Set during contemporary World War IIit focuses on an American expatriate who must choose between his love for a woman and helping her and her husband, a Czech Resistance leader, escape from the Vichy -controlled city of Casablanca to continue his fight against the Nazis.
Wallis to purchase the film rights to the play in January Brothers Julius and Philip G. Epstein were initially assigned to write the script. However, despite studio resistance, they left to work on Casablanca woman Capra 's Why We Fight series early in Howard Koch was assigned to the screenplay until the Epsteins returned a month Casablanca woman.
Principal photography began on May 25,Casablanca woman on August 3; the film was shot entirely at Warner Bros. Although Casablanca was an A-list film with established stars and first-rate writers, no one involved with its production expected it to be anything other than one of the hundreds of ordinary pictures produced by Hollywood that year. The Casablanca woman was a solid if unspectacular success in its initial run.
Exceeding expectations, Casablanca went on to win the Academy Award for Best Picturewhile Curtiz was selected as Best Director and the Epsteins and Koch were honored for writing the Best Adapted Screenplay —and gradually its reputation grew. Its lead characters,   memorable lines,  Casablanca woman  and pervasive theme song  have all become iconicand the film consistently ranks near the top of lists of the greatest films in history.
In DecemberCasablanca woman expatriate Rick Blaine owns an upscale nightclub and gambling den in Casablanca. Although Rick professes to be neutral in all matters, he ran guns to Ethiopia during its war with Italy and fought Casablanca woman the Loyalist side in the Spanish Civil War. Petty crook Ugarte boasts to Rick of "letters of transit" obtained by murdering two German couriers. The papers allow the bearers to travel freely around German-occupied Europe and to neutral Portugaland are priceless to the refugees stranded in Casablanca.
Ugarte plans to sell them at the club, and asks Rick to hold them. Before he can meet his contact, Ugarte is arrested by the local police under the command of Captain Louis Renault, the unabashedly corrupt Vichy prefect Casablanca woman police. Ugarte dies in custody without revealing that he entrusted the letters to Rick.
Then the reason for Rick's bitterness—former lover Ilsa Lund—enters his establishment. She is accompanied by her husband, Victor Laszlo, a renowned fugitive Czech Resistance leader.
They need the letters to escape to America to continue his work. German Major Strasser has come to Casablanca to see that Laszlo Casablanca woman. When Laszlo makes inquiries, Ferrari, a major underworld figure and Rick's friendly business rival, divulges his suspicion that Rick has the letters. Privately, Rick refuses to sell at any price, telling Laszlo to ask his wife the reason.
Laszlo orders the house band to play " La Marseillaise ". When the band looks to Rick, he nods his head. Laszlo starts singing, alone at first, Casablanca woman patriotic fervor grips the crowd and everyone joins in, drowning out the Germans.
Casablanca woman demands Renault close the club, which he does on the pretext of suddenly discovering there is gambling on the premises. When he refuses to give her the letters, she threatens him with a gun, but then confesses that she still loves him. She explains that when they met and fell in love in Paris inshe believed her husband had Casablanca woman killed attempting to escape from a concentration camp.
While preparing to flee with Rick from the imminent fall of the city to the German army, she learned Laszlo was alive and in hiding. She left Rick without explanation to nurse her sick husband.
He agrees to help, letting her believe she will stay with him when Laszlo leaves. When Laszlo unexpectedly shows up, having narrowly escaped a police raid on a Resistance meeting, Rick has waiter Carl spirit Ilsa away.
Laszlo, aware of Rick's love for Ilsa, tries to persuade him to use the letters to take Casablanca woman to safety. When the police arrest Laszlo on a minor, trumped-up charge, Rick persuades Renault to release him by promising to set him up for a much more serious crime: To allay Renault's suspicions, Rick explains that he and Ilsa will be leaving for America.
When Renault tries to arrest Laszlo as arranged, Rick forces him at gunpoint to assist in their escape. At the last moment, Rick Casablanca woman Ilsa board the plane to Lisbon with Laszlo, telling her that she would regret it if Casablanca woman stayed—"Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.
Rick shoots him when he tries to intervene. When policemen arrive, Renault pauses, then orders them Casablanca woman "round up the usual suspects. As they walk away into the fog, Rick says, "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship".
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The play's cast consisted of 16 speaking parts and several extras; the film script enlarged it to 22 speaking parts and hundreds of extras.
The top-billed actors are: Much of the emotional impact of the film has been attributed to the large proportion of European exiles and refugees who were extras or played minor roles Casablanca woman addition to leading Casablanca woman Paul Henreid, Conrad Veidt and Peter Lorre: A witness to the filming of the "duel of the anthems" sequence said he saw many of the actors crying and "realized that they were all real refugees". The comedian Jack Benny Casablanca woman have had an unbilled cameo role, as was claimed by a contemporary newspaper advertisement  and in the Casablanca press book.
That's all I can say. The Jack Benny Fan Club can feel vindicated. The entire picture was shot in the studio, except for the sequence showing Major Strasser's arrival, which was filmed at Van Nuys Airportand a few short clips of stock footage views of Paris. The background of the final scene, which shows a Lockheed Model 12 Electra Junior airplane with personnel walking around it, was staged using little person Casablanca woman and a proportionate cardboard plane.
Film critic Roger Casablanca woman called Hal Wallis the "key creative force" for his attention to the details of production down to insisting on a real parrot in the Blue Parrot bar.
The difference between Bergman's and Bogart's height caused some problems. Later, there were plans for a further scene, showing Rick, Renault and a detachment of Free French soldiers on a ship, to incorporate the Allies' Casablanca woman of North Africa.
It proved too difficult to get Claude Rains for the shoot, and the scene was finally abandoned after David O.