casablanca is surely the film that defines cinematic cool. The plot revolves around "Rick's Cafe Americain", a bar and casino in Northern Africa which serves as a way station for expatriates and political refugees at the dawn of World War II. Rick (Humphrey Bogart) refuses to take sides with any nationality, but when a former lover (Ingrid Bergman) and her new husband (Paul Henried) arrive in Casablanca, desperate for visas, he is drawn into the volatile web of political and romantic espionage. The ingredients that have made Casablanca such a timeless classic are not easy to pinpoint. Produced by Warner Bros. at the height of the Hollywood studio system, Casablanca embraced what is now known as "invisible style." Rather than dazzling the eye with eye-catching visuals and histrionic acting, it seduces the viewer by creating a seamless, lush universe that gradually envelops the audience. Hardly an effortless accomplishment, "invisible style" required an absolute mastery of the various cinematic elements by its collaborators, including Hungarian director Michael Curtiz (Mildred Pierce, 1945), director of photography Arthur Edeson (The Maltese Falcon, 1941), Art Director Carl Jules Weyl (The Big Sleep, 1946), composer Max Steiner (Gone With the Wind) and soon-to-be-director Don Siegel (Dirty Harry, 1972), whose dynamic opening montage invests the film with a sense of political urgency. It took no less than six writers to transform Murray Burnett and Joan Alison's unproduced play Everybody Comes to Rick's into Casablanca, taking a conventional exotic romance (patterned after Algiers (1938) and Only Angels Have Wings, 1939) and investing it with a subtle, richly-textured brand of drama all its own. Although George Raft and Ronald Reagan were rumored to have been considered for the starring role, only Humphrey Bogart could have endowed the character with such emotional depth in so few words. Tight-lipped and tough on the outside, while wounded and sentimental within, Bogart's nuanced performance as Rick Blaine is the capstone to this extraordinary cinematic achievement that shows no sign of succumbing to the frailties of age. Producer: Hal B.Wallis Director: Michael Curtiz Screenplay: Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein, Howard Koch, based on the play Everybody Comes to Rick's by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison Art Direction: Carl Jules Weyl Cinematography: Arthur Edeson Costume Design: Orry-Kelly Film Editing: Owen Marks Original Music: Max Steiner Principal Cast: Humphrey Bogart (Richard "Rick" Blaine), Ingrid Bergman (Ilsa Lund Laszlo), Paul Henreid (Victor Laszlo), Claude Rains (Captain Louis Renault), Conrad Veidt (Maj. Heinrich Strasser), Sydney Greenstreet (Senor Ferrari), Peter Lorre (Ugarte) BW-103m. Closed captioning. Descriptive video. by Bret Wood

Casablanca Celebrates 70th Anniversary with Return to U.S. Cinemas - Casablanca Celebrates 70th Anniversary with Return to U.S. Cinemas


The quintessential Hollywood love story returns to the big screen this spring as Turner Classic Movies Presents Casablanca 70th Anniversary Event on Wednesday, March 21, at 7 pm local time, with special matinees in select theaters. Movie audiences in theaters nationwide will be able to experience the time-honored classic in a stunning digital presentation by NCM Fathom Events, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and Warner Home Video. The event will be introduced by TCM host Robert Osborne who will discuss Casablanca's enduring legacy and reveal some of its fascinating behind-the-scenes stories. Casablanca starred Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid and became one of the most romantic films in the history of cinema. It won three Academy Awards in 1944 including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay.

Tickets for Turner Classic Movies Presents Casablanca 70th Anniversary Event are available at participating theater box offices and online at www.FathomEvents.com. The event will be broadcast to nearly 500 select movie theaters across the country through NCM's exclusive Digital Broadcast Network. For a complete list of theater locations and prices, visit the NCM Fathom website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

Movie critic Leonard Maltin calls Casablanca "the best Hollywood movie of all time." The American Film Institute (AFI) voted it the screen's greatest love story and the No. 3 film of all time. The film's characters, dialogue and music have all become iconic in Hollywood movie history.

