Michael Curtiz created an unforgettable romantic drama with this timeless
war time feature.
The wonderful cast includes Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Conrad Veidt, Dooley Wilson.
The basic story involves a woman and her revolutionary husband, who end up at an expatriate American's nightclub in World War II Morocco, in search of elusive travel papers. In the course of the film we learn lessons about love, betrayal, friendship, and patriotism.
This film is a classic because of great cast, fine script, and memorable music, particularly "As Time Goes By." The film won three Oscars, including Best Picture, Director, and Screenplay (by Julius & Philip Epstein and Howard Koch, based on the play, "Everybody Comes To Ricks").
My favorite scene takes place late at night at Rick's bar. Bogart drinks and smokes alone. Bogart's expression is one of doom. Then the door opens. Bergman appears, as if in a dream, bathed in light. It's a fine example of 40's atmospheric film making.
This is the movie that, improbably enough, made the short, lisping, unhandsome Bogart a romantic figure. Interestingly enough, Ronald Reagan and Ann Sheridan were seriously considered for the roles Bogart and Bergman eventually played.
Luckily for the filmmakers, the film was released shortly before a highly publicized war conference took place in Casablanca. "Casablanca" benefited greatly from the fortuitous publicity.
"Casablanca" is famous for generating a famous non-quote. "Play it again, Sam" is never said during the movie, despite the Woody Allen film with that title. The line is, " If you played it for her you can play it for me. Play it Sam. Play, "As Time Goes By."
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