Of all the podcasts in all the world, 1942’s Casablanca had to be talked about on this episode of Zach on Film.

Casablanca is a 1942 American romantic drama film directed by Michael Curtiz and based on Murray Burnett and Joan Alison’s un-produced stage play Everybody Comes to Rick’s. The film stars Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Paul Henreid; and features Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, and Dooley Wilson. Set during World War II, it focuses on a man torn between, in the words of one character, “love and virtue”. He must choose between his love for a woman and helping her Czech Resistance leader husband escape the Vichy-controlled Moroccan city of Casablanca to continue his fight against the Nazis.

Story editor Irene Diamond convinced producer Hal Wallis to purchase the film rights to the play in January 1942. Brothers Julius J. and Philip G. Epstein were initially assigned to write the script. However, despite studio resistance, they left after the attack on Pearl Harbor to work on Frank Capra’s Why We Fight series. Howard Koch was assigned to the screenplay until the Epsteins returned. Casey Robinson assisted with three weeks of rewrites, but his work would later go uncredited. Wallis chose Curtiz to direct the film after his first choice, William Wyler, became unavailable. Filming began on May 25, 1942, and ended on August 3, and was shot entirely at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, with the exception of one sequence at Van Nuys Airport in Van Nuys.

Although Casablanca was an A-list film with established stars and first-rate writers, no one involved with its production expected it to be anything out of the ordinary. It was just one of hundreds of pictures produced by Hollywood every year.

http://youtu.be/TLU41jUnWM4

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The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

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1 Comment

  1. Ron Knowling
    June 21, 2014 at 6:35 pm — Reply

    Good review. A couple of comments. Matthew says we know nothing about Rick – not quite. We get a fairly clear indication early in the film that Rick is an anti-fascist and possibly has socialist/communist sympathies. Running guns during the Spanish civil war. The war was a cause for the left in the late thirties and would have been acknowledged as such by viewers of the time. This might also be why he cannot return to the US.

    Concentration camps – originally developed by the British in the latter stages of the Boer War to defeat the pesky Boer guerrillas. As I think you point out, while people knew that the Nazis were using concentration camps to manage their population of European Jews there was no confirmed knowledge of of the Final Solution until several years on. Concentration camps were being used by the Germans detain political prisoners (Lazlo etc.) and other identified targets in Germany and occupied countries (homosexuals, gypsies etc.)

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