In World War II Casablanca, Rick Blaine, exiled American and former freedom fighter, runs the most popular nightspot in town. The cynical lone wolf Blaine comes into the possession of two valuable letters of transit. When Nazi Major Strasser arrives in Casablanca, the sycophantic police Captain Renault does what he can to please him, including detaining Czech underground leader Victor Laszlo. Much to Rick's surprise, Lazslo arrives with Ilsa, Rick's one time love. Rick is very bitter towards Ilsa, who ran out on him in Paris, but when he learns she had good reason to, they plan to run off together again using the letters of transit. Well, that was their original plan....
Humphrey Bogart ... Rick Blaine
Ingrid Bergman ... Ilsa Lund
Paul Henreid ... Victor Laszlo
Claude Rains ... Captain Renault
Conrad Veidt ... Major Strasser
Sydney Greenstreet ... Signor Ferrari
Peter Lorre ... Ugarte
S.Z. Sakall ... Carl (as S.K. Sakall)
Madeleine LeBeau ... Yvonne
Dooley Wilson ... Sam
Joy Page ... Annina Brandel
John Qualen ... Berger
Leonid Kinskey ... Sascha
Curt Bois ... Pickpocket
Director: Michael Curtiz
Nominated for 8 Oscars and won 3: Best Director, Best Picture, Best Writing (Screenplay)
Codecs: XVid / MP3
"Casablanca" remains Hollywood's finest moment, a film that succeeds on such a vast scale not because of anything experimental or deliberately earthshaking in its design, but for the way it cohered to and reaffirmed the movie-making conventions of its day. This is the film that played by the rules while elevating the form, and remains the touchstone for those who talk about Hollywood's greatness.
It's the first week in December, 1941, and in the Vichy-controlled African port city of Casablanca, American ex-pat Rick Blaine runs a gin joint he calls "Rick's Cafe Americaine." Everybody comes to Rick's, including thieves, spies, Nazis, partisans, and refugees trying to make their way to Lisbon and, eventually, America. Rick is a tough, sour kind of guy, but he's still taken for a loop when fate hands him two sudden twists: A pair of unchallengeable exit visas, and a woman named Ilsa who left him broken-hearted in Paris and now needs him to help her and her resistance-leader husband escape.
Humphrey Bogart is Rick and Ingrid Bergman is Ilsa, in roles that are archetypes in film lore. They are great parts besides, very multilayered and resistant to stereotype, and both actors give career performances in what were great careers. He's mad at her for walking out on him, while she wants him to understand her cause, but there's a lot going on underneath with both, and it all spills out in a scene in Rick's apartment that is one of many legendary moments.
"Casablanca" is a great romance, not only for being so supremely entertaining with its humor and realistic-though-exotic wartime excitement, but because it's not the least bit mushy. Take the way Rick's face literally breaks when he first sees Ilsa in his bar, or how he recalls the last time he saw her in Paris: "The Germans wore gray, you wore blue." There's a real human dimension to these people that makes us care for them and relate to them in a way that belies the passage of years.
For me, and many, the most interesting relationship in the movie is Rick and Capt. Renault, the police prefect in Casablanca who is played by Claude Rains with a wonderful subtlety that builds as the film progresses. Theirs is a relationship of almost perfect cynicism, one-liners and professions of neutrality that provide much humor, as well as give a necessary display of Rick's darker side before and after Ilsa's arrival.
But there's so much to grab onto with a film like this. You can talk about the music, or the way the setting becomes a living character with its floodlights and Moorish traceries. Paul Henreid is often looked at as a bit of a third wheel playing the role of Ilsa's husband, but he manages to create a moral center around which the rest of the film operates, and his enigmatic relationship with Rick and especially Ilsa, a woman who obviously admires her husband but can't somehow ever bring herself to say she loves him, is something to wonder at.
My favorite bit is when Rick finds himself the target of an entreaty by a Bulgarian refugee who just wants Rick's assurance that Capt. Renault is "trustworthy," and that, if she does "a bad thing" to secure her husband's happiness, it would be forgivable. Rick flashes on Ilsa, suppresses a grimace, tries to buy the woman off with a one-liner ("Go back to Bulgaria"), then finally does a marvelous thing that sets the whole second half of the film in motion without much calling attention to itself.
