Casablanca (movie)

Casablanca is a 1942 American romantic film drama directed by Michael Curtiz and based on Murray Burnett and Joan Alison’s unproduced stage play Everybody Comes to Rick’s . The film stars Humphrey Bogart , Ingrid Bergman , and Paul Henreid ; it also features Claude Rains , Conrad Veidt , Sydney Greenstreet , Peter Lorre , and Dooley Wilson . Set duringWorld War II, it focuses on an American expatriate, who has a Czech resistance leader, escape from the Vichy -controlled city of Casablanca to continue his fight against the Nazis .

Story editor Irene Diamond conv. Producer Hal B. Wallis to purchase the film in the January 1942 issue. Brothers Julius and Philip G. Epstein were originally assigned to write the script. HOWEVER, DESPITE studio resistance, They left to Work is Frank Capra ‘s Why We Fight series in early 1942. Howard E. Koch Was assigned to the screenplay up to the Epsteins returned a month later. Principal photography began on May 25, 1942, ending on August 3; the film was shot entirely at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank , Californiawith Van Nuys Airport in Van Nuys, Los Angeles .

Although Casablanca was an A-list film with established stars and first-rate writers, no one involved with its production is expected to be anything out of the ordinary, just one of the hundreds of pictures produced by Hollywood every year. [5] Casablanca was rushed into release to the public of the Allied invasion of North Africa at few weeks earlier. [6] It was its world premiere on November 26, 1942, in New York City and was released nationally in the United States on January 23, 1943. The film was a solid if unspectacular success in its initial run.

Exceeding expectations, Casablanca went on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture , while Curtiz was selected as Best Director and the Editor and Koch were honored for Best Adapted Screenplay – and gradually its reputation grew. Its lead characters, [7] [8] memorable lines, [9] [10] [11] and pervasive theme song [12] have all become iconic and the film consistently ranks among the top lists of the greatest films in history .


In December 1941, American expatriate Rick Blaine owns an upscale nightclub and gambling den in Casablanca . “Rick’s American Cafe” attracts a varied clientele, including Vichy French and German officials, refugees to reach the still-neutral United States, and those who prey on them. ALTHOUGH Rick professed to be neutral in all matters, he ran guns to Ethiopia During icts war with Italy and Fought on the Loyalist side in the Spanish Civil War .

Petty crook Ugarte offers to Rick of “letters of transit” obtained by murdering two German couriers. The papers allow the bearers to travel around the world of German-controlled Europe and to neutral Portugal , and are priceless to the refugees stranded in Casablanca. Ugarte plans to sell at the club, and asks Rick to hold them. Before he can meet his contact, Ugarte is arrested by the local police under the command of Captain Louis Renault, the unabashedly corrupt Vichy prefect of police . Ugarte dies in custody without revealing that he entrusted the letters to Rick.

Then the reason for Rick’s bitterness-forming lover Ilsa Lund-enters his establishment. Spotting Rick’s friend and house pianist, Sam, They ask him to play ” As Time Goes By .” Rick storms over, furious that Sam disobeyed his order never to perform that song, and is stunned to see Ilsa. Victor Laszlo is a renowned fugitive Czech Resistance leader. They need the letters to escape to America to continue his work. German Major Strasser has come to Casablanca to see that Laszlo fails.

When Laszlo makes inquiries, Ferrari has a major underworld figure and Rick’s friendly business rival, divulges his suspicion that Rick has the letters. Privately, Rick refuses to sell at any price, telling Laszlo to ask his wife the reason. They are interrupted when Strasser leads a group of officers in singing ” Die Wacht am Rhein “ (“The Watch on the Rhine”). Laszlo orders the house band to play ” The Marseillaise “ . When the band looks to Rick, he nods his head. Laszlo starts singing, alone at first, then patriotic fervor grips the crowd and everyone joins in, drowning out the Germans. Strasser has Renault close the club.

They confronts Rick in the deserted cafe. When he refuses to give her the letters, she threatens him with a gun, but then confesses that she still loves him. She explains that when they fall in love in Paris in 1940, she thought her husband had been killed trying to escape from a concentration camp . While preparing to flee with Rick from the imminent fall of the cityto the German army, she learned Laszlo was alive and in hiding. She left Rick without explanation to nurse her husband. Rick’s bitterness dissolves. He agrees to help, letting her believe when Laszlo leaves. When Laszlo unexpectedly shows up, having narrowly escaped a police raid on Resistance meeting, Rick has waiter Carl spirit Ilsa away. Laszlo, aware of Rick’s love for Ilsa, tries to persuade him to use the letters to take care of safety.

When the police arrest Laszlo on a minor, trumped-up charge, Rick persuades Renault to release him by promising to set him up for a much more serious crime: possession of the letters. To allay Renault’s suspicions, Rick explains that he and Ilsa will be leaving for America.

When Renault tries to arrest Laszlo as arranged, Rick forces him to gunpoint to assist in their escape. At the last moment, Rick Makes Ilsa board the plane to Lisbon with Laszlo, telling her That She Would she regret it if stayed- “Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, goal soon and for the rest of your life.” Strasser, tipped off by Renault, drives up alone. Rick shoots him when he tries to intervene. When policemen arrive, Renault breaks, then orders them to “round up the usual suspects.” He suggested to Rick that they join the Free French in Brazzaville . As they walk away into the fog, Rick says, “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship”.


