Film – Casablanca
Director – Michael Curtiz
Stars – Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains
Category – Romance
Year – 1942
I am not sure how many films were selected, but I was mildly surprised to see that this one was still around. I also needed to satisfy my crush on Ingrid Bergman. Though my crush does not leave me pouting, and wandering like a lost puppy dog, like it did Alfred Hitchcock, nonetheless I would have loved to have met this 5’10” beauty in real life.
A quick aside on that. Bergman was very tall for a Hollywood leading lady. Many actors had to have ‘help’ to be seen as taller than her. Bogart was 5’8”, Rains 5’6”. In another film with Yul Brenner, she suggested Yul stand on a box, to which he replied that he would not, but instead would show the world what a giant horse that Bergman was. I found it kind of funny that Bergman said that she loved acting with Gary Cooper who was 6’3” because she did not have to take her shoes off to do the scenes with him. I feel now for Elizabeth Debicki who was in the film Tenet, as she is 6’2 and change.
If you have not seen this film, there really is not an excuse that you could give me as to why you have not. The story centers around Rick’s café. Rick Blaine (Bogart) is an ex pat, who is not only worldly, but world weary, who is running a nightclub in Casablanca, Morocco during the early stages of the second World War. The local authorities are none too pleased with his operation, as it is the location many come to in an attempt to get papers to travel to the United States. Everything is ok until Ilsa (Bergman) Rick’s former lover shows up, with her husband Victor (Henreid).
For those that like original story’s and character development this is a film to watch. One of the funniest things about this film and really makes you wonder about the crap that gets made is this from the trivia about the film – 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”.
One of the greatest movies off all time was not good enough to make a decent film. Right.
The film had six quotes on the American Film Institute’s list of top movie quotes, more than any other movie on the list. The quotes with their ranks are: (5) Here’s looking at you, kid. (20) Louie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. (28) Play it, Sam. Play ‘As Time Goes By.’ (32) Round up the usual suspects. (43) We’ll always have Paris; and (67) Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.
And it has probably the most misquoted line in the history of films – it is not “play it again Sam”, it is as referenced above. The song ‘As time goes by’ was not eligible for the Academy Award because it was written years before and used in the play ‘Everybody’s Welcome’ in 1931.
Warner Brothers wanted to remove ‘As time goes by’ from the film, but Bergman had already cut her hair for her next role, so they had no way to reshoot the scenes with a different song.
Humphrey Bogart’s then-wife, actress Mayo Methot, continually accused him of having an affair with Ingrid Bergman, often confronting him in his dressing room before a scene was to be 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.
I always find it crazy how close we were not having something like this made, both stars wanted out of the picture. Yet here we are.
I hope that you enjoy this film as much as I do.