It's not fashionable to discuss movie directors after Chaplin and before Welles, but surely something should be said about Michael Curtiz, who not only directed this film but other great features like "Captain Blood" and "Angels With Dirty Faces." For my money, his "Adventures Of Robin Hood" was every bit "Casablanca's" equal, and he even found time the same year he made "Casablanca" to make "Yankee Doodle Dandy." When you watch a film like this, you aren't so much aware of the director, but that's really a testament to Curtiz's artistry. "Casablanca" is not only exceptionally well-paced but incredibly well-shot, every frame feeling well-thought-out and legendary without distracting from the overall story.
Curtiz was a product of the studio system, not a maverick like Welles or Chaplin, but he found greatness just as often, and "Casablanca," also a product of the studio system, is the best example. It's a film that reminds us why we go back to Hollywood again and again when we want to refresh our imaginations, and why we call it "the dream factory." As the hawker of linens tells Ilsa at the bazaar, "You won't a treasure like this in all Morocco." Nor, for that matter, in all the world.
Play it again and again and again and again, Sam.
* Studio publicity in 1941 claimed that Ronald Reagan and Ann Sheridan were scheduled to appear in this film, and Dennis Morgan is mentioned as the third lead. This was never the case, however, and the false story was planted, either by a studio publicist or a press agent for the three other actors, to keep their names in the press. Meanwhile George Raft was angling for the part with Jack L. Warner, but Hal B. Wallis had been assigned to search for what would be Humphrey Bogart's next starring role. He wrote to Warner that he had found the next movie for Bogart and the role was perfect for him. Nobody else was ever considered for the part.
* The Allies invaded Casablanca in real life on 8 November 1942. As the film was not due for release until spring, studio executives suggested it be changed to incorporate the invasion. Warner Bros. chief Jack L. Warner objected, as he thought that an invasion was a subject worth a whole film, not just an epilogue, and that the main story of this film demanded a pre-invasion setting. Eventually he gave in, though, and producer Hal B. Wallis prepared to shoot an epilogue where Humphrey Bogart and Claude Rains hear about the invasion. However, before Rains could travel to the studio for this, David O. Selznick (whose studio owned Bergman's contract) previewed the film and urged Warner to release it unaltered and as fast as possible. Warner agreed and the premiered in New York on November 26. It did not play in Los Angeles until its general release the following January, and hence competed against 1943 films for the Oscars.
* Ingrid Bergman's contract was owned by producer David O. Selznick, and producer Hal B. Wallis sent the film's writers, Philip G. Epstein and Julius J. Epstein, to persuade Selznick to loan her to Warner Bros. for the picture. After 20 minutes of describing the plot to Selznick, Julius gave up and said, "Oh, what the hell! It's a lot of shit like Algiers (1938)!" Selznick nodded and agreed to the loan.
* Michèle Morgan asked for $55,000, but Wallis refused to pay it when he could get Ingrid Bergman for $25,000.
* After shooting, Max Steiner spoke against using "As Time Goes By" as the song identifying Rick and Ilsa, saying he would rather compose an original song in order to qualify for royalties. However, Hal B. Wallis replied that since the filming had ended, Ingrid Bergman had cut her hair very short for For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943) which was shooting at a distant locale and she therefore could not re-shoot already-completed scenes that had used "As Time Goes By".
* Producer Hal B. Wallis considered Hedy Lamarr for the role of Ilsa, but she was then under contract to MGM (which wouldn't release her) and she didn't want to work with an unfinished script anyway. She later portrayed Ilsa in a 1944 radio show based on movie scripts, "Lux Radio Theater". At the time both Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart were overseas entertaining the troops. Rick was played on radio by Alan Ladd.
* Producer Hal B. Wallis nearly made the character Sam a female. Hazel Scott, Lena Horne, and Ella Fitzgerald were considered for the role.
* Paul Henreid was loaned to Warners for the role of Victor Lazlo by Selznick International Pictures against his will. He was concerned that playing a secondary character would ruin his career as a romantic lead.
