Posted on November 26, 2015
It's a romance.
It's a drama.
And it's one of the most famous movies of the 1940s, with a Best Picture academy award plus many other accolades and awards.
Actually, many people rank Casablanca as one of the best movies of all time!
This movie is set in Northern Africa, in the town of Casablanca, Morocco, during World War II. I think it is interesting that the movie was made, surprisingly quickly, actually during World War II. Of course, it wasn't shot on location (although a few short clips of stock footage of Paris was used for a flashback section); instead, it was shot entirely in a studio in Burbank, except for a short sequence filmed at a Southern California airport.
When I say that the movie was made “surprisingly quickly,” here is the timetable:
- 1941 – story editor discovers a never-before-produced play
- Jan. 1942 – rights to play purchased
- late May 1942 – filming begins
- early Aug. 1942 – filming ends
- spring 1942 – planned release date
- BUT – in the actual war – early to mid-Nov. 1942 – Allied forces invade French North Africa and take over Casablanca
- SO – to take advantage of the hubbub over this Allied victory in Casablanca and North Africa – Nov. 26, 1942 – world premiere of the movie Casablanca!
Less than a year from the purchase of the rights until the world premiere of the completed movie? That's pretty quick for a major motion picture. Most movies take from a year to a year-and-a-half to make, but some major motion pictures take longer. Some take decades! (The pre-production stuff like writing a script, getting rights, and hashing out funding often takes a long time.)
Here are a few of the famous lines from Casablanca:
- Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine.
- Play it again, Sam. (or something like that!)
- I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
- Where I'm going, you can't follow. What I've got to do, you can't be any part of.
- ...It doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.
- Here's looking at you, kid.
To celebrate this historical anniversary, all you have to do is watch the movie! (If you live in the U.S., that might be after all the cooking and feasting and cleaning!)
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