The play’s cast of 16 speaking parts and several extras; the film script enlarged to 22 parts and hundreds of extras. [13] The cast is international notably: only three of the credited actors Were Born in the United States (Bogart, Dooley Wilson and Joy Page). The top-billed actors are: [14]

  • Humphrey Bogart and Rick Blaine. Rick was Bogart’s first truly romantic role.
  • Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa Lund. Bergman’s official website calls Ilsa her “most famous and enduring role”. [15] The Swedish actress’s Hollywood debut in Intermezzo had been received, but her subsequent films were not major successes until Casablanca . Movie critic Roger Ebert called her “luminous”, and commented on the chemistry between her and Bogart: “she paints her face with her eyes”. [16] Other actresses considered for the role of Ilsa included Ann Sheridan , Hedy Lamarr , Luise Rainer and Michèle Morgan . Producer Hal Wallisobtained the services of Bergman, who was contracted to David O. Selznick , by lending Olivia de Havilland in exchange. [17]
  • Paul Henreid as Victor Laszlo. Henreid, an Austrian actor who had emigrated in 1935, was reluctant to take the role, according to Pauline Kael [18] , until he was promised top billing along with Bogart and Bergman . Henreid did not get along with his fellow actors; he considered Bogart “a mediocre actor.” Bergman called Henreid has “prima donna”. [19]

The second-billed actors are:

  • Claude Rains as Captain Louis Renault. Rains was an English actor born in London. He had previously worked with Michael Curtiz on The Adventures of Robin Hood . He later played the villain in Alfred Hitchcock ‘s Notorious , reteaming with Ingrid Bergman.
  • Conrad VeidtMajor Heinrich Strasser. He was a refugee German actor who had appeared in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari . He fled the Nazis , but was frequently cast as a Nazi in American movies. A major star in German cinema before the Nazi era, he was the highest paid member of the cast despite his second billing. [20]
  • Sydney Greenstreet as Signor Ferrari. Another Englishman, Greenstreet had previously starred with Lorre and Bogart in his film debut in The Maltese Falcon .
  • Peter Lorre as Signor Ugarte. Born in Austria-Hungary , Lorre fled Nazi Germany in 1933 after starring in Fritz Lang’s first sound movie, M (1931) . Greenstreet and Lorre appeared in several films together, they did not share a scene in Casablanca .

Also credited are:

  • Curt Wood as the pickpocket. Wood was a German-Jewish actor and refugee. He was one of the longest careers in film, making his first appearance in 1907 and his last in 1987.
  • Leonid Kinskey as Sascha, the Russian bartender infatuated with Yvonne. He was born into a Jewish family in Russia and had immigrated to the United States. He told Aljean Harmetz , author of Round Up the Usual Suspects: The Making of Casablanca , that he was cast because he was Bogart’s drinking buddy. [21] He was not the first choice for the role; he replaced Leo Mostovoy, who was deemed not funny enough. [21]
  • Madeleine LeBeau and Yvonne, Rick’s soon-discarded girlfriend. The French actress was married to fellow Casablanca performer Marcel Dalio until their divorce in 1942. She was the last surviving cast member at her death on May 1, 2016. [22]
  • Joy Page as Annina Brandel, the young Bulgarian refugee. The third credited American, she was the stepdaughter of Jack L. Warner , the studio head.
  • John Qualen as Shepherd, Laszlo’s Resistance contact. He was born in Canada, but grew up in the United States. He appeared in many of John Ford’s movies.
  • SZ Sakall (credited as SK Sakall) as Carl, the waiter. The Jewish-Hungarian actor fled Germany in 1939. His three sisters and his niece later died in a concentration camp .
  • Dooley Wilson as Sam. He was one of the few American-born members of the cast. To drummer, he had to play the piano. Even after shooting had been completed, producer Wallis considered dubbing over Wilson’s voice for the songs. [23] [24] He Had Originally regarded changing the character to a woman and cast singers Hazel Scott , Lena Horne , or Ella Fitzgerald .

Notable uncredited actors are:

  • Marcel Dalio as Emil the croupier . He had been a star in French cinema, appearing in Jean Renoir ‘s The Great Illusion and The Rule of the Game . After he fled the fall of France and went to America, he was reduced to bit parts in Hollywood. He had a key role as “Frenchy” in another of Bogart’s movies, To Have and Have Not .
  • Helmut Dantine as Jan Brandel, the Bulgarian roulette player married to Annina Brandel. Another Austrian, he had spent a concentration camp after the Anschluss , but left Europe after being freed.
  • Gregory Gaye is the German banker who is refused entry to the casino by Rick. Gaye was a Russian-born actor who went to the United States in 1917 after the Russian Revolution .
  • Torben Meyer as the Dutch banker who runs “the second largest banking house in Amsterdam”. Meyer was a Danish actor.
  • Corinna Mura as the guitar player who sings “Tango Delle Rose” (or “Tango de la Rosa”) while Laszlo is consulting with Berger, and later accompanies the crowd on “La Marseillaise”.
  • Frank Puglia as Moroccan rug merchant.
  • Dan Seymour as Abdul the doorman. He was an American actor who often played villains, including the main one in To Have and Have Not , and one of the secondary ones in Key Largo , both opposite Bogart.
  • Gerald Oliver Smith as the Englishman, whose wallet is stolen. Smith was an English actor.
  • Norma Varden has the Englishwoman whose husband has his wallet stolen. She was a famous English character actress.

