"The Best Hollywood Movie of All Time" Film critic, Leonard Malton



 Most people have heard of the film, Casablanca, which stars Humphery Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, but probably less then half of these people have actually seen it.

It's one of the most notable, if not the most notable film ever made,  It's a film you tend to remember years after you've seen it.

The film was made in 1942 and it's in black and white. More than 95 percent of the film was shot in the Warner Brothers studios. True to the conservative film restrictions of the era, it has no obvious violence or sex. It doesn't need it. The story itself, (said to be the greatest screenplay ever written), carries it.

Some universities, including Harvard, show Casablanca every year during final exam week to help students "decompress."

It's not a high-brow film only appreciated by film connoisseurs or film historians. Throughout the years it has had wide appeal to audiences, young and old.

Casablanca is probably on more lists of the greatest films of all time than any other single title, including Citizen Kane because of its wider appeal. ...Citizen Kane is generally considered to be a greater film but Casablanca is more loved.

-Film Critic Roger Ebert

It was made at a time when studios churned out a film a week. The film had so many problems and hurdles to overcome that it's a wonder it ever made it to the screen.

I mention all this for two reasons. You've just read about the first one. The second reason, which follows, is important for film students to keep in mind,

In doing an article for the November/December 1982 issue of American Film Chuck Ross retyped the complete screenplay. He simply changed the title back to "Everybody Comes to Rick's" (the title of the original play it's based on) and the name of the piano player. He then submitted the script to 217 agencies that were looking for scripts to develop into movies.

Of the 85 that read the screenplay 38 rejected it outright. Only eight recognized it as Casablanca. Three of the 85 film agencies said, in effect, the screenplay was not worth turning into a movie.

-Ron Whittaker

  • Casablanca is listed among history's "Movie Milestones."

  • The old upright piano played by Sam (Dooley Wilson) in the Casablanca movie was sold to a collector in Dec. of 2013 for $602,500. The piano was purchased for $154.000 in 1988. Sam's rendition of  “As Time Goes By” was the famous love serenade for Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) and Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman) in the movie.

To Blog Index

2000 - 2013, All Rights Reserved