Trailer for Bogart's "Casablanca"
#1
I love this movie. It has a lot of great actors in it (Humphrey Bogart, Claude Rains, Sydney Greenstreet, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, and Peter Lorre to name a few), the story is fantastic, and who can forget the music?

Anyway, when I found this new upload for the trailer I just decided I had to make a little fuss over it.

Trailer for "Casablanca" From YouTube
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#2
Those trailers are great. They often put them on the DVDs as a special, and I enjoy watching them, just to get a sense of how they marketed movies at that time.
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
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#3
I remember I finally got to see Casablanca one day a few years ago when I happened to catch it on PBS one Sunday afternoon. It didn't disappoint, it's one of those movies that really deserves the credit that's given to it.

Bogart, like many of the old lead actors, has a magnetic quality that isn't often found anymore.
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#4
For me it's the screenplay...the words, which make Casablanca so great.
A few months ago my son sat and watched it with me. He was a bit amazed to find the origin of so many copied and parodied phrases that he knew...
the usual suspects, play it Sam, you're getting on that plane, etc. etc.

Claude Rains is my favorite in the movie...and it was released in 1943. This was no retrospective film as we think of it today. :cheergirl:
" It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes." - Douglas Adams
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#5
dasher Wrote:For me it's the screenplay...the words, which make Casablanca so great.

Which is what occured to me as the reason why I enjoy noir, classic or modern, so much. The dialogue and the interplay either is or aspires to the clever. Even if it fails, it's generally worth watching.

Quote:Claude Rains is my favorite in the movie...and it was released in 1943. This was no retrospective film as we think of it today. :cheergirl:

The German concentration camps and treatment of prisoners was generally known to the world populace. The extent, however, was what made it an astonishing horror. But even if the concentration camps had been similar to the Japanese internment camps in the US, I think much of the portrayal would have been the same. This movie was making the Germans out as the enemy, a more than popular and widely-held sentiment, and so the film makers may have thought they were exagerting certain truths, only to find out that they were in fact just barely skimming the surface.

It would be interesting to know if the writers, directors, etc. made comments in this regard following the war and the revelations of the Jewish Holocaust. Does anyone know?
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
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#6
Does the film exaggerate anything? The US was at war with the Germans, and France was indeed occupied... so they quite literally were the enemy. There's not any reference to camps or prisoners in this, is there? I mean, Victor escaped from a camp, but that doesn't really alter the plot too much, does it? i.e. had he said he escaped from a local Berlin jail cell, he'd have been the same resistance leader he was anyway, and Ilsa would still have gotten the false info that he was dead.
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#7
The film exaggerates just about everything.

There was no "freedom flight" zooming out of Casablanca or any other city controlled by Vichy France.

Nor were there letters of transit (and the Germans would not have honored anything signed by DeGaulle anyway).

BTW -- I saw the colorized version of the movie in the 1980s and I loved it. I wish I could buy it on DvD.
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#8
Yep, but is that an exaggeration of the war and the Nazis? Or just using a tiny fictional plot device? I mean, they probably exaggerrated the flawless English of the multi-national characters too..... but what I thought RR was referring to was an exaggeration related to the Holocaust and concentration camps that turned out to be true. Would the fictional letters of transit affect one's perception of that?
August  - Jack's Pack Fan # 1, Keeper of the List, 3-Time Speaker of the JoAT Fan Quote of the Week, and the only person ever to have Back 2 Back Jack and Cleo fan quotes !
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#9
Hm. I'm not sure. The movie was basically anti-Nazi propaganda churned out at a time when Hollywood was doing the U.S. Government's bidding. Some people may recall the "Why We Fight" series of movies. After 9-11 a prominent film producer (I forget which one) offered to do an updated "Why We Fight" series for the Bush Administration.

