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Casablanca

Casablanca (1942), starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Peter Lorre, Claude Rains, Sidney Greenstreet

In the early years of World War II, the Moroccan city of Casablanca attracts people from all over the globe. Many are transients trying to get out of Europe.  Most of them—gamblers and refugees, Nazis, resistance fighters, corrupt officials and criminals—find their way to Rick’s Café Américain, a swank nightclub owned by American expatriate Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart). Though we learn later that Rick once harbored enough idealism to put himself at risk to fight fascism, he is an embittered and cynical man, loyal only to himself and his own financial benefit.

Casablanca (1942), starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Peter Lorre, Claude Rains, Sidney GreenstreetA criminal named Ugarte (played very memorably by Peter Lorre) comes to Rick’s with letters of transit he obtained by killing two German couriers. The papers allow the bearer to travel freely around German-controlled Europe, including to neutral Lisbon, Portugal; from Lisbon, it’s relatively easy to get to the United States. They are almost priceless to any of the refugees stranded in Casablanca. Ugarte plans to make his fortune by selling them to the highest bidder, who is due to arrive at the club later that night. However, before the exchange can take place, Ugarte is arrested by the police under the command of Captain Louis Renault (an incredible performance Claude Rains). A corrupt Vichy official, Renault accommodates the Nazis. Unknown to Renault and the Nazis, Ugarte had left the letters with Rick for safe keeping, because — €œ “somehow, just because you despise me, you are the only one I trust.”

Now the reason for Rick’s bitterness re-enters his life. Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman) arrives with her husband Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid) to purchase the letters. Laszlo is a renowned Czech Resistance leader who has escaped from a Nazi concentration camp. They must have the letters to escape to America to continue his work. At the time Ilsa first met and fell in love with Rick in Paris, she believed that her husband had been killed. When she discovered that Laszlo was still alive, she left Rick abruptly without explanation and returned to Laszlo, leaving Rick feeling betrayed and embittered.

The next night, Laszlo, suspecting that Rick has the letters, speaks with him privately about obtaining them. They’re interrupted when a group of Nazi officers, led by Major Strasser (Conrad Veidt), begins to sing “Die Wacht am Rhein,” a German patriotic song. Laszlo orders the house band to play “La Marseillaise” in retaliation.   The band leader looks to Rick for guidance; he nods, proving that despite his hard exterior, he is still willing to fight for what is right. Laszlo starts singing, alone at first, then gradually one person after another joins in until soon the entire bar is singing, drowning out the Germans. In retaliation, Major Strasser orders Renault to close the club.   “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!”

Throughout the film, Rick and Ilsa torment themselves by reminiscing over their star-crossed love by asking the club’s piano player, Sam (Arthur “Dooley” Wilson), to play “As Time Goes By,” a song they loved when they were together in Paris. The line “Play it again, Sam” that so many people associate with Casablanca never actually occurs — €”Ilsa says “Play it, Sam,” and later, Rick says “Play it!”

Later that night, Ilsa confronts Rick in the deserted cafe. He refuses to give her the documents, even when threatened with a gun. She is unable to shoot, confessing that she still loves him. Rick decides to help Laszlo, leading her to believe that she will stay behind when Laszlo leaves.

Considering Laszlo too dangerous to leave free, Major Strasser arranges to have him jailed on a minor charge. Rick convinces Renault to release him, promising to frame Laszlo for a much more serious crime: possession of the letters. However, Rick double-crosses Renault, forcing him at gunpoint to assist in the escape. At the last moment, Rick makes Ilsa get on the plane to Lisbon with her husband, telling her that she would regret staying “Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.”