Paul Henry, Conrad Veidt and Peter Lorre: such as Louis V. Arco , Trude Berliner , Ilka Grünig , Lotte Palfi , Richard Ryen , Ludwig Stössel , Hans Twardowski , and Wolfgang Zilzer . A witness to the filming of the “duel of the anthems” said that many of the actors believed that they were all real refugees. [25] Harmetz argues that they “brought to a dozen small roles in Casablanca” [26] They were frequently cast as Nazis in war movies, even though many were Jewish .

The comedian Jack Benny may have had an unbilled cameo role in the newspaper advertisement [27] and in the Casablanca press book. [28] [29] When asked in his column “Movie Answer Man,” Roger Ebert first responds, “It looks like it.” That’s all I can say. [28] In a later column, he responded to a follow-up comment, “I think you’re right.” The Jack Benny Fan Club can feel vindicated. ” [30]


The film was based on Murray Burnett and Joan Alison’s then-unproduced play Everybody Comes to Rick’s . [31] The Warner Bros. story analyst Who read the play, Stephen Karnot, called Expired it (approvingly) “sophisticated hokum”, [32] and story editor Irene Diamond , Who HAD Discovered the unproduced play on a trip to New York in 1941, Convinced producer Hal Wallis to buy the rights in January 1942 for $ 20,000, [33] the most anyone in Hollywood had never paid for an unproduced play. [34] The project was renamed Casablanca, apparently in imitation of the 1938 hit Algiers . [35] ALTHOUGH initial year filming dates Was selected for April 10, 1942, delays led to a Start of Production on May 25. [36] Filming Was completed on August 3, and the generation cost $ 1.039 million ($ 75,000 over budget) [37 ] above average for the time. [38] Unusually, the film was shot in sequence, mainly because of the first half of the movie. [39]

The whole picture was shot in the studio, except for the sequence showing Major Strasser’s arrival, which was filmed at Van Nuys Airport , and a few short clips of stock footage. [40]The street used for the exterior shots, The Desert Song , [41] and straightened for the Paris flashbacks .

The background of the final scene, which shows a Lockheed Model 12 Electra Junior airplane with personal walking around it, was staged using a little extras and a proportionate cardboard plane. [42] Fog was used to mask the model’s unconvincing appearance. [43] Nevertheless, the Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park in Orlando, Florida purchased a Lockheed 12A for its Great Movie Ride attraction, and originally claimed that it was the actual plane used in the movie. [44]

Film critic Roger Ebert called Hal Wallis the “key creative force” for his attention to the details of production (down to insisting on a real parrot in the Blue Parrot bar). [16]

The difference between Bergman ‘s and Bogart’ s height caused some problems. She was two inches (5 cm) taller than Bogart, and asked Curtiz had Bogart stand on blocks or sit on cushions in their scenes together. [45]

Later, there were plans for a further scene, showing Rick, Renault and a detachment of Free French soldiers on a ship, to incorporate the Allies’ 1942 invasion of North Africa . It Proved too difficulty to get Claude Rains for the shoot, and the szene Was finally abandoned after- David O. Selznick Judged “It Would be a terrible mistake to change the ending.” [46] [20]


The original play was inspired by a trip to Europe made by Murray Burnett and his wife in 1938, during which they visited Vienna shortly after the Anschluss and were affected by the anti-Semitism they saw. In the south of France, they went to a nightclub that had a multinational clientele, among them many exiles and refugees, and the prototype of Sam. [47] [48] In The Guardian , Paul Fairclough writes that Cinema Voxin Tangier “was Africa’s biggest when it opened in 1935, with 2,000 seats and a retractable roof.” As Tangier was in Spanish territory, the theater’s wartime bar was heaved with spies, refugees and underworld hoods, securing its place in cinematic history as inspiration for Rick’s Cafe in Casablanca . ” [49] [50]

The first writers assigned to the script Were twins Julius and Philip Epstein who, Against the wishes of Warner Brothers , left at Frank Capra ‘s request early in 1942 to work on the Why We Fight series in Washington, DC [51] [52]While they were gone, the other credited writer, Howard Koch , was assigned; he produced thirty to forty pages. [52] When the Epstein brothers returned after a month, they were reassigned to Casablanca and-contrary to what Koch claimed in his published books-his work was not used. [52]The Epstein brothers and Koch never worked in the same room at the same time during the writing of the script. Koch later commented, “When we started, we did not have a finished script … Ingrid Bergman came to me and said, ‘Which man should I love more …?’ I said to her, ‘I do not know … play them both evenly.’ You see we did not have an ending, so we did not know what was going to happen! ” [53] In the final budget for the film, the Epsteins were paid $ 30,416, and Koch earned $ 4,200. [54]

In the play, the Ilsa character is an American named Lois Meredith; she does not meet Laszlo until after her relationship with Rick in Paris has ended. Rick is a lawyer. To make Rick’s motivation more believable, Wallis, Curtiz, and the screenwriters decided to set the movie before the attack on Pearl Harbor . [55]