"There are few things more thrilling for movie lovers than being able to experience a true classic like Casablanca the way it was originally intended: on the big screen," said Dennis Adamovich, senior vice president of brand and digital activation for TCM, TNT and TBS. "We're proud to take part in this exciting event as we extend the magic of Turner Classic Movies to theaters across the country."

Casablanca: easy to enter, but much harder to leave, especially if you're wanted by the Nazis. Such a man is Resistance leader Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), whose only hope is Rick Blaine (Bogart), a cynical American who sticks his neck out for no one - especially Victor's wife Ilsa (Bergman), the ex-lover who broke his heart. Ilsa offers herself in exchange for Laszlo's transport out of the country and bitter Rick must decide what counts more - personal happiness or countless lives hanging in the balance.

"Like many, I have fond memories of watching Casablanca with my family," said Shelly Maxwell, executive vice president of Fathom Events. "Fans of this timeless cinematic treasure won't want to miss this one-time opportunity to experience Casablanca on the big screen once again as Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman take us back to the golden age of Hollywood."

Turner Classic Movies Presents Casablanca 70th Anniversary Event is the third recent classic anniversary event presented in theaters by NCM Fathom Events including the 70th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz and 50th anniversary of West Side Story.

Warner Home Video will release Casablanca 70th Anniversary Edition on March 27 featuring a 3-Disc limited and numbered gift set including the remastered feature on both Blu-ray and DVD with more than 14 hours of bonus material. The keepsake box also includes a compilation of three comprehensive feature length documentaries, a hard-cover 62-page book with never-before-seen on-set photography, sketches and production history, a reproduction of the original 1942 French theatrical poster as well as a collectible set of drink coasters.

Casablanca Celebrates 70th Anniversary with Return to U.S. Cinemas - Casablanca Celebrates 70th Anniversary with Return to U.S. Cinemas

The quintessential Hollywood love story returns to the big screen this spring as Turner Classic Movies Presents Casablanca 70th Anniversary Event on Wednesday, March 21, at 7 pm local time, with special matinees in select theaters. Movie audiences in theaters nationwide will be able to experience the time-honored classic in a stunning digital presentation by NCM Fathom Events, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and Warner Home Video. The event will be introduced by TCM host Robert Osborne who will discuss Casablanca's enduring legacy and reveal some of its fascinating behind-the-scenes stories. Casablanca starred Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid and became one of the most romantic films in the history of cinema. It won three Academy Awards in 1944 including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay. Tickets for Turner Classic Movies Presents Casablanca 70th Anniversary Event are available at participating theater box offices and online at www.FathomEvents.com. The event will be broadcast to nearly 500 select movie theaters across the country through NCM's exclusive Digital Broadcast Network. For a complete list of theater locations and prices, visit the NCM Fathom website (theaters and participants are subject to change). Movie critic Leonard Maltin calls Casablanca "the best Hollywood movie of all time." The American Film Institute (AFI) voted it the screen's greatest love story and the No. 3 film of all time. The film's characters, dialogue and music have all become iconic in Hollywood movie history. "There are few things more thrilling for movie lovers than being able to experience a true classic like Casablanca the way it was originally intended: on the big screen," said Dennis Adamovich, senior vice president of brand and digital activation for TCM, TNT and TBS. "We're proud to take part in this exciting event as we extend the magic of Turner Classic Movies to theaters across the country." Casablanca: easy to enter, but much harder to leave, especially if you're wanted by the Nazis. Such a man is Resistance leader Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), whose only hope is Rick Blaine (Bogart), a cynical American who sticks his neck out for no one - especially Victor's wife Ilsa (Bergman), the ex-lover who broke his heart. Ilsa offers herself in exchange for Laszlo's transport out of the country and bitter Rick must decide what counts more - personal happiness or countless lives hanging in the balance. "Like many, I have fond memories of watching Casablanca with my family," said Shelly Maxwell, executive vice president of Fathom Events. "Fans of this timeless cinematic treasure won't want to miss this one-time opportunity to experience Casablanca on the big screen once again as Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman take us back to the golden age of Hollywood." Turner Classic Movies Presents Casablanca 70th Anniversary Event is the third recent classic anniversary event presented in theaters by NCM Fathom Events including the 70th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz and 50th anniversary of West Side Story. Warner Home Video will release Casablanca 70th Anniversary Edition on March 27 featuring a 3-Disc limited and numbered gift set including the remastered feature on both Blu-ray and DVD with more than 14 hours of bonus material. The keepsake box also includes a compilation of three comprehensive feature length documentaries, a hard-cover 62-page book with never-before-seen on-set photography, sketches and production history, a reproduction of the original 1942 French theatrical poster as well as a collectible set of drink coasters.