Major Strasser drives up, tipped off by Renault, but Rick shoots him when he tries to intervene. When the police arrive, Renault saves Rick’s life by telling them to “round up the usual suspects.” He then recommends that they both leave Casablanca. They disappear into the fog with one of the most memorable exit lines in movie history: “€œLouis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

Editorial review of Casablanca, starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, courtesy of Amazon.com

A truly perfect movie, the 1942 Casablanca still wows viewers today, and for good reason. Its unique story of a love triangle set against terribly high stakes in the war against a monster is sophisticated instead of outlandish, intriguing instead of garish. Humphrey Bogart plays the allegedly apolitical club owner in unoccupied French territory that is nevertheless crawling with Nazis; Ingrid Bergman is the lover who mysteriously deserted him in Paris; and Paul Heinreid is her heroic, slightly bewildered husband. Claude Rains, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, and Conrad Veidt are among what may be the best supporting cast in the history of Hollywood films. This is certainly among the most spirited and ennobling movies ever made. — €”Tom Keogh

Trivia for Casablanca, starring Humphrey Bogart

  • Studio publicity in 1941 claimed that Ronald Reagan and Ann Sheridan were scheduled to appear in this film, and Dennis Morgan is mentioned as the third lead. This was never the case, however, 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 B. Wallis had been assigned to search for what would be Humphrey Bogart’s next starring role. He wrote to Warner that he had found the next movie for Bogart and the role was perfect for him. Nobody else was ever considered for the part.
  • The Allies invaded Casablanca in real life on 8 November 1942. As the film was not due for release until spring, studio executives suggested it be changed to incorporate the invasion. Warner Bros. chief Jack L. Warner objected, as he thought that an invasion was a subject worth a whole film, not just an epilogue, and that the main story of this film demanded a pre-invasion setting. Eventually he gave in, though, and producer Hal B. Wallis prepared to shoot an epilogue where Humphrey Bogart and Claude Rains hear about the invasion. However, before Rains could travel to the studio for this, David O. Selznick (whose studio owned Bergman’s contract) previewed the film and urged Warner to release it unaltered and as fast as possible. Warner agreed and the premiered in New York on November 26. It did not play in Los Angeles until its general release the following January, and hence competed against 1943 films for the Oscars.
  • Ingrid Bergman’s contract was owned by producer David O. Selznick, and producer Hal B. Wallis sent the film’s writers, Philip G. Epstein and Julius J. Epstein, to persuade Selznick to loan her to Warner Bros. for the picture. After 20 minutes of describing the plot to Selznick, Julius gave up and said, “Oh, what the hell! It’s a lot of shit like Algiers (1938)!” Selznick nodded and agreed to the loan.
  • Michèle Morgan asked for $55,000, but Wallis refused to pay it when he could get Ingrid Bergman for $25,000.
  • After shooting, Max Steiner spoke against using “As Time Goes By” as the song identifying Rick and Ilsa, saying he would rather compose an original song in order to qualify for royalties. However, Hal B. Wallis replied that since the filming had ended, Ingrid Bergman had cut her hair very short for For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943) which was shooting at a distant locale and she therefore could not re-shoot already-completed scenes that had used “As Time Goes By”.
  • Producer Hal B. Wallis considered Hedy Lamarr for the role of Ilsa, but she was then under contract to MGM (which wouldn’t release her) and she didn’t want to work with an unfinished script anyway. She later portrayed Ilsa in a 1944 radio show based on movie scripts, “Lux Radio Theater”. At the time both Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey 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 romantic lead.
  • The script was based on the unproduced play “Everybody Comes to Rick’s”. Samuel Marx of MGM wanted to offer authors (Murray Burnett and Joan Alison) $5,000 for it, but MGM boss Louis B. Mayer refused; Irene Lee of the Warner Brothers story department praised it to Jack L. Warner, who agreed to buy it for $20,000.
  • Dooley Wilson (Sam) was a professional drummer who faked playing the piano. As the music was recorded at the same time as the film, the piano playing was actually a recording of a performance by Elliot Carpenter who was playing behind a curtain but who was positioned such that Dooley could watch, and copy, his hand movements.