The uncredited Casey Robinson assisted with three weeks of rewrites, including contributing to the series of meetings between Rick and Ilsa in the cafe. [56] [57] Koch highlighted the political and melodramatic elements, [58] [59] and Curtiz seems to have favored the romantic parts, insisting on retaining the Paris flashbacks. [60] Wallis wrote the final line, “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship,” after shooting had been completed. Bogart had to be called in a month after the end of filming to dub it. [60]

Despite the many writers, the film has what Ebert describes as “wonderfully unified and consistent” script. Koch later claimed that it was the tension between its own approach and that of the subject, “Surprisingly, these disparate approaches to somehow meshed, and perhaps it was somehow that the curse of the film was certain.” [61] Julius Epstein would like to see the screenplay contained “But when corn works, there’s nothing better.” [62]

The film runs into some disorder with the Joseph Breen of the Production Code Administration (the Hollywood self-censorship body), who opposed the suggestions that Captain Renault extorted sexual favors from his supplicants, and that Rick and Ilsa had slept together. [63] [64] Extensive changes were made, with several lines of dialogue removed or altered. All direct references to sex were deleted; Renault’s selling of visas for sex, and Rick and Ilsa’s previous sexual relations were implied elliptically rather than referenced explicitly. [65]Also, in the original script, when Sam plays “As Time Goes By,” Rick remarks, “What the – are you playing?” This line was altered to: “Sam, I told you never to play …” to conform to Breen’s objection to an implied swear word. [66]

The script has been subject to a significant amount of misquotation. One of the lines most closely associated with the movie- “Play it again, Sam” -is inaccurate. [67] [68] When Ilsa first enters the American Café, she spots Sam and asks him to “Play it once, Sam, for old times’ sake.” After he feigns ignorance, she responds, “Play it, Sam. Play ‘ As Time Goes By ‘.” Later that night, alone with Sam, Rick says, “You’re playing it, you can play it for me,” and “If she can stand it, I can! Play it!” Rick’s toast to Ilsa, “Here’s looking at you, kid,” Bogart said to Bergman as he was teaching her poker between takes.It was voted the fifth most memorable line in cinema in AFI’s 100 Years … 100 Movie Quotes by the American Film Institute . [70]

Six lines from Casablanca appeared in the AFI list, the most of any film ( Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz tied for second with three apiece). The other five are:

  • “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” – 20th
  • “Play it, Sam. Play ‘As Time Goes By’.” – 28th
  • “Round up the usual suspects.” – 32nd
  • “We’ll always have Paris.” – 43rd
  • “Of all the gins in all the towns in the world, she walks into mine.” – 67th

Additionally, the line “Ilsa, I’m no good at being noble, but it does not take much to see the world. list. [71]

In the November / December 1982 issue of American Film , Chuck Ross claims that he retyped the screenplay to Casablanca , changing the title back to Everybody Comes to Rick’s and the name of the piano player to Dooley Wilson , and submitted it to 217 agencies. Eighty-five of them read it; Of Those, thirty-eight rejected it outright, thirty-three Generally Recognized it (but only eight have SPECIFICALLY Casablanca ), three viable Declared Commercially it, and turning it into one suggéré a novel. [72]

The Writers Guild of America, West , ranked the screenplay # 1 on the list of the 101 greatest screenplays. [73]


Wallis’s first choice for director was William Wyler , but he was unavailable, so Wallis turned to his close friend Michael Curtiz . [74] [20] Curtiz was a Hungarian Jewish emigrant; he had come to the US in 1926, but some of his family were refugees from Nazi Europe.

Roger Ebert has commented that in Casablanca “very few shots … are memorable as shots,” as Curtiz wanted images to express the story rather than to stand alone. [16] He contributed to the development of the plot. Casey Robinson said Curtiz “knew nothing whatever about story … he saw it in pictures, and you supplied the stories.” [75]

Critic Andrew Sarris called the film “the most decisive exception to the author’s theory “, [76] of which Sarris was the most prominent proponent in the United States. Aljean Harmetz has responded, “almost every Warner Bros. picture was an exception to the author theory”. [74] Other criticisms give more credit to Curtiz. Sidney Rosenzweig, in his study of the director’s work, sees the film as a typical example of Curtiz’s highlighting of moral dilemmas. [77]

The second unit montages , such as the opening sequence of the refugee trail and the invasion of France, were directed by Don Siegel . [78]


The cinematographer was Arthur Edeson , a veteran who had previously shot The Maltese Falcon and Frankenstein . Particular attention was paid to photographing Bergman. She Was Mainly shot from her preferred left side, Often with a softening gauze filter and with catch lights to make her eyes sparkle; the whole effect was designed to make her face seem “ineffably sad and tender and nostalgic”. [16] Bars of shadow across the characters and variously implied imprisonment, the crucifix , the symbol of the Free French Forces and emotional turmoil. [16] Dark black filmandexpressionist lighting was used in several scenes, especially towards the end of the picture. Rosenzweig argues these shadow and lighting effects are classic elements of the Curtiz style, along with the fluid camera work and the use of the environment as a framing device. [79]