* The script was based on the unproduced play "Everybody Comes to Rick's". Samuel Marx of MGM wanted to offer authors (Murray Burnett and Joan Alison) $5,000 for it, but MGM boss Louis B. Mayer refused; Irene Lee of the Warner Brothers story department praised it to Jack L. Warner, who agreed to buy it for $20,000.
* Dooley Wilson (Sam) was a professional drummer who faked playing the piano. As the music was recorded at the same time as the film, the piano playing was actually a recording of a performance by Elliot Carpenter who was playing behind a curtain but who was positioned such that Dooley could watch, and copy, his hand movements.
* No one knew right up until the filming of the last scene whether Ilsa would end up with Rick or Laszlo. During the course of the picture, when Ingrid Bergman asked director Michael Curtiz with which man her character was in love, she was told to "play it in between". Since the ending was not the final scene shot, there are some scenes where she *was* aware of how everything would turn out, and these include the scene in the black market with Rick and the scene in the Blue Parrot where Ferrari offers the Laszlos one exit visa.
* "Rick's Café Américain" was modeled after Hotel El Minzah in Tangiers.
* Because the film was made during WWII they were not allowed to film at an airport after dark for security reasons. Instead they used a sound stage with a small cardboard cutout airplane and forced perspective. To give the illusion that the plane was full-sized, they used little people to portray the crew preparing the plane for take-off. Years later the same technique was used in the film Alien (1979), with director Ridley Scott's son and some of his friends in scaled down spacesuits.
* Director Michael Curtiz' Hungarian accent often caused confusion on the set. He asked a prop man for a "poodle" to appear in one scene. The prop man searched high and low for a poodle while the entire crew waited. He found one and presented it to Curtiz, who screamed "A poodle! A poodle of water!" See also The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936).
* Captain Renault's line, "You like war. I like women," was changed from "You enjoy war. I enjoy women," in order to meet decency standards.
* Warner Bros. had intended to use the "Horst-Wessel-Lied", the anthem of the Nazi party, during the "battle of the anthems" sequence, but the copyright was controlled by a German company, and Warners dropped that anthem for the lesser "Die Wacht Am Rhein" rather than violate the rights (which would have prompted the German copyright holder on the song to prohibit the movie from being shown in any country not at war with Germany).
* Many of the shadows were painted onto the set. [rumor]
* The scene of Maj. Strasser's arrival was filmed at Metropolitan Airport, now known as Van Nuys Airport, just outside of Los Angeles.
* In the German version, the immortal line "Here's lookin' at you, kid", became, "Ich seh' Dir in die Augen, Kleines" which translates as "I look in your eyes, honey".
* Conrad Veidt, who played Maj. Strasser, was well known in the theatrical community in Germany for his hatred of the Nazis, and in fact was forced to hurriedly escape the country when he found out that the SS had sent a death squad after him because of his anti-Nazi activities.
* Many of the actors who played the Nazis were in fact German Jews who had escaped from Nazi Germany.
* Rick never says "Play it again, Sam." He says: "You played it for her, you can play it for me. Play it!". Ilsa says "Play it, Sam. Play 'As Time Goes By"'.
* The movie's line "Here's looking at you, kid" was voted as the #5 movie quote by the American Film Institute
* "Here's looking at you, kid" was improvised by Humphrey Bogart in the Parisian scenes and worked so well that it was used later on again in the film. He originally used the same line in Midnight (1934). It is also rumored that during breaks, Ingrid Bergman would play poker with other cast members. Since she was still learning English, Bogart would occasionally watch the game, and he added "Here's looking at you" to her poker repertoire.
* In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #3 Greatest Movie of All Time.
* The movie's line "Here's looking at you, kid." was voted as the #1 of "The 100 Greatest Movie Lines" by Premiere in 2007.
* The movie's line "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in the world, she walks into mine." was voted as the #84 of "The 100 Greatest Movie Lines" by Premiere in 2007.
* The movie's line "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship." was voted as the #65 of "The 100 Greatest Movie Lines" by Premiere in 2007.
* Dooley Wilson was borrowed from Paramount at $500 a week.
* Venerable character actor Clarence Muse, who lost the role of Sam to Dooley Wilson, played the role in the 1955 TV series. Ludwig Stossel was promoted from the minor role of Leuchtag to the S. Z. Sakall part (renamed Ludwig), Marcel Dalio was elevated from the minor role of Emil, the croupier, to the Claude Rains role (renamed Renaud), and Dan Seymour was promoted from the small part of Abdul to Ferrari, the Sydney Greenstreet role.