  • No one knew right up until the filming of the last scene whether Ilsa would end up with Rick or Laszlo. During the course of the picture, when Ingrid Bergman asked director Michael Curtiz with which man her character was in love, she was told to “play it in between”. Since the ending was not the final scene shot, there are some scenes where she *was* aware of how everything would turn out, and these include the scene in the black market with Rick and the scene in the Blue Parrot where Ferrari offers the Laszlos one exit visa.
  • “Rick’s Café Américain” was modeled after Hotel El Minzah in Tangiers.
  • Because the film was made during WWII they were not allowed to film at an airport after dark for security reasons. Instead they used a sound stage with a small cardboard cutout airplane and forced perspective. To give the illusion that the plane was full-sized, they used little people to portray the crew preparing the plane for take-off. Years later the same technique was used in the film Alien (1979), with director Ridley Scott’s son and some of his friends in scaled down spacesuits.
  • Director Michael Curtiz’ Hungarian accent often caused confusion on the set. He asked a prop man for a “poodle” to appear in one scene. The prop man searched high and low for a poodle while the entire crew waited. He found one and presented it to Curtiz, who screamed “A poodle! A poodle of water!” See also The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936).
  • Captain Renault’s line, “You like war. I like women,” was changed from “You enjoy war. I enjoy women,” in order to meet decency standards.
  • Warner Bros. had intended to use the “Horst-Wessel-Lied”, the anthem of the Nazi party, during the “battle of the anthems” sequence, but the copyright was controlled by a German company, and Warners dropped that anthem for the lesser “Die Wacht Am Rhein” rather than violate the rights (which would have prompted the German copyright holder on the song to prohibit the movie from being shown in any country not at war with Germany).
  • Many of the shadows were painted onto the set. [rumor]
  • The scene of Maj. Strasser’s arrival was filmed at Metropolitan Airport, now known as Van Nuys Airport, just outside of Los Angeles.
  • In the German version, the immortal line “Here’s lookin’ at you, kid”, became, “Ich seh’ Dir in die Augen, Kleines” which translates as “I look in your eyes, honey”.
  • Conrad Veidt, who played Major Strasser, was well known in the theatrical community in Germany for his hatred of the Nazis, and in fact was forced to hurriedly escape the country when he found out that the SS had sent a death squad after him because of his anti-Nazi activities.
  • Many of the actors who played the Nazis were in fact German Jews who had escaped from Nazi Germany.
  • Rick never says “Play it again, Sam.” He says: “You played it for her, you can play it for me. Play it!”. Ilsa says “Play it, Sam. Play ‘As Time Goes By“‘.
  • The movie’s line “Here’s looking at you, kid” was voted as the #5 movie quote by the American Film Institute
  • “Here’s looking at you, kid” was improvised by Humphrey Bogart in the Parisian scenes and worked so well that it was used later on again in the film. He originally used the same line in Midnight (1934). It is also rumored that during breaks, Ingrid Bergman would play poker with other cast members. Since she was still learning English, Bogart would occasionally watch the game, and he added “Here’s looking at you” to her poker repertoire.
  • In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #3 Greatest Movie of All Time.
  • The movie’s line “Here’s looking at you, kid.” was voted as the #1 of “The 100 Greatest Movie Lines” by Premiere in 2007.
  • The movie’s line “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in the world, she walks into mine.” was voted as the #84 of “The 100 Greatest Movie Lines” by Premiere in 2007.
  • The movie’s line “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” was voted as the #65 of “The 100 Greatest Movie Lines” by Premiere in 2007.
  • Dooley Wilson was borrowed from Paramount at $500 a week.
  • Venerable character actor Clarence Muse, who lost the role of Sam to Dooley Wilson, played the role in the 1955 TV series. Ludwig Stossel was promoted from the minor role of Leuchtag to the S. Z. Sakall part (renamed Ludwig), Marcel Dalio was elevated from the minor role of Emil, the croupier, to the Claude Rains role (renamed Renaud), and Dan Seymour was promoted from the small part of Abdul to Ferrari, the Sydney Greenstreet role.
  • High school teacher Murray Burnett co-authored the play while on summer vacation.
  • The movie’s line “I stick my neck out for nobody.” was voted as the #42 of “The 100 Greatest Movie Lines” by Premiere in 2007.
  • The movie’s line “Of all the gin joints in the world, she walks into mine.” was voted as the #30 of “The 100 Greatest Movie Lines” by Premiere in 2007.
  • The movie’s line “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.” was voted as the #67 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100).
  • When the Epstein brothers won an Oscar for their script, they became the first (and as for 2007 the only) Academy Award winning twins.
