Kensington and Chelsea Library in London hosted a two-part zoom tribute to the 80th anniversary of the release of CASABLANCA . (www.rbkc.gov.uk)
Writer/broadcaster Stephen C. Smith, in Palm Springs, talked about the special ingredients of this film, of the cast and crew,many of whom had fled Nazi Germany.
Stephen summed up the film as a story of love, loyalty and courage and the struggle of desperate refugees.
I liked Stephen’s comment that music becomes a weapon – ( the Cafe Americaine scene with ‘La Marseillaise”.)
I didn’t know that Casablanca was not seen by German audiences (I.e. West German) until 1952. Amazingly Warner Brothers agreed to the editing of the film to eliminate any mention of the war or the Nazis. As a result the film was shorn of 25 minutes and I believe Conrad Veidt’s scenes were deleted.
Why did this happen? In an article at NPR.org by Isabelle Ross in 2017, it was suggested that , although 7 years after the war’s end, the original story might stir up German nationalism .
In the truncated German dubbed version of 1952, Victor Laszlo becomes Victor Larsen, a Norwegian atomic physicist on the run from Interpol!
There is no “La Marseillaise “.
I checked Richard Anobile’s 1974 book on the film and I reckon all Conrad Veidt’s scenes , plus the deletion of the “La Marseillaise “ scene would amount to about 25 mins.
Typical of the dialogue changes which were made. In one scene Rick says to Renault ( referring to Laszlo): “He escaped from a concentration camp and the Nazis have been chasing him all over Europe.”
This becomes: “Victor broke out of jail and escaped many people before you.”
The film received lukewarm reviews and it wasn’t until 1975 that it was re-dubbed with all the deleted scenes re-inserted.
You Tube has the trailer for the 1952 release and it is odd to see Bogie and hear a German voice.
It would be fascinating to see this version, though without subtitles rather difficult to understand!
We smile when Rick says he came to Casablanca for the waters and Renault responds : “But we’re in the desert.”
Stephen Smith pointed out that Casablanca is a port city!
The plane carrying Laszlo and Ilsa takes off.
CASABLANCA had the added publicity of President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill meeting in Casablanca, French Morocco in 1943 for the Casablanca Conference, at which the two leaders discussed strategy for the next phase of World War II.
Lots of controversy in the past about the colorisation of B&W films. This looks ok to me. Sometimes colour breathes new life into a vintage movie.
A Lux Radio Theater broadcast of Casablanca in 1944 starred Alan Ladd, Hedy Lamarr and John Loder
Conrad Veidt died of a heart attack in 1943, aged only 50. “ABOVE SUSPICION” was released after his death.
Will we ever forget the fantastic supporting players in “Casablanca.”