Casablanca 70th Anniversary Blu-Ray Edition - One of the World's Most Beloved Films Returns - CASABLANCA 70TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION


The legendary film Casablanca -- which critic Leonard Maltin calls "the best Hollywood movie of all time," starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman and winner of three Academy Awards including Best Picture (1944) - will celebrate its anniversary with a stunning new Casablanca 70th Anniversary 3-Disc Blu-ray + DVD Combo Edition on March 27 from Warner Home Video.

This new limited and numbered gift set edition, perfect for Mother's Day gift giving, will introduce two never-before-seen documentaries - "Casablanca: An Unlikely Classic," and "Michael Curtiz: The Greatest Director You Never Heard Of." The new documentaries will complete the most extensive collection of content in one gift set -- more than 14 hours of bonus material that also includes a compilation of three comprehensive feature length documentaries: The Brothers Warner, You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story and Jack L. Warner: The Last Mogul.

The Casablanca 70th Anniversary 3-Disc Blu-ray + DVD Combo Edition looks like another beginning of a beautiful friendship as well -- elegantly packaged in a double-wide giftbox, with brand-new collectibles created for this release including a 60-page production art book with never-before-seen photos, personal memos and archival documents about the production. A reproduction of the original 1942 film poster and a set of four collectible drink coasters in a special keepsake box.

Casablanca will also be honored with a February 3rd screening at the beautiful new state-of-the-art Warner Bros. Theater in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. moderated by Time magazine critic and film historian Richard Schickel*, with special guest Stephen Humphrey Bogart? (son of Bogart and Lauren Bacall). Casablanca will be the premiere event in a weekend-long tribute of three other Bogie classics, following the gala opening of the theater, made possible by a grant from Warner Bros. to the Smithsonian. There will be an accompanying display highlighting costumes and artifacts related to these classic films and the history of Warner Bros.

Special Features for Hours of Entertainment
• Commentary by Roger Ebert
• Commentary by Rudy Behlmer
• Introduction by Lauren Bacall

Two NEW Documentaries:
• Michael Curtiz: The Greatest Director You Never Heard Of
• Casablanca: An Unlikely Classic

Three Feature-Length Documentaries:
• You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story [2008 Documentary]
• The Brothers Warner [2008 Documentary]
• Jack L. Warner: The Last Mogul [1993 Documentary]

Additional Bonus Content:
• Now Voyager Theatrical Trailer-Warner Night at the Movies
• Newsreel-Warner Night at the Movies
• Vaudeville Days - Warner Night at the Movies
• The Bird Came C.O.D.-Warner Night at the Movies
• The Squawkin' Hawk -Warner Night at the Movies
• The Dover Boys at Pimento University or The Rivals of Roquefort Hall
• Great Performances: Bacall on Bogart
• You Must Remember This: A Tribute to Casablanca
• As Time Goes By: The Children Remember
• Deleted Scenes
• Outtakes
• Who Holds Tomorrow?
• Carrotblanca - Vintage Cartoon
• Scoring Stage Sessions
• 4/26/43 Lady Esther Screen Guild Theater Radio Broadcast
• 11/19/47 Vox Pop Radio Broadcast

About the Film
Casablanca has remained a beloved favorite for almost seven decades, and was voted the screen's greatest love story and the #3 film of all time by the American Film Institute (AFI). This classic wartime romance also took Oscars® for Michael Curtiz (Directing -1944); Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein and Howard Koch (Writing - Screenplay -1944 ) and the studio (Outstanding Motion Picture -1944).