  • The movie’s line “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” was voted as the #20 movie quote by the American Film Institute
  • The movie’s line “Round up the usual suspects.” was voted as the #32 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100).
  • The movie’s line “We’ll always have Paris.” was voted as the #43 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100).
  • Humphrey Bogart’s wife Mayo Methot continually accused him of having an affair with Ingrid Bergman, often confronting him in his dressing room before a shot. Bogart would come onto the set in a rage. In fact, despite the undeniable on-screen chemistry between Bogart and Bergman, they hardly spoke, and the only time they bonded was when the two had lunch with Geraldine Fitzgerald. According to Fitzgerald, “the whole subject at lunch was how they could get out of that movie. They thought the dialogue was ridiculous and the situations were unbelievable… I knew Bogart very well, and I think he wanted to join forces with Bergman, to make sure they both said the same things.” For whatever reasons, Bogart and Bergman rarely spoke after that.
  • “As Time Goes By” was written by lifelong bachelor Herman Hupfeld and debuted in 1931’s Broadway show “Everybody’s Welcome”, sung by Frances Williams, It had been a personal favorite of playwright and high school teacher Murray Burnett who, seven years later, visited Vienna just after the Nazis had entered. Later, after visiting a cafe in south France where a black pianist had entertained a mixed crowd of Nazis, French and refugees, Burnett was inspired to write the melodrama “Everybody Comes To Rick’s”, which was optioned for production by Martin Gabel and Carly Wharton, and later, Warners. Aftr the film’s release, “As Time Goes By” stayed on radio’s “Hit Parade” for 21 weeks. However, because of the coincidental musicians’ union recording ban, the 1931 Rudy Vallee version became the smash hit. (It contains the rarely-sung introductory verse, not heard in the film.) Max Steiner, in a 1943 interview, admitted that the song “must have had something to attract so much attention”.
  • The song “As Time Goes By” from the film is number 2 on the American Film Institute’s (AFI) 100 Years… 100 Songs list.
  • Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Paul Henreid later reprised their roles for a radio performance of on the CBS radio program “The Screen Guild Players”, a war benefit show.
  • The film’s success led to plans for a sequel, which was to be called Brazzaville. Ingrid Bergman was not available, so Geraldine Fitzgerald was considered for Ilsa before the project was killed. It was not until the late 1990s and Michael Walsh’s novel “As Time Goes By” that a true sequel ever came to pass.
  • To maximize profits from foreign distribution of the film, the studio suggested that any unpleasant characters other than the Nazis should also be from an enemy country, namely Italy. This is why Ugarte, Ferrari, and the dark European pickpocket are Italian.
  • Several times the writers discussed having Rick leave with Lois/Ilsa, but this was always rejected (and the censors would not have allowed it with her married to Victor). Their major problem was to make it plausible that despite clearly loving Rick she would leave with Victor; the final scene was rewritten many times until this was achieved.
  • Just before he shot Major Strasser (Conrad Veidt), Humphrey Bogart ad-libbed the line, “All right, Major, you asked for it.” But Hal B. Wallis pointed out that this made it look as though when Strasser drew his gun first it was self-defense. Veidt was recalled and the scene reshot without the added line, but the original version was used in the trailer for the movie.
  • It was claimed when the movie was in release that Jack Benny can be seen briefly in it.
  • Joy Page, who played the young Bulgarian wife, was the stepdaughter of studio head Jack L. Warner. She, Humphrey Bogart and Dooley Wilson were the only American-born people in the credited cast.
  • Renault tells Rick he knows that he ran guns to Ethiopia, referring to Italy’s invasion in 1935. In the Italian version of the picture, Renault’s line became, “You ran guns to China.”
  • The French dialogue between Yvonne and the French officer translates as: French Officer: “Hey you, you’re not French to go out with a German like that!” Yvonne: “What are you butting in for?” French Officer: “I am butting in…” Yvonne: “It’s none of your business!”
  • Around nine minutes into the movie, Rick OKs a credit slip dated 2-Dec-1941.
  • In the 1980s, this film’s script was sent to readers at a number of major studios and production companies under its original title, “Everybody Comes To Rick’s”. Some readers recognized the script but most did not. Many complained that the script was “not good enough” to make a decent movie. Others gave such complaints as “too dated”, “too much dialog” and “not enough sex”.
