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.
6. No one really knows who wrote some parts of the script
Although twin brothers Julius and Philip Epstein and Howard Koch are recognized as the film's official screenwriters, many others contributed to the script before shooting began. So the screenplay's true authorship still remains a mystery. For instance, the Epsteins and Koch were credited with writing some of the movie's most famous lines, like "Here's looking at you, kid," but the film's final line "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship," was reportedly written by producer Hal B. Wallis.
7. There has never been a remake
Despite its popularity and success, the film has never had a remake. However, over time, the film has inspired television shows, radio programs, and has been referenced in countless movies, including The Usual Suspects (1995) and Play It Again, Sam (1972).
In the mid-2000s, Madonna pitched a remake with her playing IIsa Lund and Ashton Kutcher as Rick Blaine, but studios rejected the idea. One executive even told her that the "film is deemed untouchable."
8. Some of the extras were refugees
In the famous scene where the "Marseillaise," is sung over the German song, the extras were overcome with emotion and started crying real tears. This is largely because many of them were refugees who escaped Nazi persecution.
Also, many of the actors who played the Nazis, were German jews who also escaped.
9. Rick did not say "Play it again, Sam."
One of the most quoted lines from Casablanca isn't even in the movie. Rick actually says: "You played it for her, you can play it for me. If she can take it, I can take it so play it!"
IIsa also says: "Play it, Sam. Play 'As Time Goes By."'
10. "As Time Goes By" almost didn't make it into the movie
The classic song, which was written by Max Steiner, was included in the original play, but he did not want it as part of the film adaptation. He asked for it to be removed, but the scene with Bergman had already been shot and she cut her hair for her next role. Since they couldn't re-do the scene, they had no option but to let the song stay. It was one of the best decisions they've made considering that the song spent 21 weeks at the top of the charts.
What's your favorite part of the movie? Let us know!