Casablanca – Colorized (DVD) 1942 Shown in original aspect ratio 1.37:1 Approx. 102 min. Playable in North America (the US, Canada, Mexico, etc.)
Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre. Written by Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein and Howard Koch. Based on “Everybody Comes to Rick's” by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison. Cinematography by Arthur Edeson. Edited by Owen Marks. Music by Max Steiner. Directed by Michael Curtiz.
Casablanca is a 1942 American romantic drama film directed by Michael Curtiz, starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Paul Henreid. Filmed and set during World War II, it focuses on an American expatriate (Bogart) who must choose between his love for a woman (Bergman) and helping her husband (Henreid), a Czechoslovak resistance leader, escape from the Vichy-controlled city of Casablanca to continue his fight against the Germans. The screenplay is based on “Everybody Comes to Rick's”, an unproduced stage play by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison. The supporting cast features Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, and Dooley Wilson.
Warner Bros. story editor Irene Diamond convinced producer Hal B. Wallis to purchase the film rights to the play in January 1942. Brothers Julius and Philip G. Epstein were initially assigned to write the script. However, despite studio resistance, they left to work on Frank Capra's “Why We Fight” series early in 1942. Howard Koch was assigned to the screenplay until the Epsteins returned a month later. Principal photography began on May 25, 1942, ending on August 3; the film was shot entirely at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California, with the exception of one sequence at Van Nuys Airport in Los Angeles.
Although Casablanca was an A-list film with established stars and first-rate writers, no one involved with its production expected it to stand out among the hundreds of pictures produced by Hollywood yearly. Casablanca was rushed into release to take advantage of the publicity from the Allied invasion of North Africa a few weeks earlier. It had its world premiere on November 26, 1942, in New York City and was released nationally in the United States on January 23, 1943. The film was a solid, if unspectacular, success in its initial run.
Exceeding expectations, Casablanca went on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, while Curtiz was selected as Best Director and the Epsteins and Koch were honored for Best Adapted Screenplay. Its reputation has gradually grown, to the point that its lead characters, memorable lines, and pervasive theme song have all become iconic, and it consistently ranks near the top of lists of the greatest films in history. In 1989, the United States Library of Congress selected the film as one of the first for preservation in the National Film Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
Songs included are (plus many more):
"It Had to Be You", music by Isham Jones, lyrics by Gus Kahn
"Shine", music by Ford Dabney, lyrics by Cecil Mack and Lew Brown
"Avalon", music and lyrics by Al Jolson, Buddy DeSylva and Vincent Rose
"Perfidia", by Alberto Dominguez
"The Very Thought of You", by Ray Noble
"Crazy Rhythm" by Joseph Meyer and Roger Wolfe Kahn
"Knock on Wood", music by M. K. Jerome, lyrics by Jack Scholl
"Die Wacht am Rhein", by Karl Wilhelm and Max Schneckenburger
"La Marseillaise", by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
by Herman Hupfeld
- This colorized version, rare and wonderful, was done by American Film Technologies in 1988. Very few prints of the colorized version of CASABLANCA exist. After an extensive search we found what we believe to be the best surviving elements. We are pleased to make this available here on DVD. The quality is not what one should expect from a state-of-the-art re-mastered version - but it is very good and a treasure for those who truly wish to see this wonderful movie that critic Leonard Maltin considers: "the best Hollywood movie of all time".