* High school teacher Murray Burnett co-authored the play while on summer vacation.
* The movie's line "I stick my neck out for nobody." was voted as the #42 of "The 100 Greatest Movie Lines" by Premiere in 2007.
* The movie's line "Of all the gin joints in the world, she walks into mine." was voted as the #30 of "The 100 Greatest Movie Lines" by Premiere in 2007.
* The movie's line "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine." was voted as the #67 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100).
* When the Epstein brothers won an Oscar for their script, they became the first (and as for 2007 the only) Academy Award winning twins.
* The movie's line "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship." was voted as the #20 movie quote by the American Film Institute
* The movie's line "Round up the usual suspects." was voted as the #32 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100).
* The movie's line "We'll always have Paris." was voted as the #43 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100).
* Humphrey Bogart's wife Mayo Methot continually accused him of having an affair with Ingrid Bergman, often confronting him in his dressing room before a 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.
* "As Time Goes By" was written by lifelong bachelor Herman Hupfeld and debuted in 1931's Broadway show "Everybody's Welcome", sung by Frances Williams, It had been a personal favorite of playwright and high school teacher Murray Burnett who, seven years later, visited Vienna just after the Nazis had entered. Later, after visiting a cafe in south France where a black pianist had entertained a mixed crowd of Nazis, French and refugees, Burnett was inspired to write the melodrama "Everybody Comes To Rick's", which was optioned for production by Martin Gabel and Carly Wharton, and later, Warners. Aftr the film's release, "As Time Goes By" stayed on radio's "Hit Parade" for 21 weeks. However, because of the coincidental musicians' union recording ban, the 1931 Rudy Vallee version became the smash hit. (It contains the rarely-sung introductory verse, not heard in the film.) Max Steiner, in a 1943 interview, admitted that the song "must have had something to attract so much attention".
* The song "As Time Goes By" from the film is number 2 on the American Film Institute's (AFI) 100 Years... 100 Songs list.
* Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid later reprised their roles for a radio performance of on the CBS radio program "The Screen Guild Players", a war benefit show.
* The film's success led to plans for a sequel, which was to be called Brazzaville. Ingrid Bergman was not available, so Geraldine Fitzgerald was considered for Ilsa before the project was killed. It was not until the late 1990s and Michael Walsh's novel "As Time Goes By" that a true sequel ever came to pass.
* To maximize profits from foreign distribution of the film, the studio suggested that any unpleasant characters other than the Nazis should also be from an enemy country, namely Italy. This is why Ugarte, Ferrari, and the dark European pickpocket are Italian.
* Several times the writers discussed having Rick leave with Lois/Ilsa, but this was always rejected (and the censors would not have allowed it with her married to Victor). Their major problem was to make it plausible that despite clearly loving Rick she would leave with Victor; the final scene was rewritten many times until this was achieved.
* Just before he shot Maj. Strasser (Conrad Veidt), Humphrey Bogart ad-libbed the line, "All right, Major, you asked for it." But Hal B. Wallis pointed out that this made it look as though when Strasser drew his gun first it was self-defense. Veidt was recalled and the scene reshot without the added line, but the original version was used in the trailer for the movie.
* It was claimed when the movie was in release that Jack Benny can be seen briefly in it.
* Joy Page, who played the young Bulgarian wife, was the stepdaughter of studio head Jack L. Warner. She, Humphrey Bogart and Dooley Wilson were the only American-born people in the credited cast.
* Renault tells Rick he knows that he ran guns to Ethiopia, referring to Italy's invasion in 1935. In the Italian version of the picture, Renault's line became, "You ran guns to China."
* The French dialogue between Yvonne and the French officer translates as: French Officer: "Hey you, you're not French to go out with a German like that!" Yvonne: "What are you butting in for?" French Officer: "I am butting in...” Yvonne: "It's none of your business!"
* Around nine minutes into the movie, Rick OKs a credit slip dated 2-Dec-1941.
* 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".
