November 26, 2017, UNITED STATES, Warner Bros. released Casablanca 75 years ago, and the decades have not dimmed the allure of the movie. The wartime romance has been screened more times in theaters and on television than any movie in history, and anniversary screenings will add to the record.
A wartime romance starring Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine and Ingrid Bergman as Lisa Lund, it won three Academy Awards in 1943. They include Best Picture.
The movie turned Bogart, known for his tough guy characters, into a romantic lead and Warner Bros.’ highest paid actor. For Bergman it was also a breakout role.
Analyzing its popularity, film critic Roger Ebert described it as a movie “about a man and a woman who are in love, and who sacrifice love for a higher purpose.” This is immensely appealing theme, he added, as “the viewer is not only able to imagine winning the love of Humphrey Bogart or Ingrid Bergman, but unselfishly renouncing it, as a contribution to the great cause of defeating the Nazis.”
Dooley Wilson played a memorable role as Sam, the piano player. In 2014 Sam’s piano from Rick’s Cafe sold at auction for US $3.4 million.
“People who have never even seen the movie, they quote the lines,” said Noah Isenberg, director of screen studies at the New School in New York in a CBS interview. He’s also the author of the book, We’ll Always Have Casablanca. “To this day, it’s probably the most widely taught screenplay in screenwriting courses,” Isenberg told the broadcaster.
The anniversary promises to inspire renewed debate about which was the most memorable line in a movie overflowing with them. Bogart’s, “Here’s lookin’ at you, kid,” and “Play it again, Sam,” rank as frontrunners.
It is still screened every Valentine’s Day in some cinemas.
Great Movie: Casablanca (Roger Ebert web)
Casablanca (1942) Awards (IMDb)
Celebrating 75 years of "Casablanca" (CBS Feb 2017)