The music was written by Max Steiner , who was best known for the score for Gone with the Wind . The song ” As Time Goes By ” by Herman Hupfeld had been part of the story from the original play; Steiner wanted to write his own composition to replace it, but Bergman had already taken part in it (María in For Whom the Bell Tolls ) and could not re-shoot the scenes, which [80] so Steiner ” The Marseillaise “, the French national anthem , transforming them as leitmotifs to reflect changing moods. [81]Even though Steiner did not like “As Time Goes By”, he admitted in a 1943 interview that it “must have had something to attract so much attention.” [82]

Particularly memorable is the “duel of the songs” between Strasser and Laszlo at Rick’s cafe. [20] In the soundtrack, “The Marseillaise” is played by a full orchestra. Originally, the opposing piece for this iconic sequence was ” Horst Wessel Lied “, a Nazi anthem, but this was still under international copyright in non-Allied countries. Instead ” Die Wacht am Rhein ” was used. [83] The ” Deutschlandlied “, the national anthem of Germany, features in the final scene, in which it gives way to “La Marseillaise” after Strasser is shot. [84] [20]

Other songs include:

  • ” It Had to Be You ” music by Isham Jones , lyrics by Gus Kahn
  • ” Shine ” by Cecil Mack and Lew Brown by Ford Dabney
  • ” Avalon “, music and lyrics by Al Jolson , Buddy DeSylva and Vincent Rose
  • ” Perfidia “, by Alberto Dominguez
  • ” The Very Thought of You “, by Ray Noble , and
  • ” Knock on Wood “, music by MK Jerome, lyrics by Jack Scholl, the only original song.

The piano featured in New York City on December 14, 2012, at Sotheby’s for more than $ 600,000 to an anonymous bidder. [85] The piano Sam “plays” in Rick’s American Café, put up for auction with other movie memorabilia by Turner Classic Movies at Bonhams in New York in November 2014, sold for $ 3.4 million. [86] [87] Dooley Wilson was not a trained pianist. The piano music for the film was played offscreen and dubbed. [88]

Timing of release

ALTHOUGH year initial release dated Was Anticipated for Early 1943, [89] the movie premiered at the Hollywood Theater in New York City on November 26, 1942, to coincide with the Allied invasion of North Africa and the capture of Casablanca . [6] [90] It went into general release on January 23, 1943, to take advantage of the Casablanca Conference , a high-level meeting between British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and American President Franklin D. Roosevelt . The Office of War Information prevented the film to be held in North Africa, believing it would cause resentment among Vichy supporters in the region. [91]


Initial response

Casablanca received “consistently good reviews”. [92] Bosley Crowther of The New York Times wrote, “The Warners … have a picture which makes the spine tingle and the heart take a leap.” He applauded the combination of “feeling, humor and pathos with taut melodrama and intrigue bristling”. Crowther noted its “devious convolutions of the plot”, and praised the screenplay quality as “of the best” and the cast as “all of the first order”. [93]

The trade paper Variety Commended the movie’s “combination of fine performances, engrossing story and neat direction” and the “variety of moods, action, thriller, comedy and drama That Makes Casablanca year A-1 entry at the bo ” [94] “Film is splendid anti-Axis propaganda, particularly inasmuch as the propaganda is strictly a by-product of the main action and contributes to it instead of getting in the way. ” [94] The review also applauded the performance of Bergman and Henreid and notes that “Bogart, as might be expected, is more at ease than the bitter and cynical operator of a joint venture, but handles both assignments with superb finesse. ” [94]

Some other reviews were less enthusiastic. The New Yorker rated it as “pretty tolerable” and said it was “not quite up to Across the Pacific , Bogart’s last spyfest”. [95]

In the 1,500-seat Hollywood Theater, the film grossed $ 255,000 over ten weeks. [96] In its initial US release, it was a substantial but not spectacular box office success, taking in $ 3.7 million, making it the seventh highest-grossing film of 1943. [96] [97]

Lasting influence

The movie has grown in popularity. Murray Burnett called it “true yesterday, true today, true tomorrow”. [98] By 1955, the film had brought in $ 6.8 million, making it the third most successful wartime movie (behind Shine On, Harvest Moon and This Is the Army ). [99] On April 21, 1957, the Brattle Theater of Cambridge, Massachusetts, showed the film as part of a season of old movies. It was so popular that it started a tradition of screening Casablanca during the week of final exams at Harvard University , which continues to present day. Other colleges have adopted the tradition. Todd GitlinA professor of sociology who had attended one of these screenings, said that the experience was “the acting out of my own personal rite of passage”. [100] The tradition helped the movie remain popular while other films famous in the 1940s have faded from popular memory. By 1977, Casablanca was the most frequently broadcast film on American television. [101]

On the movie’s 50th anniversary, the Los Angeles Times called Expired Casablanca ‘ s great strength “purity of the Golden Age icts Hollywoodness [and] the enduring craftsmanship of ict resonantly hokey dialogue.” Bob Strauss wrote in the newspaper that the film achieves a “near-perfect entertainment balance” of comedy, romance, and suspense. [102]