  • The difference in height between Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman changes throughout the film. This is because Bergman was actually a few inches taller than Bogart, though to create the illusion that it was vice versa, Michael Curtiz had Bogart stand on boxes and sit on pillows in some shots, or had Bergman slouch down (as evident when she sits on the couch in the “franc for your thoughts” scene).
  • Carl’s back story is hinted at once, when he is referred to as “Professor” by a waiter.
  • Ingrid Bergman’s line “Victor Laszlo is my husband, and was, even when I knew you in Paris” was almost cut from the film because during that time it was deemed inappropriate for a film to depict or suggest a woman romancing with another man if she were already married. However, it was pointed out that later in the film she explains that she had thought Laszlo was dead at the time, and the censors allowed the line to stay in.
  • Dooley Wilson was, in fact, the only member of the cast to have ever actually visited the city of Casablanca.
  • Was voted the 3rd Greatest film of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
  • Voted #2 film of all time by the American Film Institute.
  • At a salary of $25,000 for five weeks’ work, Conrad Veidt was the highest-paid actor on the set and on loan from MGM. His main competition for the Major Strasser role was Otto Preminger, under contract to 20th Century-Fox, for whom Darryl F. Zanuck had demanded the outrageous sum of $7,000 per week.
  • Warner Brothers purchased the play for $20,000, the most anyone had ever paid for an unproduced work.
  • The original unproduced play, “Everybody Comes to Rick’s”, was found by Irene Lee, who headed the story department at Warner Bros., on a trip to office of Jack Wilk, story editor for Warner East Coast operations in New York, where the typed script had sat for a year. It arrived at Warner Bros. Studios to be read as a potential film project on the day after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.
  • The influx into Hollywood of large numbers of European exiles fleeing the war helped the casting enormously. In fact, of all the featured players in the film who get screen credit, only three were born in the United States: Humphrey Bogart, Dooley Wilson and Joy Page.
  • S.Z. Sakall, who plays the maitre d’ at Rick’s Cafe, actually has more screen time than Peter Lorre or Sydney Greenstreet.
  • The letters of transit that motivate so many characters in the film did not exist in Vichy-controlled France – they are purely a plot device invented by the screenwriters. Playwright Joan Alison always expected somebody to challenge her about the letters, but nobody ever did.
  • Rick and Ilsa standing over Sam’s piano in Paris was the first scene to be shot. Filming a tender love scene with two actors who had just met was not planned, but the filming of Now, Voyager (1942) had gone over schedule, so Paul Henreid and Claude Rains were not available.
  • The Paris train station set was recycled from Now, Voyager (1942).
  • Hal B. Wallis didn’t want Humphrey Bogart wearing a hat too often in the film, as he thought it made Bogart look like a gangster.
  • When this film won the Academy Award for Best Picture, Jack L. Warner was first on stage to accept the award, beating the film’s actual producer, Hal B. Wallis, who was incensed at this slight and never forgave Warner. Wallis, at the time regarded as the “wunderkind” at the studio, left Warner Brothers shortly afterward.
  • Although this was an overtly anti-Nazi film, it wasn’t the first one that Warner Bros. had made (it had come out several years earlier with Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939)). Warners was the first Hollywood studio to be so open about its opposition to the Nazi regime, and the first to prohibit its films from being distributed in Nazi-occupied territories. Indeed, Harry M. Warner was making speeches denouncing Nazi activities in Germany as early as 1936.
  • In the famous scene where the “Marseillaise” is sung over the German song “Watch on the Rhine”, many of the extras had real tears in their eyes; a large number of them were actual refugees from Nazi persecution in Germany and elsewhere in Europe and were overcome by the emotions the scene brought out.
  • Casablanca, Morocco, was one of the key stops for refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe, which is why the original playwrights chose the city for the setting of their play (though initially they had opted for Lisbon).
  • The first writers to tackle a screenplay were Æneas MacKenzie and Wally Kline, who spent six weeks on the project. Afterward, Julius J. Epstein and Philip G. Epstein came on board, and their major contribution was the building up of Claude Rains’ Capt. Renault character.
  • Hal B. Wallis’s first choice for director was William Wyler.
