Made in 1942, Casablanca turned 75 last month (it opened Nov. 26, 1942 at New York’s Hollywood Theater), and few movies in history have worn their ages any better than this Warner Brothers creation. It looked great then, and looks even greater now.
We bid a belated Happy Birthday and suggest that today is an excellent time to brush up on your knowledge of this classic-of-classics co-starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, Paul Henreid, Peter Lorre, Conrad Veidt, Marcel Dalio and Dooley Wilson. (Yes, that’s Sydney Greenstreet above with Ingrid.)
Since you are reading us at Classic Movie Chat, we assume you already know a fair amount about Casablanca. Therefore, our quizlet — based on material found in author Aljean Harmetz’s authoritative 2002 book The Making of Casablanca — is designed to explore your knowledge of the movie’s finer points, and to scotch some of the myths that have developed about the picture over the decades.
Ok, get out your pencils, and let’s see how you do:
1) Question — While Casablanca was not the most expensive picture made by Warner Brothers in 1942, it’s production budget wasn’t exactly chopped liver. How much did it cost to make? 1) $3 million; 2) $2,324,000; 3) $950,000; or 4) $1,039,000.
2) Question — Wasn’t George Raft the producers’ first choice to play the Rick Blaine role that went to Bogie, and didn’t Raft turn the part down? True or False.
3) Question: Although it made her a bigger star, Bergman always regarded the part of Ilsa Lund as no big deal. What movie role did she really covet at the time she made Casablanca? 1) the title part in The Song of Bernadette; 2) as Paula Alquist in George Cukor’s Gaslight; 3) as Georgia Brown in Cabin In The Sky; 4) as Maria in For Whom The Bell Tolls; or 5) as Dr. Constance Peterson in Spellbound.
4) Question: Which of these actresses were NOT seriously considered for the Ilsa Lund role played by Bergman? 1) Claudette Colbert; 2) Merle Oberon; 3) Michelle Morgan; or 4) Marlene Dietrich.
5) Question: How did director Michael Curtiz spend much of his time between takes at the studio? 1) playing chess with Bogie and Henreid; 2) engaging in sexual liaisons with various starlets; 3) working close with key actors on upcoming scenes; or 4) berating extras and production personnel.
6) Question: “As Time Goes By,” Casablanca’s signature song performed by Dooley Wilson, was almost dropped from the picture during production. Why? 1) Jack Warner felt his studio wasn’t being paid sufficiently in song royalties; 2) Wilson disliked performing it; 3) Casablanca’s composer Max Steiner hated it, and wanted to replace it with a love song he wrote; or 4) Bergman regarded the song as much too sentimental.
7) Question: Which one of these cast members was related to studio boss Jack Warner? 1) S.Z. Sakall, who played the genially rotund manager of Rick’s; 2) Leonid Kinskey, the lecherous bartender at Rick’s; 3) Curt Bois, the gregarious pickpocket seen early in the movie; 4) Joy Page, the young Bulgarian wife who catches the eye of Captain Renault; or 5) Marcel Dalio, croupier at Rick’s.
8) Question: How many Oscars did Casablanca win? 1) None; 2) five; 3) three; or 4) two.
9) Question: Casablanca’s script was one one of the best original screenplays ever written? True or False.
10) Question: Casablanca was a box office bomb when it first came out? True or False.