Casablanca: easy to enter, but much harder to leave, especially if you're wanted by the Nazis. Such a man is Resistance leader Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), whose only hope is Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), a cynical American who sticks his neck out for no one - especially Victor's wife Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), the ex-lover who broke his heart. Ilsa offers herself in exchange for Laszlo's transport out of the country and bitter Rick must decide what counts more - personal happiness or countless lives hanging in the balance.

Casablanca 70th Anniversary Blu-Ray Edition - One of the World's Most Beloved Films Returns - CASABLANCA 70TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

The legendary film Casablanca -- which critic Leonard Maltin calls "the best Hollywood movie of all time," starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman and winner of three Academy Awards including Best Picture (1944) - will celebrate its anniversary with a stunning new Casablanca 70th Anniversary 3-Disc Blu-ray + DVD Combo Edition on March 27 from Warner Home Video. This new limited and numbered gift set edition, perfect for Mother's Day gift giving, will introduce two never-before-seen documentaries - "Casablanca: An Unlikely Classic," and "Michael Curtiz: The Greatest Director You Never Heard Of." The new documentaries will complete the most extensive collection of content in one gift set -- more than 14 hours of bonus material that also includes a compilation of three comprehensive feature length documentaries: The Brothers Warner, You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story and Jack L. Warner: The Last Mogul. The Casablanca 70th Anniversary 3-Disc Blu-ray + DVD Combo Edition looks like another beginning of a beautiful friendship as well -- elegantly packaged in a double-wide giftbox, with brand-new collectibles created for this release including a 60-page production art book with never-before-seen photos, personal memos and archival documents about the production. A reproduction of the original 1942 film poster and a set of four collectible drink coasters in a special keepsake box. Casablanca will also be honored with a February 3rd screening at the beautiful new state-of-the-art Warner Bros. Theater in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. moderated by Time magazine critic and film historian Richard Schickel*, with special guest Stephen Humphrey Bogart? (son of Bogart and Lauren Bacall). Casablanca will be the premiere event in a weekend-long tribute of three other Bogie classics, following the gala opening of the theater, made possible by a grant from Warner Bros. to the Smithsonian. There will be an accompanying display highlighting costumes and artifacts related to these classic films and the history of Warner Bros. Special Features for Hours of Entertainment • Commentary by Roger Ebert • Commentary by Rudy Behlmer • Introduction by Lauren Bacall Two NEW Documentaries: • Michael Curtiz: The Greatest Director You Never Heard Of • Casablanca: An Unlikely Classic Three Feature-Length Documentaries: • You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story [2008 Documentary] • The Brothers Warner [2008 Documentary] • Jack L. Warner: The Last Mogul [1993 Documentary] Additional Bonus Content: • Now Voyager Theatrical Trailer-Warner Night at the Movies • Newsreel-Warner Night at the Movies • Vaudeville Days - Warner Night at the Movies • The Bird Came C.O.D.-Warner Night at the Movies • The Squawkin' Hawk -Warner Night at the Movies • The Dover Boys at Pimento University or The Rivals of Roquefort Hall • Great Performances: Bacall on Bogart • You Must Remember This: A Tribute to Casablanca • As Time Goes By: The Children Remember • Deleted Scenes • Outtakes • Who Holds Tomorrow? • Carrotblanca - Vintage Cartoon • Scoring Stage Sessions • 4/26/43 Lady Esther Screen Guild Theater Radio Broadcast • 11/19/47 Vox Pop Radio Broadcast About the Film Casablanca has remained a beloved favorite for almost seven decades, and was voted the screen's greatest love story and the #3 film of all time by the American Film Institute (AFI). This classic wartime romance also took Oscars® for Michael Curtiz (Directing -1944); Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein and Howard Koch (Writing - Screenplay -1944 ) and the studio (Outstanding Motion Picture -1944). Casablanca: easy to enter, but much harder to leave, especially if you're wanted by the Nazis. Such a man is Resistance leader Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), whose only hope is Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), a cynical American who sticks his neck out for no one - especially Victor's wife Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), the ex-lover who broke his heart. Ilsa offers herself in exchange for Laszlo's transport out of the country and bitter Rick must decide what counts more - personal happiness or countless lives hanging in the balance.

