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Casablanca (movie)

Casablanca is a movie set during World War II in the Moroccan city of Casablanca. The film was directed by Michael Curtiz and stars Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, Peter Lorre, Paul Henreid, Sydney Greenstreet, and Conrad Veidt. In the movie, Bogart (Rick) is a cynical bar owner in Casablanca; a woman he was in love with and who left him in Paris shows up with the leader of an underground movement and Bogart is put in a position of conflicting priorities. The film premiered at the Hollywood Theater in New York City on November 26, 1942.

In Casablanca, Humphrey Bogart is surrounded by a cut-throat businessman (Senor Ferrari, owner of the rival cafe, The Blue Parrot), petty crooks (Ugarte, who stole the letters of transit), fawning yes men, and admiring women in his cafe.

The story is based on Murray Burnett and Joan Alison's unproduced play Everybody Comes to Rick's, to which Warner Brothers purchased the rights for $20,000. Julius G and Philip G. Epstein wrote the first part of the script and left to work with Frank Capra on Why We Fight, a series of propaganda newsreels to convince the United States that becoming involved in World War II was a just cause. Howard Koch worked on the screenplay next, adding most of the drama; and Casey Robinson has an uncredited rewrite in which he added most of the romantic scenes.

The script was still undergoing changes during filming. None of the actors knew whether Rick and Ilsa would remain together or not until moments before the final scene was filmed; actress Ingrid Bergman reports that she was uncomfortable during filming because she thought the filmmakers didn't know what they wanted out of the film. Bogart was called in a month after shooting was finished to dub in the final line, "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."

The final scene includes midget extras as aircraft personnel and cardboard planes for scale, because of budgetary constraints. The fog in the scene was there to mask the unconvincing appearance of the cardboard planes.

Casablanca was ranked by the American Film Institute as the 2nd greatest American film, after Orson Welles' Citizen Kane, and has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

Casablanca won three Oscarss:

It was also nominated for another five Oscars: During the 1950s, the Brattle Theater of Cambridge, Massachusetts began a long-running tradition of screening Casablanca during the week of final exams at Harvard University. This tradition continues to the present day, and it is emulated by many colleges across the United States. This tradition is also credited with helping the movie to remain fresh and popular, while other famous films of the 1940s have faded away in the public eye.


The (mis)quote "Play it again Sam" originates with this film. Contrary to popular belief, this line was never uttered in the film. The closest lines are as follows.

At one point, Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) says to piano player Sam (Dooley Wilson), "Play it, Sam. Play 'As Time Goes By.'" Later, Rick (Humphrey Bogart) requests an encore by saying, "You played it for her, you can play it for me...If she can stand it, I can! Play it!"

The misquote was used as the title of Woody Allen's pastiche of Casablanca, Play It Again, Sam, and also in the earlier Marx Brothers film A Night in Casablanca.

Another misquote in the film is apparently enshrined even in official DVD English subtitles. Ugarte tells Rick that the letters are signed by "General Weygand" and cannot be rescinded. Most Anglophones, unfamiliar with Weygand, hear "Vay-gauh" as "de Gaulle", leader of the anti-Vichy Free French Forces. The DVD French subtitles correctly cite Ugarte as saying "Weygand", the Vichy French administrator of France's North African colonies, and not "de Gaulle", who, as a rebel against Vichy, could hardly write permits and visas acceptable to the Vichy government.

This film does have many genuine memorable quotes. Some of the best known ones are uttered by Rick:

Some of the quotes are historical anomalies.

Captain Renault: "We musn't underestimate American blundering. I was with them when they blundered into Berlin in 1918."

Berlin was never invaded in 1918 -- the armistice was called in place, in France, and war was never resumed.

Ilsa: "The boy at the piano ..."

This was an Americanism, to refer to an adult black man as "boy. Ilsa, a Norwegian without American racial baggage, would see it as the insult it was. Sam was her friend.

Rick (to the Bulgarian bride): "What are you doing here? You're under age!"

Currently, the drinking age in France is 16. It seems unlikely that the limit in wartime French Morocco was higher, or that the woman is 15. (Unfortunately, Bulgaria does not yet appear on the age of consent or marriageable age pages.)

Other quotes can be found in this Internet Movie Database webpage.

Despite being the name of a city in Morocco, the Marx Brothers nearly ran into copyright problems when they called one of their films A Night in Casablanca. But after getting the Groucho treatment, Warner Brothers let the matter drop.