Some of us were kids, and some of us were not even born yet when Casablanca premiered in 1942, but we've all heard of the movie at one point in our lives. The iconic film stood the test of time, and decades later, it is still inspiring popular culture.
On the occasion of the film's 75th anniversary, here are 10 facts about the classic that helped turn Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman into some of the biggest stars in Hollywood history:
1. The film was released earlier than scheduled
The release of the film was scheduled for early 1943, but for publicity purposes it was premiered at the Hollywood Theater in New York City on November 26, 1942. This was done so that it would coincide with the Allied invasion of North Africa, which resulted in the capture of Casablanca, Morocco.
The wide release took place on January 23, 1943, and once again this was a strategic decision to garner publicity since this date coincides with the Casablanca Conference, an important historical meeting between Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt that took place in Casablanca.
2. The original story was not set in Casablanca
It's hard to imagine the story taking place anywhere else, but the original setting was actually Lisbon, Portugal. Although the movie turned out to be one of the most successful films of all time, Burnett, the playwright behind the story, never actually visited Casablanca.
"I never had any desire to go there,'' he said. ''I've been told they have a place there named Rick's, and it's a dump. Maybe I don't want to destroy the image of Casablanca which I created.''
3. The story was bought for $20,000
It took quite a lot for the Casablanca to become a movie. When Burnett and his writing partner, Joan Alison, wrote the original story in 1940, it was titled "Everybody Comes to Rick's," and was meant for Broadway. However, when it was rejected, Warner Brothers saw its potential, and purchased the script and the rights for a record $20,000.
4. Humphrey Bogart had height issues
Cameras make everyone appear larger than life, but in Humphrey's case he was still two inches shorter than the director, Micahel Curtiz, liked him to be. As a solution, he had to stand on blocks or sit on cushions to make him look taller than his 5'8" frame whenever he was beside his co-star Ingrid Bergman.
5. The screenplay was censored
There were strict regulations when it came to censorship in movies and television programs around the time Casablanca was made. Strong language, nudity, and certain social issues, like divorce, were frowned upon so the writers had figure out ways to deliver a script that would still work despite being heavily censored.
"The main thing that affected our work in those days was that we were so handcuffed by censorship — remember, the nation shook when Clark Gable said 'damn' in Gone With the Wind," the film's screenwriter Julius Epstein recalled in an interview.