Quotes

Come sit down. Have a brandy with us.
- Mr. Leuchtag
To celebrate our leaving for America tomorrow.
- Mrs. Leuchtag
Oh, thank you very much. I thought you would ask me, so I brought the good brandy. And -- a third glass!
- Carl
At last the day is came!
- Mrs. Leuchtag
Mareichtag and I are speaking nothing but English now.
- Mr. Leuchtag
Your cash is good at the bar.
- Rick
What makes saloonkeepers so snobbish?
- Woman
Perhaps if you told him I ran the second largest banking house in Amsterdam.
- Banker
Second largest? That wouldn't impress Rick. The leading banker in Amsterdam is now the pastry chef in our kitchen.
- Carl
We have something to look forward to.
- Banker
Heh, you know, watching you just now with the Deutsche Bank, one would think you've been doing this all your life.
- Ugarte
Oh, what makes you think I haven't?
- Rick
Oh, n-n-n-nothing, but when you first came to Casablanca, I thought ...
- Ugarte
You thought what?
- Rick
Hm, what right do I have to think, huh?
- Ugarte
You know, Rick, I have many a friend in Casablanca, but somehow, just because you despise me, you are the only one I trust.
- Ugarte

Trivia

Studio publicity in 1941 claimed that 'Ronald Reagan' and Ann Sheridan were scheduled to appear in Casablanca, and Dennis Morgan is mentioned as the third lead. But this was never the case and the false story was planted, either by a studio publicist or a press agent for the three other actors, to keep their names in the press. Meanwhile George Raft was angling for the part with 'Jack L. Warner' , but Hal Wallis had been assigned to search for what would be Humphrey Bogart's next starring role. He wrote to Jack Warner that he had found the next movie for Bogart and that the role was perfect for him. Nobody else was ever considered for the part.

'Michele Morgan' asked for $55,000, but Wallis refused to pay it when he could get Ingrid Bergman for $25,000. Bergman was available only because she had been rejected for For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943); see trivia for that film.

Producer Hal B. Wallis considered Hedy Lamarr for the role of Ilsa, but she was then under contract to MGM (who wouldn't release her) and didn't want to work with an unfinished script anyway. Lamarr later portrayed Ilsa in a 1944 radio show based on movie scripts, "Lux Radio Theater". At the time, both Bergman and Bogart were overseas entertaining the troops. Rick was played on radio by Alan Ladd.

Producer Hal B. Wallis nearly made the character Sam a female. Hazel Scott, Lena Horne, and Ella Fitzgerald were considered for the role.

Paul Henreid was loaned to Warners for the role of Victor Lazlo by Selznick International pictures against his will. He was concerned that playing a secondary character would ruin his career as a leading romantic lead.

