Warner Home Video
Region : 2
Format : Black & White; 1.33:1
Sound : Dolby Mono
Extras : 'You Must Remember This featurette ; trailer
Languages : English; French; Italian
Subtitles : English; French; Italian; Dutch; Arabic; Spanish; Portuguese; German; Romanian; Bulgarian; English for the hearing impaired; Italian for the hearing inpaired
Humphrey Bogart....Richard "Rick" Blaine
Ingrid Bergman....Ilsa Lund Laszlo
Paul Henreid....Victor Laszlo
Claude Rains....Captain Louis Renault
Conrad Veidt....Major Heinrich Strasser
Sydney Greenstreet....Signor Ferrari
Peter Lorre....Guillermo Ugarte
S.Z. Sakall....Carl, Rick's Cafe Manager (as S.K. Sakall)
Madeleine LeBeau....Yvonne, Rick's Girlfriend
Joy Page....Annina Brandel, Bulgarian Refugee
John Qualen....Berger, Norwegian Underground Member
Leonid Kinskey....Sascha, Bartender at Rick's Cafe
Louis V. Arco....Refugee at Rick's (uncredited)
Leon Belasco....Dealer (uncredited)
Trude Berliner....Baccarat player (uncredited)
Oliver Blake....Waiter at the Blue Parrot (uncredited)
Monte Blue....American (uncredited)
Gino Corrado....Waiter (uncredited)
Franco Corsaro....Conspirator (uncredited)
Marcel Dalio....Emil, the Croupier (uncredited)
Helmut Dantine....Jan Brandel (uncredited)
George Dee....Casselle, Renault's Aide (uncredited)
Jean Del Val....Conspirator (uncredited)
William Edmunds....Contact with cash (uncredited)
Martin Garralaga....Headwaiter at Rick's Cafe (uncredited)
Gregory Gaye....German Banker Refused by Rick (uncredited)
Ilka Grüning....Mrs. Leuchtag (segment "Ten Watch") (uncredited)
Creighton Hale....Customer (Are you sure this place is honest?) (uncredited)
Olaf Hytten....Prosperous Man (uncredited)
Charles La Torre....Tonnelli, Italian Officer (uncredited)
George J. Lewis....Haggling Arab Monkey Seller (First Scene) (uncredited)
Lou Marcelle....Narrator (Introduction) (voice) (uncredited)
Michael Mark....Vendor (uncredited)
George Meeker....Rick's Friend Seen After Ugarte's Arrest (uncredited)
Louis Mercier....Smuggler (uncredited)
Torben Meyer....Dutch Banker at Cafe Table (uncredited)
Alberto Morin....French Officer (Yvonne's German- French Affair) (uncredited)
Leo Mostovoy....Fydor (uncredited)
Corinna Mura....Singer with Guitar (uncredited)
Lotte Palfi Andor....Woman selling her diamonds (uncredited)
Paul Porcasi....Native Introducing Ferrari (uncredited)
Frank Puglia....Arab Vendor (uncredited)
Georges Renavent....Conspirator (uncredited)
Richard Revy....German Soldier (uncredited)
Henry Rowland....German Officer (uncredited)
Richard Ryen....Heinz, Strasser's Aide (uncredited)
Dan Seymour....Abdul, Rick's Doorman (uncredited)
Ludwig Stössel....Mr. Leuchtag (segment "What watch") (uncredited)
Norma Varden....Englishwoman with Pickpocketed Englishman (uncredited)
Hans Heinrich von Twardowski...German Officer (Yvonne's German- French Affair) (uncredited)
Leo White....Waiter (uncredited)
Wolfgang Zilzer....Man with expired papers (uncredited)
Directed by…Michael Curtiz
Murray Burnett and Joan Alison (play Everybody Comes to Rick's)
Julius J. Epstein and Philip G. Epstein and Howard Koch
Casey Robinson uncredited
Hal B. Wallis....producer
Jack L. Warner....executive producer
Original Music by…M.K. Jerome (songs) Jack Scholl (songs)
Non-Original Music by….Herman Hupfeld (song "As Time Goes By") (uncredited)
Cinematography by…Arthur Edeson
Film Editing by….Owen Marks
Art Direction by…Carl Jules Weyl
Set Decoration by…George James Hopkins
Costume Design by…Orry-Kelly (gowns)
Perc Westmore....makeup artist
Al Alleborn....production manager
Lee Katz....assistant director (uncredited)
Francis J. Scheid....sound
Lawrence W. Butler....special effects director (as Lawrence Butler)
Willard Van Enger....special effects
Robert Aisner....technical advisor
Leo F. Forbstein....musical director
Hugo Friedhofer....music arranger: orchestral arrangements
Hugh MacMullan....dialogue director
Bob Williams....unit publicist
Elliot Carpenter....musician: piano, dubbed Dooley Wilson's playing (uncredited)
Anthony Gasbarri....tailor: Mr. Bogart's tuxedo (uncredited)
No one making ‘Casablanca’ thought they were making a great film. It was simply another Warner Bros. release. It was made on a tight budget ($950,000) and released with small expectations. Everyone involved in the film had been, and would be, in dozens of other films made under similar circumstances, and the greatness of ‘Casablanca’ was largely the result of happy chance. ‘Casablanca’ was just another studio main feature produced by Hal B. Wallis and directed by Michael Curtiz. The fact is that even if they had wanted to, they could not have set out to make ‘Casablanca’ turn out the way it did. It was a combination of elements and circumstances which produced a work of indefinable appeal which has endured for generations even though tastes and attitudes have changed. You don’t set out to make a classic, you set out to make a film.