  • Other actresses considered for the part of Ilsa were Edwige Feuillère, Michèle Morgan and Tamara Toumanova. Ingrid Bergman was one of the first choices, but she was under contract to David O. Selznick, who was stalling because he wanted her for For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943). Selznick finally agreed when he learned that the Epstein brothers and Michael Curtiz were working on the film, all of whom he respected and trusted. Warner Bros. also agreed to loan Selznick the services of Olivia de Havilland in return.
  • At one point it looked like there was going to be trouble casting a foreign actor in the part of Victor Laszlo. Herbert Marshall, Dean Jagger and Joseph Cotten were considered until Paul Henreid became available.
  • Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid make their first appearance 24 minutes into the film.
  • Howard Koch was instructed to start the screenplay all over again, paying particular attention to Rick’s background and the ending, while the Epsteins were struggling with their version. Writers Casey Robinson and Lenore J. Coffee were asked to critique the two versions and found much merit in both, though Robinson thought the romantic angle lacking and was subsequently tasked with ramping this up.
  • The Epstein brothers finished their screenplay three days before the film began shooting; Howard Koch completed his two weeks after shooting had begun. All three were on call throughout the entire shooting period even though the Epsteins had been summoned to Washington to work on Frank Capra’s “Why We Fight” documentary series.
  • Rick’s Cafe was one of the few original sets built for the film, the rest were all recycled from other Warner Brothers productions due to wartime restrictions on building supplies.
  • The film cost approximately $950,000, some $100,000 over budget.
  • When President Franklin Delano Roosevelt returned from a wartime conference in Casablanca with Winston Churchill, he asked for a screening of the film at the White House. In Spanish, “casa blanca” means “White House.”
  • The title was changed from “Everybody Comes to Rick’s” to “Casablanca” partly due to the success of the similarly titled Algiers (1938).
  • Humphrey Bogart had to wear platform shoes to play alongside Ingrid Bergman.
  • To prepare for working with Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman watched The Maltese Falcon (1941) many times.
  • Joan Alison always envisioned Clark Gable as Rick, who “was my concept of a guy that I would like… I hated Humphrey Bogart. I thought he was a common drunk.”
  • It was reportedly Humphrey Bogart’s idea to have Rick be a chess player (when we first see Rick he is playing chess against himself), though some say it was writer Howard Koch’s idea.
  • Ingrid Bergman considered her left side as her better side, and to the extent possible that was the side photographed throughout the film, so she is almost always on the right side of the screen looking towards the left regardless of who is in the shot with her. However, there are several shots where she is to the left and Humphrey Bogart is on the right, including the flashbacks to the street scene in Paris (0:41:50) and the scene at the window (0:43:40). There are also several scenes where Bergman is centered between Paul Henreid and Bogart, suggesting the triangle nature of their relationship; in these shots Henreid is usually to the left and Bogart is usually on the right, including the scene where she and Henreid enter the café at just before the famous “Battle of the Anthems” (1:07:40); the scene where Captain Renault arrests Victor Laszlo (1:34:00); and at the end of the final airport scene (1:39:00).
  • Madeleine LeBeau, who plays Yvonne, and Marcel Dalio, who plays croupier Emil, were husband and wife at the time of filming. They had not long before escaped the Nazis by fleeing their native France.
  • Howard Hawks had said in interviews that he was supposed to direct Casablanca (1942) and Michael Curtiz was supposed to direct Sergeant York (1941). The directors had lunch together, where Hawks said he didn’t know how to make this “musical comedy”, while Curtiz didn’t know anything about “those hill people.” They switched projects. Hawks struggled on how to direct the scenes that involved singing, namely the “La Marseillaise” scene. It is ironic to note that most of his other films involved at least one singing scene.
  • It is never revealed why Rick cannot return to America. Julius J. Epstein later said that “My brother and I tried very hard to come up with a reason why Rick couldn’t return to America. But nothing seemed right. We finally decided not to give a reason at all.”
  • Was named the best screenplay of all time by the Writers Guild of America (2006)
  • In the original script for Casablanca, then titled “Everyone Come to Rick’s”, Isla was not a ‘virtuous’ woman. She was living with an already married American business man. It was Rick who left her when he found out. And when she and Victor come to Casablanca, she is not married to him, either.

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