Notes

In the onscreen credits, actor S. Z. Sakall's name is incorrectly spelled "S. K. Sakall." Hollywood Reporter news items add the following information about the production: Warner Bros. bought Everybody Comes To Rick's, the unproduced play by Murray Bennet and Joan Alison, for $20,000 at the suggestion of studio story editor Irene Lee. Ann Sheridan, Ronald Reagan and Dennis Morgan were initially announced as the film's stars, but according to modern sources, Reagan was never really a possibility for the Humphrey Bogart role, as he had been summoned to the U.S. Cavalry Reserve as soon as he finished his previous film, Desperate Journey . Modern sources add that this announcement was more likely made in order to provide indirect publicity for the concurrent release of films starring those actors.
       A February 14, 1942 memo in the USC Cinema-Television files from producer Hal Wallis to casting director Steve Trilling, indicates that Sheridan was set to star with Bogart. Other news items in Hollywood Reporter report that Michele Morgan, who had earlier starred with Paul Henreid in the RKO film Joan of Paris (see below), tested for the role of "Ilsa." Conrad Veidt was borrowed from M-G-M for the role of "Major Strasser." Actress Joy Page, Jack Warner's adopted step-daughter, made her screen acting debut in this picture. The film's opening was moved forward from late spring to take advantage of Casablanca's prominence in the headlines after Allied forces landed in the Axis-occupied city in November 1942. It opened on Thanksgiving Day in New York City, following a parade up Fifth Avenue of Free French leaders, when the Free French flag was unfurled for the first time in the United States since the fall of Vichy.
       Material in the file on the film at the USC Cinema-Television library adds the following information about the production: Technical advisor Robert Aisner served on the Maginot Line and escaped from a concentration camp by way of Casablanca. Actor Helmut Dantine also escaped from a concentration camp, and Madeline LeBeau escaped from France after the German occupation of the country. Actors of thirty-four different nationalities performed in the film, many of whom were refugees. Raymond Burr was tested for a part; Jean Pierre Aumont was tested for the role of "Lazlo;" Otto Preminger tested for the part of "Major Strasser;" and Clarence Muse and William Gillespie tested for the role of "Sam." Muse was signed, but when the deal fell through for undetermined reasons, Dooley Wilson was borrowed from Paramount for the role. Wilson, a professional drummer, could not play the piano, and according to modern sources, Elliot Carpenter, his sometime collaborator, dubbed his piano playing behind the scenes. Wallis suggested tailoring the part of the piano player for either singer Hazel Scott or Lena Horne. Wallis wanted Hedy Lamarr for the part of "Ilsa," but M-G-M, where she was a contract player, refused to loan her out. George Raft expressed interest in the film, but both Wallis and director Michael Curtiz wanted Bogart to play "Rick."
       According to other memos in the USC files, Wally Klein and Aeneas MacKenzie wrote an adaptation of the play. Afterward, Julius and Philip Epstein were assigned to write the script. Later, Howard Koch was assigned to the script along with the Epsteins. According to modern sources, Koch argued unsuccessfully against the flashback scene in Paris because he believed that it would dissipate the tension that had built up in the film to that point. Lenore Coffee also worked briefly on the screenplay. In 1942, Casey Robinson was paid to polish the script and contributed greatly to the love story. Wallis himself created the famous closing line of the film: "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."
       Although modern sources have said that the decision to have "Ilsa" leave Casablanca with "Lazlo" was in doubt until the scene was filmed, memos in the USC files reveal that this was the way the original play ended, as well as even the earliest scripts, and it is doubtful that the PCA would have approved of "Ilsa" leaving her husband, especially as he was a war hero. According to modern sources the problem with the ending was how to make Ilsa's departure with Lazlo believable. The Epsteins developed the idea of "Rick" shooting "Strasser," and in a modern interview, Julius Epstein said that they almost spontaneously thought of adding the line, "Round up the usual suspects."
       A May 21, 1942 letter from Joseph I. Breen, director of the PCA, to Warner Bros. executive Jack Warner objects to the portrayal of "Renault's" practice of seducing women in exchange for exit visas. The PCA also objected to the "suggestion that Ilsa was married all the time she was having her love affair with Rick in Paris." Later, Breen warned that the script should not imply that "Ilsa" slept with "Rick" when she comes to beg for the letters of transit.