The story was from an unproduced play by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison, a play of no great consequence and written for the screen by the brothers Julius J. and Philip G. Epstein and Howard Koch (and the uncredited Casey Robinson). They struggled hard as studio hacks on assignment to get the script pages in on time, and did not plan for the fact that because the actors did not know how the film would end their ambiguous and edgy characterisations would be a major contribution to film folklore and debate ever after.
Humphrey Bogart was always best when he played the disappointed, wounded, resentful hero. In ‘Casablanca’ he is Rick Blaine, an American running a nightclub in Casablanca when Morocco was a crossroads for spies, traitors, Nazis and the French Resistance. Into this world comes Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman), the woman Rick loved years earlier in Paris. (“of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine”). Under the shadow of the German occupation, he arranged their escape, and believes she abandoned him – left him waiting in the rain at a railway station with their tickets to freedom. Now she is with Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), a legendary hero of the French Resistance.
No better cast of supporting actors could have been assembled on the Warner Bros. lot – the richness of the characters, Sidney Greenstreet as Signor Ferrari, the corrupt rival club owner, Peter Lorre as Guillermo Ugarte, the wheedling little black-marketeer, Claude Rains as Captain Louis Renault, the police chief and Conrad Veidt as Major Heinrich Strasser the Nazis ‘baddie’.
Stylistically, the film is not so much brilliant as absolutely sound, rock-solid in its use of Hollywood studio craftsmanship. Michael Curtiz, the director, and the writers Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein and Howard Koch all won Oscars, as did the film itself gaining Best Picture 1943.
The final touches to the legend of Casablanca were equally incidental. Musical director Leo Forbstein oversaw the hiring of Max Steiner and the selection of two songs 'Knock on Wood' by M.K. Jerome and Jack Scholl and 'As Time Goes By' by Herman Hopfeld to be performed by entertainer Dooley Wilson, still in the first year of his film career (Dooley Wilson was a drummer who did not play piano).
The film was critically and commercially successful, and after its release its cast and crew went on to their next films oblivious to the fact that as far as popular memory was concerned, they would always be associated with a night –club in Casablanca.
The black-and-white cinematography has not aged and the dialogue is so spare and cynical it has not grown old-fashioned.
There have been two attempts to make a sequel to Casablanca, both times on television, both times a failure.
The DVD has been taken from the print that was created for the 50th anniversary (I think) therefore it is not quite up to the standard of today’s restorations but is still very good and the presentation in 1.33:1 looks great. To be honest with such a well know and popular film you would hardly have expected Warner Bros. to do any less. The grading of the Black and White is excellent, with the black solid so that the contrast stands out wonderfully – it’s the sort of film that shows how purest will argue that colour only takes away from the story. The Dolby Mono track is also very clean.
The 36min featurette ‘You Must Remember This’ introduced by Louren Bacall is just a celebration of the film – rather than giving any insights; but it still worth a watch. The only other extra is the American trailer.
This is one of those happy chances where the script, actors, crew in fact everything just fell together to make a lasting film that deserved it’s Best Picture Oscar.
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