According to Roger Ebert , Casablanca is “probably on the list of the greatest films of all time, including Citizen Kane ” because of its wider appeal. Ebert opined that Citizen Kane is a much larger film, but Casablanca is more loved. [16] In his opinion, the film is popular because “the people in it are so good”, and it is “a wonderful gem”. [16] Ebert said that it was a negative commentary on the film, even though it was criticized, citing unrealistic special effects and the stiff character / portrayal of Laszlo. [75]Critic Leonard Maltin considers Casablanca to be “the best Hollywood movie of all time.” [103]

Rick, according to Rudy Behlmer , is “not a hero … not a bad guy”: he does not know what to do. The other characters, in Behlmer’s words, are “not cut and dried” and come into their goodness over the course of the film. Renault begins to collaborate with the Nazis who extorts sexual favors from refugees and has Ugarte killed. Even Ilsa, the least active of the main characters, is “caught in the emotional struggle” over which she really loves. By the end, however, “everybody is sacrificing.” [75] Behlmer also in the picture: “It’s a blend of drama, melodrama, comedy [and] plot”. [75]

A few reviewers have had reservations. To Pauline Kael , “It’s far from a great movie, but it has a special appealingly schlocky romanticism …” [104] Poet and critic Dan Schneider wrote that the work “does entertain, and is an interesting piece of Americana”, but Criticism is a melodrama “driven by plot, not by character development.All the characters react to the plot of dictates to them; [105] Umberto Eco wrote that “by any strict critical standards … Casablancais a very poor film. ” added that due to the presence of multiple archetypes which allow “the power of Narrative in its natural state without Art intervening to discipline it”, it is a reaching movie “Homeric depths” as a “phenomenon worthy of awe.” [106]

Influence on later works

Many subsequent films have drawn on elements of Casablanca . Passage to Marseille reunited actors Bogart, Rains, Greenstreet, Lorre and director Curtiz in 1944, [107] and there are similarities between Casablanca and another later Bogart film, To Have and Have Not (1944). [108]

Parodies-have included the Marx Brothers ‘ A Night in Casablanca (1946), Neil Simon ‘s The Cheap Detective (1978), and Out Cold (2001). Indirectly, it provided the title for the 1995 neo-black movie The Usual Suspects . [109]Woody Allen ‘s Play It Again, Sam (1972) appropriated Bogart’s Casablanca persona as the fantasy mentor for Allen’s character. [110]

The movie Casablanca Was a plot device in the science fiction television movie Overdrawn at the Memory Bank (1983), is based John Varley ‘s story. It was Referred to in Terry Gilliam ‘s dystopian Brazil (1985). Warner Bros. produced its own parody in the Carrotblanca homage , a 1995 Bugs Bunny cartoon . [111] In Casablanca , a novella by Argentina writer Edgar Brau , the protagonist somehow wanders into Rick’s American cafe and listens to a strange tale related by Sam. [112] The 2016 musical filmThe Land contains multiple allusions to Casablanca in the imagery, dialogue, and plot. [113]

Director Robert Zemeckis of Allied (2016), who is also set in 1942 Casablanca, studied the film to capture the city’s elegance. [114]


Casablanca has been subjected to many readings; Semioticians account for the film’s claim by claiming that its inclusion of stereotypes paradoxically strengthens the film. [115] [116] [117] [118] Umberto Eco wrote

Thus Casablanca is not just one movie. It is many movies, an anthology. Made haphazardly, it probably made itself, if not actually against the will of its authors and actors, then at least beyond their control. And this is the reason it works, in spite of aesthetic theories and theories of film making. For in it there unfolds with Almost telluric forces the power of Narrative in icts natural state, without Art intervening to discipline it … When all the archetypes burst in shamelessly, we reach Homeric depths. Two shots make us laugh. A hundred shots move us. For we sense dimly that the clichés are talking about themselves, and celebrating a reunion. [119] [120]

Eco also singled out sacrifice as a theme, “the myth of sacrifice runs through the whole movie”. [121] It was this theme that resonated with a wartime audience that was reassured by the idea that painful sacrifice was going to be carried out. [122]

Koch also considered the film a political allegory . Rick is compared to President Franklin D. Roosevelt , who is gambling on the odds of going to war and his own submerged side of the market (partisan politics) and commiting himself-first by financing the side of right and then by fighting for it “. [123] The connection is reinforced by the film’s title, which means ” white house “. [123]

Harvey Greenberg presents a Freudian reading in his The Movies on Your Mind , in which the transgressions which prevent Rick from returning to the United States constituted an Oedipus complex , which is resolved only when Rick begins to identify with the father figure of Laszlo and the cause which he represents. [124] Sidney Rosenzweig argues that such readings are reductive and that the most important aspect of the film is its ambiguity, above all in the central character of Rick; Rick (Richard, Ricky, Rick, Herr Rick and boss). [125]

Awards and honors

Because of its November 1942 release, The New York Film Critics decided to include the film in its 1942 award season for best picture. Casablanca Lost to In Which We Serve . [96] However, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences stated that since the film went into national release in the beginning of 1943, it would be included in that year’s nominations. [126] Casablanca was nominated for eight Academy Awards, and won three. As Bogart stepped out of his career at the Academy Awards ceremony, “the crowd surged forward, almost engulfing him and his wife, Mayo Methot. It Took 12 Police officers to rescue the two, and a red-faced, startled, yet smiling Bogart Heard chorus of cries of ‘good luck’ and ‘here’s looking at you, kid’ as He Was Rushed into the theater. ” [ 127]