       Modern sources add the following information about the film: Composer Max Steiner hated the song "As Time Goes By" and wanted to replace it with a song that he had composed himself. This proved impossible as Bergman's hair had been cut short for the role of "Maria" in the film For Whom the Bell Tolls , and she was unavailable for the necessary retakes. William Wyler was Wallis' first choice for director, but he was involved in making war documentaries for Frank Capra at the time. Wallis' first choice for the role of "Lazlo" was Dutch actor Philip Dorn. Bogart probably invented his classic line, "Here's looking at you, kid." Wartime regulations forced the majority of the film to be shot on studio soundstages. The scene depicting "Major Strasser's" arrival in Casablanca was filmed at Metropolitan Airport in Van Nuys, but the well-known farewell scene was filmed in the studio.
       The piano that "Sam" played in the Paris scenes was auctioned in 1988 to an anonymous Japanese collector for $154,000. The piano that Sam plays in the scenes at "Rick's" café was also purchased by a private collector, and was loaned to the Warner Bros. Studio Museum in 1996. In 2007, Casablanca was ranked 3rd on AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies-10th Anniversary Edition list of the greatest American films, moving down from the 2nd position it occupied on AFI's 1997 list.
       Casablanca won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director (Michael Curtiz) and Best Screenplay (Philip and Julius Epstein and Howard Koch) and received the following Academy Award nominations: Humphrey Bogart, Best Actor; Claude Rains, Best Supporting Actor; Arthur Edeson, Cinematography; Owen Marks, Film Editing; Max Steiner, Musical Score. When the award for Best Picture was announced, both Warner and Wallis stood up, but Warner got to the stage before Wallis and accepted the award. Even though at this time it was the generally accepted practice for the studio to accept the award for Best Picture, and Wallis won the Thalberg Award "For the most consistently high quality of production by an individual producer, based on pictures he has personallly produced during the preceding year," Warner's action led to a break between the two men. One month later, Wallis' contract with Warner Bros. was canceled on a technicality.
       In January 1943, according to a Hollywood Reporter news item, a sequel to this film, to be entitled Brazzaville, and to be set in the African headquarters of the Free French, was announced for future production. Humphrey Bogart was to reprise his role, and Geraldine Fitzgerald and Sidney Greenstreet were to co-star. At various times in the 1950s and 1960s, plans were announced to make a theatrical musical version of the film. A Lux Radio Theatre production of Casablanca was broadcast in January 1944 and starred Hedy Lamarr and Alan Ladd. Murray Bennett and Joan Alison's play was given its first performance in London in 1991. A colorized version of the film was released in 1988. In 1955-56, a television series based on the film, which starred Charles McGraw as Rick, Marcel Dalio as Renault and Clarence Muse as Sam, was broadcast on ABC. In 1983, a television series, starring David Soul as Rick, lasted for three episodes.
       Over the years, Casablanca has gained a popular following and has appeared on many best-film lists. Probably the best known of the many parodies and tributes to Casablanca is Woody Allen's 1972 film, Play It Again, Sam. The film used the "ghost" of Bogart as "Rick" as a character who advises Allen's bumbling hero in his attempts to romance women after his wife divorces him. A 1998 novel, entitled As Time Goes By, was written by Michael Walsh for Warner Books. The novel followed the characters of Rick, Ilsa, Victor, Sam and Louis after they left Casablanca.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States November 26, 1942

Re-released in United States April 10, 1992

Expanded re-release in United States May 8, 1992

Released in United States on Video February 21, 1989

Re-released in United States on Video August 26, 1992

Released in United States 1978

Released in United States August 1996

Shown at Radio City Film Festival August 1996.

A moratorium was placed on all video orders from August 31, 1991 until the film celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1992.

Broadcast in USA over TBS (colorized version) November 9, 1988.

Selected in 1998 as one of the AFI's list of 100 Greatest American Films of the century.

Selected in 1989 for inclusion in the Library of Congress' National Film Registry.

Released in United States Fall November 20, 1942

Released in United States November 26, 1942 (New York City)

Re-released in United States April 10, 1992 (50th anniversary)

Expanded re-release in United States May 8, 1992

Released in United States on Video February 21, 1989

Re-released in United States on Video August 26, 1992

Released in United States 1978 (Shown at FILMEX: Los Angeles International Film Exposition (Special Programs - "Salute to Oscar" - Filmex Marathon) April 13 - May 7, 1978.)

Released in United States August 1996 (Shown at Radio City Film Festival August 1996.)

Released in United States Fall November 20, 1942