Genre: romantic drama
Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) runs an upscale nightclub in unoccupied Casablanca in the early days of World War II. He is shocked when he sees his lost love Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman) walk into his nightclub. But she’s with her husband Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), a fugitive Czech Resistance leader who has escaped from a Nazi concentration camp. They need letters of transit to travel freely to neutral Portugal and rumor has it that Rick has the papers…..
Humphrey Bogart – Rick Blaine
Ingrid Bergman – Ilsa Lund
Paul Henreid – Victor Laszlo
Conrad Veidt – Major Heinrich Strasser
Claude Rains – Captain Louis Renault
Sydney Greenstreet – Signor Ferrari
Peter Lorre – Ugarte
Dooley Wilson – Sam
The original trailer:
– The movie was based on the play Everybody Comes To Rick’s. The film was named Casablanca, probably in imitation of the 1938 hit Algiers.
– Hedy Lamarr was considered for the part of Ilsa, but Humphrey Bogart was always the only choice to play Rick.
– Many of the actors who played Nazis were in fact German Jews who had escaped from Nazi Germany. Conrad Veidt, who played major Heinrich Strasser, was known for his hatred of the Nazi’s. The SS even sent a death squad after him because of his anti-Nazi activities.
– The famous line ‘Here’s looking at you, kid’ was actually improvised by Humphrey Bogart.
– This was Humphrey Bogart’s first romantic role.
– Producer Hal Wallis seriously considered making the character Sam a woman. Hazel Scott, Lena Horne, and Ella Fitzgerald were considered for the part.
– Nobody involved in the film thought it was going to be a hit. To them it was just one of the many films they made. Humphrey Bogart even tried to get out of it, because he thought the dialogues were ridiculous and the situations unbelievable.
– Because Bogart was two inches shorter then Ingrid Bergman, he had to stand on blocks or sit on cushions in their scenes together.
– As soon as Casablanca was released, there was talk of a sequel which was to be called Brazzaville. But it was never made. Though there have been films and series based on Casablanca, none of them were a success.
– In 1982 writer Chuck Ross sent the script of Casablanca under its original title, Everybody Comes to Rick’s, to readers at a number of major studios and production companies. More than half of the readers that responded did not recognize it as Casablanca and ninety percent of them rejected it. Many commented on the ‘rambling’ dialogue, that should have been ‘sharper’.
Best Director – Michael Curtiz – 1942 Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences
Best Picture – Casablanca – 1942 Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences
Best Writing, Screenplay – Julius Epstein, Philip Epstein, Howard Koch – 1942 Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences
Best Actor – Humphrey Bogart – 1942 Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences
Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Claude Rains – 1942 Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences
Best Cinematography – Arthur Edeson – 1942 Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences
Best Film Editing – Owen Marks – 1942 Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences
Best Music – Max Steiner – 1942 Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences
Casablanca is a film that is loved by many and it has only gotten more popular over time. It is the film that both Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart are best known for. Even during its initial release, Casablanca was popular, receiving eight Oscar nominations. It definitely helped that the film was made and released during World War II; it opened just 18 days after the Allied Forces had landed at Casablanca, so it tapped into the mood of the times. But long after the Second World War Casablanca remained popular, especially in America. By 1977 it was the most frequently broadcast film on American television. Harvard University even has a tradition of screening Casablanca during the week of the final exams, a tradition that has been emulated by many colleges across the United States.
Many subsequent films have drawn on elements of Casablanca and many parodies have been made. The film has been analysed endlessly, not just from a cinematic point of view, but also politically and even psychologically, as some see a Freudian element in the film. But at the end of the day, Casablanca is a beloved classic because of the romance, the sacrifice and the human kindness at its core.