Casablanca, easily one of the world's greatest stories about a lovelorn bar owner in Morocco during World War II, returns to the Tampa Theatre this weekend for its summer classic series. And if you're not planning on attending, we'd be shocked, SHOCKED!
The 1942 black-and-white classic, starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Claude Rains, was ranked the No. 3 greatest movie of all time by the American Film Institute in 2007. If it's not on your top 5 list, then this is your lucky day. We've rounded up the usual suspects of movie trivia to prove once and for all that Casablanca is the beginning of a beautiful friendship with classic cinema.
THAT DARN WAR: The film was already completed, with a spring 1943 release planned, when the Allies actually invaded Casablanca on Nov. 8, 1942. That left the studio with a tough decision: Reshoot portions of the movie to incorporate the invasion … or speed up the release of the film. After much debate, it was agreed to rush an unaltered movie into theaters. Casablanca debuted in New York on Nov. 26, but didn't play in Los Angeles until January — hence it competed with films from 1943 for the Academy Awards.
JUST A PLAY: The script for Casablanca was based on an unproduced play titled Everybody Comes to Rick's, written by a high school teacher on summer vacation. It was purchased by Warner Bros. for $20,000. In the 1980s, as a prank, the film's script reportedly was resent to several studios under its original title. Oddly enough, few people recognized it as Casablanca, but instead complained that the script had "too much dialog" and "not enough sex." Ironically, back in the '40s, the film had to toe a sharp line with censors who didn't want to even recognize that Rick and Ilsa had intimate relations in Paris. (She was married after all!)
AS TIME GOES BY: After shooting was finished, the film's music composer Max Steiner decided he'd rather compose an original song for Rick and Ilsa — and earn the royalties — rather than use As Time Goes By. The tune had debuted a decade earlier in the 1931 Broadway show Everybody's Welcome. It was too late, though; Ingrid Bergman already had cut her hair very short for her next project: For Whom the Bell Tolls. After Casablanca's release, the song was a radio hit for 21 weeks.
SOME CHEMISTRY: Despite the on-screen chemistry between Bogart and Bergman, the two wouldn't appear in another movie together. During the filming of Casablanca, Bogart's wife reportedly accused him of having an affair with Bergman, though there's no evidence the two were ever involved. In reality, the two rarely chatted.