* The difference in height between Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman changes throughout the film. This is because Bergman was actually a few inches taller than Bogart, though to create the illusion that it was vice versa, Michael Curtiz had Bogart stand on boxes and sit on pillows in some shots, or had Bergman slouch down (as evident when she sits on the couch in the "franc for your thoughts" scene).
* Carl's back story is hinted at once, when he is referred to as "Professor" by a waiter.
* Ingrid Bergman's line "Victor Laszlo is my husband, and was, even when I knew you in Paris" was almost cut from the film because during that time it was deemed inappropriate for a film to depict or suggest a woman romancing with another man if she were already married. However, it was pointed out that later in the film she explains that she had thought Laszlo was dead at the time, and the censors allowed the line to stay in.
* Dooley Wilson was, in fact, the only member of the cast to have ever actually visited the city of Casablanca.
* Was voted the 3rd Greatest film of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
* Voted #2 film of all time by the American Film Institute.
* At a salary of $25,000 for five weeks' work, Conrad Veidt was the highest-paid actor on the set and on loan from MGM. His main competition for the Maj. Strasser role was Otto Preminger, under contract to 20th Century-Fox, for whom Darryl F. Zanuck had demanded the outrageous sum of $7,000 per week.
* Warner Brothers purchased the play for $20,000, the most anyone had ever paid for an unproduced work.
* The original unproduced play, "Everybody Comes to Rick's", was found by Irene Lee, who headed the story department at Warner Bros., on a trip to office of Jack Wilk, story editor for Warner East Coast operations in New York, where the typed script had sat for a year. It arrived at Warner Bros. Studios to be read as a potential film project on the day after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.
* The influx into Hollywood of large numbers of European exiles fleeing the war helped the casting enormously. In fact, of all the featured players in the film who get screen credit, only three were born in the United States: Humphrey Bogart, Dooley Wilson and Joy Page.
* S.Z. Sakall, who plays the maitre d' at Rick's Cafe, actually has more screen time than Peter Lorre or Sydney Greenstreet.
* The letters of transit that motivate so many characters in the film did not exist in Vichy-controlled France - they are purely a plot device invented by the screenwriters. Playwright Joan Alison always expected somebody to challenge her about the letters, but nobody ever did.
* Rick and Ilsa standing over Sam's piano in Paris was the first scene to be shot. Filming a tender love scene with two actors who had just met was not planned, but the filming of Now, Voyager (1942) had gone over schedule, so Paul Henreid and Claude Rains were not available.
* The Paris train station set was recycled from Now, Voyager (1942).
* Hal B. Wallis didn't want Humphrey Bogart wearing a hat too often in the film, as he thought it made Bogart look like a gangster.
* When this film won the Academy Award for Best Picture, Jack L. Warner was first on stage to accept the award, beating the film's actual producer, Hal B. Wallis, who was incensed at this slight and never forgave Warner. Wallis, at the time regarded as the "wunderkind" at the studio, left Warner Brothers shortly afterwards.
* Although this was an overtly anti-Nazi film, it wasn't the first one that Warner Bros. had made (it had come out several years earlier with Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939)). Warners was the first Hollywood studio to be so open about its opposition to the Nazi regime, and the first to prohibit its films from being distributed in Nazi-occupied territories. Indeed, Harry M. Warner was making speeches denouncing Nazi activities in Germany as early as 1936.
* In the famous scene where the "Marseillaise" is sung over the German song "Watch on the Rhine", many of the extras had real tears in their eyes; a large number of them were actual refugees from Nazi persecution in Germany and elsewhere in Europe and were overcome by the emotions the scene brought out.
* Casablanca, Morocco, was one of the key stops for refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe, which is why the original playwrights chose the city for the setting of their play (though initially they had opted for Lisbon).
* The first writers to tackle a screenplay were Æneas MacKenzie and Wally Kline, who spent six weeks on the project. Afterwards, Julius J. Epstein and Philip G. Epstein came on board, and their major contribution was the building up of Claude Rains' Capt. Renault character.
* Hal B. Wallis's first choice for director was William Wyler.
* Other actresses considered for the part of Ilsa were Edwige Feuillère, Michèle Morgan and Tamara Toumanova. Ingrid Bergman was one of the first choices, but she was under contract to David O. Selznick, who was stalling because he wanted her for For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943). Selznick finally agreed when he learned that the Epstein brothers and Michael Curtiz were working on the film, all of whom he respected and trusted. Warner Bros. also agreed to loan Selznick the services of Olivia de Havilland in return.