When the award for Best Picture was announced, producer Hal Wallis got up to accept, but studio head Jack L. Warner rushed up to the stage “with a broad, flashing smile and a look of great self-satisfaction,” Wallis later Recalled. . “I Could not believe it Was happening Casablanca HAD beens my creation;. Jack HAD absolutely nothing to do with it As the audience gasped, I tried to get out of the row of seats and into the aisle, aim the Entire Warner family sat blocking me.I had no alternative but to sit down again, humiliated and furious … Almost forty years later, I still have not recovered from the shock. ” [127] This incident would lead to Wallis to leave Warner Bros. in April. [128]

Award Category nominee result
16th Academy Awards Outstanding Motion Picture Warner Bros. ( Hal B. Wallis , Producer) Won
Best Director Michael Curtiz Won
Best Actor Humphrey Bogart Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Claude Rains Nominated
Best Writing, Screenplay Julius J. Epstein , Philip G. Epstein , and Howard Koch Won
Best Cinematography Arthur Edeson Nominated
Best Film Editing Owen Marks Nominated
Best Music (Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture) Max Steiner Nominated

In 1989, the film was one of the first films selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant. [129] In 2005, it was named one of the 100 greatest films of the last 80 years by Time magazine. Screenwriting teacher Robert McKee maintains that the script is “the greatest screenplay of all time”. [17] In 2006, the Writers Guild of America, West agreed, voting it best in its list of the 101 greatest screenplays. [130] The film has been selected by the American Film Institute for many of their lists.

year Category Rank
1998 AFI’s 100 Years … 100 Movies 2
2001 AFI’s 100 Years … 100 Thrills 37
2002 AFI’s 100 Years … 100 Passions 1
2003 AFI’s 100 Years … 100 Heroes and Villains 4: Rick Blaine (hero)
2004 AFI’s 100 Years … 100 Songs 2: ” As Time Goes By “
2005 AFI’s 100 Years … 100 Movie Quotes 5, 20, 28, 32, 43, and 67: See “Writing” above.
2006 AFI’s 100 Years … 100 Cheers 32
2007 AFI’s 100 Years … 100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) 3

Home media releases

Casablanca Was it INITIALLY released Betamax and VHS by Magnetic Video and later by CBS / Fox Video (as United Artists owned the rights at the time). It was released on laserdisc in 1991, and on VHS in 1992-both from MGM / UA Home Entertainment (Distributing for Turner Entertainment Co. ), which was distributed by Warner Home Video . It was first released on DVDin 1997 by MGM, containing the trailer and a making-of featurette (Warner Home Video reissued the DVD in 2000). A subsequent two-disc special edition, containing audio commentaries, documentaries, and a newly remastered visual and audio presentation, was released in 2003. [131]

An HD DVD was released on November 14, 2006, containing the same special features as the 2003 DVD. [132] Reviewers were impressed with the new high-definition transfer of the film. [133]

A Blu-ray release with new special features came out on December 2, 2008; it is also available on DVD. [134] The Blu-ray was originally released with a booklet, a luggage tag and other assorted gift-type items. It’s been released as a stand-alone Blu-ray in September 2009. On March 27, 2012, Warner released a new 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition Blu-ray / DVD combo set. It includes a new 4K restoration and new bonus material. [135] [136]

Sequels and other versions

Almost from the moment Casablanca became a hit, talk began of producing a sequel. One titled Brazzaville (In The Final Scene, Renault Recommends That Free French-Owned City ) was planned, but never produced. [137] Since then, no studio has seriously considered filming a sequel or outright remake. François Truffaut refused an invitation to remake the film in 1974, citing its cult status among American students as his reason. [138] Attempts to recapture the magic of Casablanca in other settings, such as Caboblanco (1980), “a South American-set retooling of Casablanca “,[139] and Havana (1990) [140] have been poorly received.

Stories of a Casablanca remake or sequel nonetheless persist. In 2008, the Daily Mail reported that Madonna was pursuing a remake set in modern-day Iraq . [141] In 2012, both The Daily Telegram and Entertainment Weeklyreported by Cass Warner, granddaughter of Harry Warner and friend of the late Howard Koch, to produce a film by Rick Blaine and Ilsa Lund’s illegitimate sound for the whereabouts of his biological father. [142] [143]

The novel As Time Goes By , written by Michael Walsh and published in 1998, was authorized by Warner. [144] [145] The novel picks up where the film leaves off, and also tells of Rick’s mysterious past in America. The book puts with little success. [146] David Thomson provided an unofficial sequel in his 1985 novel Suspects . [147]

There have been two short-lived television series based on Casablanca , both sharing the title. The first, a Cold War espionage program set during the production of this day, aired on ABC as part of the wheel series Warner Bros. Presents in hour-long episodes from 1955 to 1956, with Charles McGraw as Rick and Marcel Dalio , who played Emil the croupier in the movie, as the police chief. [148] The second series , briefly broadcast on NBC in April 1983, starred David Soul as Rick and was canceled after 3 weeks. [138]

