does the movie Casablanca
have such an enduring appeal? It won the Academy
of Motion Picture's Oscar for "Best Movie" and was recently ranked #2 among
the 100 Film's of all time by the American Film Institute in their AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies
(losing out to Citizen Kane).
Many people, including myself, consider it
their favorite movie. What is the secret? Certainly, when Warner
Bros. filmed the movie in 1942, it didn't set out to
make the all-time classic movie. In fact, Casablanca was one of around
50 movies that Warner Bros. made in 1942. The movie took 59 days to
in the summer of 1942 and cost $950,000. It was over-schedule and
over-budget. It was scheduled to be released a full year later in 1943,
but historical events changed that. The American invasion of North
Africa, near Casablanca, in November of 1942 had Warner Bros. push up
their release date to capitalize on the event. In fact, the general
release on January 23, 1943 came during President Franklin Roosevelt
and Prime Minister Winston Churchill's summit in Casablanca. From
there, history was made.
I guess if you have to analyze it you would find a combination of
things that when they come together form such a classic film. First, as
given in the title, you have an exotic location. The city of Casablanca
northwest Africa, in what was once French Morocco,
certainly fits that description. This despite the fact that it was
entirely in a studio in Burbank, California (except for one scene). You
have a great love story between two great actors, Humphrey Bogart and
Ingrid Bergman. In the AFI's 100 Years... 100 Great Love
Stories it was ranked number one. You have some great supporting actors
Rains, Conrad Veidt, Peter Lorre, Paul
Henreid and Sydney
Greenstreet. You have a great script with arguably more famous
quotes then any other movie. In a recent AFI special, seven of Casablanca's quotes were listed in
the AFI's 100 Years...100
Movie Quotes. This was the most, beating out the Wizard of Oz by one. Among them,
"Here's looking at you, kid" came in at number 5. Casablanca isn't a musical, but the
song "As Time Goes By" was ranked as the second best in their AFI's 100 Years... 100 Songs,
losing out to the classic "Over the Rainbow."
is the epic struggle between good and evil. In the AFI's 100 Years… 100 Heroes &
Villains Rick Blaine was ranked as the #4 hero. Not on the
list, but certainly deserving to be there was Major Strasser. Does any
one do evil as well as the sophisticated but cunning Conrad Veidt?
So, I have created this site as a dedication to Casablanca and the
great actors, both major and minor, who appeared in it. I will be
adding a section on the other people who produced the movie along with
a fact and trivia page.
These pages are constantly
being updated please e-mail me with any
Birdwell, Michael E., Celluloid
Soldiers - Warner Bros.'s Campaign against Nazism. New York, New
York University Press, 1999.
Harmetz, Aljean, The Making of
Casablanca - Bogart, Bergman , and World War II. New York,
Lebo, Harlan, Casablanca - Behind
the Scenes. New York, Fireside, 1992
Miller, Frank, Casablanca
As Time Goes By - 50th Anniversary Commemorative.
Atlanta, Turner Publishing, Inc., 1992.