Leonard Maltin calls it a “perfect” movie. It appears on most all-time “Best of” lists and it had its world premiere 70 years ago today on November 26, 1942 in New York City. Casablanca went on to win 3 Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay. The cast defined “stellar”: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Sydney Greenstreet, Claude Rains and Peter Lorre. Dooley Wilson, who plays Sam the piano player, was in real life a drummer and couldn’t actually play piano (but that is him singing). Director Michael Curtiz finished with more than 170 directing credits, and had some other acclaimed films (White Christmas, Mildred Pierce, Yankee Doodle Dandy), but this was clearly his career pinnacle. There is so much more to say about the film, but I’ll save it for another time. Just remember … “a kiss is just a kiss” … “oh yes, the world will always welcome lovers, as time goes by“.
CASABLANCA – 70th Anniversary