Thursday, February 16, 2006

We'll always have Paris....

A few days ago, I finally saw the iconic movie, "Casablanca." It is fabulous and would I recommend it to all. After watching it, I looked it up on International movie database (for website, see my list of links to the right). I found some fascinating trivia. I compliled what I thought were the best tidbits of info. I hope it will be entertaining to those of you who have seen it and if not, you really must go out and rent it! Better yet, you can buy it at Target on DVD....

I hope you enjoy....


The script was based on the unproduced play "Everybody Comes to Rick's".

The song As Time Goes By" was almost not used! The music director wanted to compose something original for royalties. However, Ingrid Bergman had already cut her hair very short for “For Whom the Bell Tolls” therefore could not re-shoot already-completed scenes that had used "As Time Goes By.”

The piano playing character of Sam, was almost a Samantha. Producers wanted a female. Hazel Scott, Lena Horne, and Ella Fitzgerald were considered for the role.

A man named Dooley Wilson played Sam. He was actually a professional drummer who faked playing the piano.

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 the director with which man her character was in love, she was told to "play it in between".

The movie was made during World War II. Consequently scenes could not be shot at airports after dark (for security reasons.) They used a sound stage with a small cardboard cutout airplane. To give the illusion that the plane was full-sized, they used little people to portray the crew preparing the plane for take-off.

The Director of Casablanca, Michael Curtiz', had a Hungarian accent. This often caused confusion on the set. He once asked a prop man for a "poodle" to appear in a scene. The 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!”

Conrad Veidt, who played a Nazi, was well known in the German theatrical community for his hatred of the Nazis. In fact he 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.

Humphrey Bogart's wife continually accused him of having an affair with Ingrid Bergman, often confronting him in his dressing room before a shot. Bogart often came onto the set in a rage.

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.

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, to create the illusion that it was vice versa, Bogart stood on boxes and sat on pillows in some shots, or Bergman slouched down. Bogart often had to wear platform shoes as well .

In one famous scene there is a “battle of the anthems.” The French crowd at the night club begins to sing "Marseillaise" in order to drown out the Nazi’s singing "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.


The movie has some of the most memorable lines in all of cinema. Here are some
interesting facts about the dialogue:

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 at the time of release.

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".

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 "Play it, Sam. Play 'As Time Goes By'." was voted as the #28 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100).

"We'll always have Paris." was voted as the #43 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100).

"Round up the usual suspects." was voted as the #32 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100).

"Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship." was voted as the #20 movie quote by the American Film Institute

"Here's looking at you, kid" was voted as the #5 movie quote by the American Film Institute. (This line was actually improvised by Bogart in the Parisian scenes. It worked so well that it was used later on again in the film.)

The last line of the movie is one of the most misquoted lines in all of film history. It has been misquoted as, "This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship" or "I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship." Ironically, this iconic line was a last minute addition that was dubbed over by Bogart after the scene was shot.


Casablanca was voted the 3rd Greatest film of all time by Entertainment Weekly and was voted #2 film of all time by the American Film Institute.

And my favorite bit of trivia of all….

In the 1980s, the script of Casablanca was sent to 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".

HA-- Hollywood has gotten so lame...

No comments: