By Cathy Richey, the Cathy Factor
This iconic movie still gets quoted, referred to, and drawn from.
Not just in other works, but in every day life. If you have never
watched it, you will no doubt recognize some of the lines as you
hear them. Now you know where they came from.
The humorous jibe, "I'm shocked. Shocked, I tell you" is from this movie. And
it's one of the many.
Casablanca was released on November 26, 1942. It is one of the most
beloved American classic movies of all time. It has something for
everyone, and it's one of those films you can watch over and over,
and see or hear something you hadn't noticed before. It's the kind
of movie that the more times you see it, the better it gets.
Casablanca is set during World War II in the Vichy-controlled
Moroccan city of Casablanca. The film was directed by Michael Curtiz.
It stars Humphrey Bogart as Rick and Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa. The
story focuses on Rick's conflict between love and virtue: he must
choose between his love for Ilsa and his need to do the right thing
by helping her husband, Resistance hero Victor Laszlo, escape from
Casablanca and continue his fight against the Nazis.
The film was an immediate hit, and it has remained consistently
popular ever since. Critics have praised the charismatic
performances of Bogart and Bergman, the chemistry between the two
leads, the witty screenplay, and the emotional impact of the work as
a whole. Critics in the French New Wave panned the film.
An undisputed masterpiece and perhaps Hollywood's quintessential
statement on love and romance, Casablanca has only improved with
age. And the movie boasts the career-defining performances from
Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.
Ingrid Bergman's height did cause some problems. She was somewhat
taller than Bogart, so in their scenes together he sometimes had to
be put on boxes or cushions.
Casablanca had one of the most international casts ever
assembled. The movie went on to win all sorts of awards, including
the Academy of Motion Picture's Oscar for "Best Movie". Warner
Brothers claimed that 34 nationalities participated in the making of
Casablanca, and many were refugees from Europe.
Shifting borders characterized the cast and crew. Some of the
actors or the people behind the camera were from a particular
country in 1942. The borders changed after the war, and they would
be from another country today.
The main stars came from countries like Sweden, Austria, Germany,
England, France, Hungary, Canada, and Russia. Of the fourteen actors
who were given screen credit, only three were from the United
States; Humphrey Bogart, Dooley Wilson, and Joy Page.
Most of the actors appeared together in other films. This is not
strange when you consider the Hollywood studio system that had
actors under contract and set them up in movies again and again.
Warner Brothers was typical of the major studios. Also, unlike
today, many actors didn't have much of a choice what movies they
would be cast in.
The film cost a total of $950,000, which was slightly over budget
but an average cost for a film of the time.
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