Had that series been produced, perhaps public perceptions would not have been so easily manipulated by left-wing criticism and propaganda (which is not to say I support everything the Bush Administration did -- quite the opposite, I'm glad to see some of his policies reversed -- but public perception has been heavily distorted by anti-Bush propaganda).

Anyway, "Casablanca" was just a golden ticket of sorts -- something completely unexpected. It was a brief meeting of great talents at all levels in a very propitious set of circumstances.

Whether it exaggerates anything about the Nazis or the state of Europe and North Africa at the time, I don't know. I've read and watched some documentaries about very horrific things Nazis did. For example, in northern France, a group of captured American soldiers were executed one-by-one in a garden. The Nazis (SS Troopers, I think) told them they were being released. All they had to do was walk through a gate. An officer with a Luger shot each one in the head as he walked by.

Why did they stage such an elaborate execution ritual? We'll never know. I'm not sure I WANT to know.
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#10
Yep, that's what I would think - if anything, it under-estimated the whole Nazi-evil thing, just presenting them as standard movie villains, casting former silent-movie-hottie Conrad Veidt as Strasser, depicting a collaborator/enabler (Renault) as a sort of loveable rascal, having Laszlo still fairly healthy and handsome and capable after experiencing a concentration camp, etc. Rick and Ilsa are planning to flee Paris just because the occupation will end their carefree existence, rather than saying "Oh no - we will be executed or sent to the death camps with the gypsies and gays!"

Although now looking back at RR's question, I think perhaps he's not asking about Curtiz, Warner and the Epsteins and this particular film...but rather film makers in general after the war - did Capra or any of the Why We Fight people ever later say "Wow - we should have depicted the Nazis even worse than we did, since we had all heard the rumors?"
August  - Jack's Pack Fan # 1, Keeper of the List, 3-Time Speaker of the JoAT Fan Quote of the Week, and the only person ever to have Back 2 Back Jack and Cleo fan quotes !
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#11
august Wrote:Yep, that's what I would think - if anything, it under-estimated the whole Nazi-evil thing, just presenting them as standard movie villains, casting former silent-movie-hottie Conrad Veidt as Strasser, depicting a collaborator/enabler (Renault) as a sort of loveable rascal, having Laszlo still fairly healthy and handsome and capable after experiencing a concentration camp, etc. Rick and Ilsa are planning to flee Paris just because the occupation will end their carefree existence, rather than saying "Oh no - we will be executed or sent to the death camps with the gypsies and gays!"

I'm guessing you haven't watched the movie in some time. From his time in the concentration, Laszlo makes the comment, "In a concentration camp, one is apt to lose a little weight." He later makes the comment that he was in "a German concentration camp for a year" and that while he was in there, they apparently used torture ("more persuasive methods") on him to try to extract the names of the resistance fighters in Europe. Rick later makes the concentration camp into something more of a POW camp, when he's making his deal with Renault, saying that the Germans would have something to "chuck [Laszlo] in a concentration camp for years."

As for Rick and Ilsa fleeing Paris, it was more than just the loss of their "carefree existence". When it's clear that the Germans will be taking control of the city, Ilsa says, "Richard, they'll find out your record. It won't be safe for you here." Rick responds, "I'm on their blacklist already, their roll of honor." We can assume that at some point he crossed the German regime, perhaps when he "ran guns to Ethiopia in 1935" when Italy was invading, but he apparently had something of a checkered past with them. Strasser makes obvious allusion to this when he is showing Rick the "complete dossier", saying, "We also know what you did in Paris, Mr. Blaine, and also why you left Paris." It seems that Rick was up to more than just dancing, driving and kissing Ilsa. :goodjob:

So as I said, the film-makers may have thought they were exagerating certain truths, only to later find out they were just barely skimming the surface. The movie wasn't a retrospective, and it certainly was propoganda, but it hit the nail on the head in more ways than one.

Quote:Although now looking back at RR's question, I think perhaps he's not asking about Curtiz, Warner and the Epsteins and this particular film...but rather film makers in general after the war - did Capra or any of the Why We Fight people ever later say "Wow - we should have depicted the Nazis even worse than we did, since we had all heard the rumors?"