* At one point it looked like there was going to be trouble casting a foreign actor in the part of Victor Laszlo. Herbert Marshall, Dean Jagger and Joseph Cotten were considered until Paul Henreid became available.
* Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid make their first appearance 24 minutes into the film.
* Howard Koch was instructed to start the screenplay all over again, paying particular attention to Rick's background and the ending, while the Epsteins were struggling with their version. Writers Casey Robinson and Lenore J. Coffee were asked to critique the two versions and found much merit in both, though Robinson thought the romantic angle lacking and was subsequently tasked with ramping this up.
* The Epstein brothers finished their screenplay three days before the film began shooting; Howard Koch completed his two weeks after shooting had begun. All three were on call throughout the entire shooting period even though the Epsteins had been summoned to Washington to work on Frank Capra's "Why We Fight" documentary series.
* Rick's Cafe was one of the few original sets built for the film, the rest were all recycled from other Warner Brothers productions due to wartime restrictions on building supplies.
* The film cost approximately $950,000, some $100,000 over budget.
* When President Franklin Delano Roosevelt returned from a wartime conference in Casablanca with Winston Churchill, he asked for a screening of the film at the White House. In Spanish, "casa blanca" means "White House."
* The title was changed from "Everybody Comes to Rick's" to "Casablanca" partly due to the success of the similarly titled Algiers (1938).
* Humphrey Bogart had to wear platform shoes to play alongside Ingrid Bergman.
* To prepare for working with Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman watched The Maltese Falcon (1941) many times.
* Joan Alison always envisioned Clark Gable as Rick, who "was my concept of a guy that I would like... I hated Humphrey Bogart. I thought he was a common drunk."
* It was reportedly Humphrey Bogart's idea to have Rick be a chess player (when we first see Rick he is playing chess against himself), though some say it was writer Howard Koch's idea.
* Ingrid Bergman considered her left side as her better side, and to the extent possible that was the side photographed throughout the film, so she is almost always on the right side of the screen looking towards the left regardless of who is in the shot with her. However, there are several shots where she is to the left and Humphrey Bogart is on the right, including the flashbacks to the street scene in Paris (0:41:50) and the scene at the window (0:43:40). There are also several scenes where Bergman is centered between Paul Henreid and Bogart, suggesting the triangle nature of their relationship; in these shots Henreid is usually to the left and Bogart is usually on the right, including the scene where she and Henreid enter the café at just before the famous "Battle of the Anthems" (1:07:40); the scene where Captain Renault arrests Victor Laszlo (1:34:00); and at the end of the final airport scene (1:39:00).
* Madeleine LeBeau, who plays Yvonne, and Marcel Dalio, who plays croupier Emil, were husband and wife at the time of filming. They had not long before escaped the Nazis by fleeing their native France.
* Howard Hawks had said in interviews that he was supposed to direct Casablanca (1942) and Michael Curtiz was supposed to direct Sergeant York (1941). The directors had lunch together, where Hawks said he didn't know how to make this "musical comedy", while Curtiz didn't know anything about "those hill people." They switched projects. Hawks struggled on how to direct the scenes that involved singing, namely the "La Marseillaise" scene. It is ironic to note that most of his other films involved at least one singing scene.
* It is never revealed why Rick cannot return to America. Julius J. Epstein later said that "My brother and I tried very hard to come up with a reason why Rick couldn't return to America. But nothing seemed right. We finally decided not to give a reason at all."
* Was named the best screenplay of all time by the Writers Guild of America (2006)
* In the original script for Casablanca, then titled "Everyone Come to Rick's", Isla was not a 'virtuous' woman. She was living with an already married American business man. It was Rick who left her when he found out. And when she and Victor come to Casablanca, she is not married to him, either.
SPOILER: The last line is one of the most misquoted lines in all of film history. The correct line is, "Louie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship." It has been quoted as, "This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship" or "I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship." This line was a last-minute addition, thought up by producer Hal B. Wallis and dubbed in by Humphrey Bogart after filming was completed.