There were several radio adaptations of the film. The two best-known were a thirty-minute adaptation on The Screen Guild Theater on April 26, 1943, starring Bogart, Bergman, and Henreid, and an hour-long version on the Lux Radio Theater on January 24, 1944, featuring Alan Ladd as Rick, Hedy Lamarr as Ilsa, and John Loder as Victor Laszlo. Two other thirty-minute adaptations were aired: on Philip Morris’s Playhouse on September 3, 1943, and on Theater of Romance on December 19, 1944, in which Dooley Wilson reprised his role as Sam. [149]

Julius Epstein made two attempts to turn the film into a musical Broadway , in 1951 and 1967, but neither made it to the stage. [150] The original play, Everybody Comes to Rick’s , was produced in Newport, Rhode Island , in August 1946, and again in London in April 1991, but with no success. [151] The film was adapted to a musical by the Takarazuka Revue , an all-female Japanese musical theater company, and ran from November 2009 through February 2010. [152]


Casablanca Was share of the movie colorization controversy of the 1980s, [153] When A colorized version of aired on the television network WTBS . In 1984, MGM / UA hired Color Systems Technology to colorize the film for $ 180,000. [154] When Ted Turner of Turner Broadcasting System you purchased MGM / UA’s film library two years later, he Canceled the request, before contracting American Film Technologies (AFT) in 1988. AFT completed the colorization in two months at a cost of $ 450,000. [154] Turner later reacted to the criticism of the colorization, saying, “[ Casablancais one of a handful of films that really does not have to be colorized. I did it because I wanted to. All I’m trying to do is protect my investment. ” [154]

The Library of Congress is the only one of the original films that has given a new copyright to Turner Entertainment. When the colorized movie debuted on WTBS, it was watched by three million viewers, not making the top-ten viewed cable shows for the week. Although Jack Matthews of the Los Angeles Times called the finished product “state of the art”, it was mostly met with negative critical reception. [154] It was briefly available on home video. Gary Edgerton, writing for the Journal of Popular Film & Television criticized the colorization, “… Casablanca in color ended up being much blander in appearance and, overall, much less visually interesting than its 1942 predecessor.”[154] Bogart’s Stephen said, “If you’re going to colorize Casablanca, why not put arms on the Venus of Milo ?” [138]

Anecdotes and inaccuracies

Several rumors and misconceptions have grown up around the film, one being that Ronald Reagan was originally chosen to play Rick. This originated in a press release issued by the studioearly on in the film’s development, but by that time the studio already knew that it was going into the Army, and he was never seriously considered. [155] George Raft, who has been turned over to the lead role. Studio records make clear that Wallis is committed to Bogart from the start. [156]

Another well-known story is that the actors did not know until the last day of shooting. The original play (set entirely in the cafe) with Rick sending Ilsa and Laszlo to the airport. During scriptwriting, Laszlo being killed in Casablanca, allowing Rick and Ilsa to leave together, but as Casey Robinson wrote in Hal Wallis before filming, the ending of the movie “set up for a swell twist when Rick sends her Laszlo, for the sake of the world, for the sake of the world is far more important than the love of two little people. ” [157]It was certainly impossible for them to leave Laszlo for Rick, as the production code was forbidden showing a woman leaving her husband for another man. The concern was not whether they would leave with Laszlo, but how could this result be engineered. [158] The problem was solved when the Epstein brothers, Julius and Philip , were driving down Sunset Boulevard and shuttered for the Beverly Glen light . At this moment, the only two people are going to come out, “Round up the usual suspects!” [159] By the time they had driven past Fairfax and the Cahuenga Pass and through theWarner Brothers studio’sportals at Burbank , in the words of Julius Epstein, “the idea for the farewell scene between a tearful Bergman and a sudden noble Bogart” had been formed and all the problems of the ending had been solved. [160] The confusion was probably caused by Bergman’s later statement that she did not know which way she was meant to be in love with. Rewrites did occur during the filming, but Aljean Harmetz’s examination of the scripts has shown that many of the key scenes were shot after Bergman knew how the film would end; Any confusion WAS, in critic Roger Ebert ‘s words, “emotional”, not “factual”. [16]

The film has several logical flaws, the foremost being the two “letters of transit” that enable their bearers to leave Vichy French territory. According to the audio ( help · info ) , Ugarte says the letters had been signed by (depending on the listener) or Free French General Charles de Gaulle or Vichy General Maxime Weygand . The English subtitles on the official DVD read de Gaulle; the French ones specify Weygand. Weygand had been the Vichy Delegate-General for the North African colonies until November 1941, a month before the film is set. De Gaulle was the head of the Free French government in exile  , so a letter signed by him would have provided no benefit. [37] A classic MacGuffin , the letters were invented by Joan Alison for the original play and never questioned. [161]

In the same vein, though Laszlo asserts that the Nazis can not arrest him, saying, “This is still unoccupied France; any violation of neutrality would reflect on Captain Renault,” Ebert points out, “It makes no sense that he could walk around freely … He would be arrested on sight. ” [16]

In addition, no uniformed German troops were stationed in Casablanca during World War II, and neither American nor French troops occupied Berlin in 1918. [37]

According to Harmetz, the usual road out of Germany, at least for people in the film industry, was not via Morocco and Lisbon goal via Vienna, Prague, Paris and England. Only the film’s technical adviser, Robert Aisner, traced the path to Morocco shown in the film’s opening scene. [162]

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