Actually, I was asking about Curtiz, Koch, the Epsteins, and (uncredited) Robinson. But the larger question would also apply.
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
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#12
It's been long enough that I definitely don't remember any of those specific lines, but I do recall the bit about Rick running guns, which explained why he was a little bit more dangerous than a traditonal nightclub owner. Well, unless the nightclub in in Jersey. (What exit?)

Honestly, at that stage, just a year after Pearl Harbor, I think just about everyone in the US (apart from perhaps some cousins of Neville Chamberlain :poke: ) were about as into the "let's kill those evil Germans" mentality as this nation has ever been. As has been mentioned above, there were already reports of concentration camps... but then again torture and so forth was around long before WWII. And there were a significant number of Jewish and German refugees already in the US - Conrad Veidt himself among them - who surely didn't mince words in saying why they had fled.

But yeah, my guess is that while the troops may have been expecting Andersonville-style concentration camps (which they would have heard about from their grandfathers and in school) they were shocked to discover it was even worse.
August  - Jack's Pack Fan # 1, Keeper of the List, 3-Time Speaker of the JoAT Fan Quote of the Week, and the only person ever to have Back 2 Back Jack and Cleo fan quotes !
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#13
My grandfather was with a company that reached one of the concentration camps. He never described the experience to me but after he died my grandmother told me the experience had changed him for life.

I think the film-makers were doing the best they could with the information they had available. If I recall correctly, President Roosevelt had set up a special film office or something that coordinated information and projects with Hollywood. The fact that so much reasonable information made its way into the movie seems to imply that the film-makers had a well-informed source to call upon.

I don't know how long it took to write the script. I might have to get out the DvD and see if it provides any information on the topic.
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#14
I think (and this is from decades-old memory) that since it was planned as a B-movie originally, it was rushed into production, especially since when the US got into the war, war-themed films were guaranteed $$ at the box office. And since the big battles and their resulting stories were in the middle of happening, you couldn't do a story about some battle or victory that hadn't happened yet. But a war-themed story that required no battlefield scenes, and took place in a neutral city where an American could still symbolically represent ourt country finally taking a side in the war... was perfect. They had the script from the play, and I seem to recall reading/hearing that the screenwriters weren't impressed with it, and liberally spiffed it up. Back in those days everyone, directors, writers, stars, did 4,5, 6 movies in a year and so I would assume however hard they worked on it, they polished it off in a matter of weeks.

Back on the perceptions of the creative people - I don't about the Epsteins or Koch, but Curtiz was Hungarian and Jewish, and had relatives and friends who were recent refugees (and surely others who were stuck in Europe) and for that matter, Lorre, Henreid and Bergman were all European too, although not exactly refugees. I believe Veidt really had left Germany as a refugee though, and ditto for "Cuddles" Sakall. So there was no shortage of people who had first-hand knowledge of what was going on.
August  - Jack's Pack Fan # 1, Keeper of the List, 3-Time Speaker of the JoAT Fan Quote of the Week, and the only person ever to have Back 2 Back Jack and Cleo fan quotes !
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#15
On the writing: There were actually three different slants to the movie, and it just happened to coalesce into the gold that we have today. The Epsteins worked on a version that went for humor, Koch worked on the more serious version, and Robinson worked on the background aspects.

As I recall, the script wasn't completed when they began filming the movie. Ingrid Bergman said something along the lines that she was never certain how to play her character because she wasn't certain who she was going to end up with, and the writers couldn't tell her.
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
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#16
That would sound exactly like the stories I've read of the frenetic production pace in those days.
August  - Jack's Pack Fan # 1, Keeper of the List, 3-Time Speaker of the JoAT Fan Quote of the Week, and the only person ever to have Back 2 Back Jack and Cleo fan quotes !
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