As the title maintains, The Making of Casablanca details all of the behind the scenes drama that occurred during the making of the legendary work. This account relates the studio battles over Casablanca, the screenplay disasters, the arguments with the Production Code leader Joseph Breen, the influece of the OWI, the regfugee backstores of many of the minor characters, the racial debate surrounding Sam, and the impact that Casablanca has had on the last fifty years of film making. Containing many pictures and transcripts of production notes, The Making of Casablanca is the perfect overview for understanding how a studio film was made and what external forces (the Breen Office and OWI) affected film making during this time.
This article delves into the difficult study of how movies are seen by their audiences. Specifically, Night for Day, Film for Life analzes how film viewers see actors within their films. Shaffer states that audiences see actors only in relation to their lives within other films. Cult films like Casablanca create actor sterotypes that live on within other films. For example, Humphrey Bogart became identified with Rick after Casablanca’s success. Shaffer states that psychologically Casablanca’s audience can not diferentiate the real Bogart from Rick and this greatly contributes to the creation of the classic Bogart character in classic cinema. Shaffer also extends this theory to Ingrid Bergman and her illuminous character within Casablanca. He suggests that this inablilty to separate the actress from the character greatly contributed to Bergman’s fans’ shock after her scandalous divorce from her husband. Within this article, Shaffer states that the actor/ character phenonminon is especially powerful in classic film as these movies were the first to create the actor images that confused their identity. This article directly relates to Casablanca due to the fact that the film is so seeped in the images that have become characteristic of classic film. In order to properly analyze Casablanca, these image sterotypes must be identified and analyzed. Only after this has taken place can Casablanca’s true meaning and impact be established.
"The Happiest of Happy Accidents"? A Reevaluation of "Casablanca"
This article reevaluates the role of Michel Curtiz in Casablanca. Often relegated to a position of influence rather than prominence, Michel Cutiz has rarely been given the credit that he is due for his work on Casablanca. According to Green, however, the time has come to reanalyze Curtiz’s work and honor his achievements. The main forcus of this reanalysis is Curtiz’s work on the film’s visual structure. Through camera angles and actor positioning, Casablanca’s visual structure is established as a series of compositional triangles that refect the triangles that are inherant to the film’s narrative. Rick, Renault, and Major Strasser form one such triangle. Rick, Ilsa, and Lazlo form another one. Each triangle constanly seeks resolution but is denyed such a conclustion until Rick changes emotionallly and breaks each triangle visually (the final scene of the film). In Green’s opinion, such structural methods are the constructs of Curtiz’s enlightened directing style and can be traced to the film theories of Eisenstein. Green stresses that Curtiz’s work should not be underestimated despite the enourmous size of the Warner Brothers studio and the number of people who worked on Casablanca. While it is often said that Casablanca was merely the surprise result of many happy accidents, this article assures the reader that a great deal of theory and effort amounted to the film’s great quality and success. This knowledge contributes greatly to the film’s analysis as well as the analysis of the studio system.
Call#: [z] Lost copy. PN1997.C352 K6 1973
Released to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of Casablanca’s release, Casablanca: The Script and the Legend commemorates the film by containing complementary film reviews, an essay on the film’s influence in the cinematic world, and the film’s complete script. Although the script is undoubtedly influential to the film’s analysis, it is the film reviews that provide interesting (and rather strange) theories regarding the film. One of theories portrays Casablanca as a political allegory in which Rick is President Roosevelt, Lazlo is Winston Churchill and Casablanca is the White House. In this reading, Rick’s decision to close the casino and go to war is thought to be an allegory of Roosevelt’s decision to give up patrician politics and (inspired by Churchill) enter the war on the side of right (aka the Allies). Another theory that is proposed by the review states that Casablanca represents a repressed homosexual fantasy in which Rick rejects his past love for women (Ilsa) in favor of a furtive affair with a man (Renault). Although the evidence for this reading seems rather suspicious, the homosexual theory nonetheless opens interesting questions regarding the Production Code and Casablanca’s true meaning. All and all, Casablanca: the Script and the Legend provides not only a document to analyze but also controversial theories that expand the boundaries of interpretation beyond the norm. These elements of the book make it a good resource for through and controversial analysis of Casablanca.
Call#: Van Pelt Library PN1999.W3 S4
An oversized book of great length, Warner Brothers Presents can easily be seen as a definitive source on the history of the famous movie studio. Containing over a hundred pages of filmography and an extensive index, this book shares many similarities with a textbook. Its tone, however, is far from dry and the author seems to have made a great effort to make the book enjoyable to read. Each chapter of the book details a different genre of film that Warner Brothers made. Regarding Casablanca, Warner Brothers Presents provides a summary of how the film was made as well as interesting commentary on its significance during its WWII release. The films pro-American stance abroad is investigated by Sennett as well as the films lasting effect on Warner Brothers’ melodrama, romance, and war-related genres. By providing an extensive overview of the studio before and after Casablanca, Warner Brothers Presents shows the influences that affected Casablanca as well as the effect that Casablanca had on the industry as a whole. Although Warner Brothers Presents is not about Casablanca specifically, the book nonetheless contributes greatly to the film’s analysis.
Call#: Van Pelt Library PN1997.C3523 M37 1992
Casablanca File provides a unique analysis of Casablanca by showing the file’s pictorial significance since the film’s release. Analyzing Casablanca-inspired advertisements, soundtrack covers, cartoons, shops, sculptures, and magazine spreads, the book shows the creation of the “Casablanca image” as well as the film’s continued popularity across the world. Although the book is mostly visual in nature, it does not lack significant film commentary and analysis. This commentary particularly relates to the creation of Casablanca that occurred through media outlets after the film’s release. McArthur states that this recreation is a perfect example of intertextuality. Intertextuality is an assertion that the writer of a novel (or the creator of a film) no more invents the work than the maker of a statement invents the language in which it is uttered. In other words, Casablanca was created as much by the media after the film was released as it was created within the studio system itself. McArthur backs up this assertion with pictorial examples of the creation of the Casablanca image. These include advertisements for Casablanca soap, perfume, and cigarettes that all create an image of displaced European sophistication that we associate with Casablanca. Movie advertisements are also shown to exhibit the differing ways that Casablanca can be interpreted. By offering a very different prospective regarding the creation of Casablanca, Casablanca File allows analysis of the film to break free of the studio system to some decree. This aspect of the book makes it a fascinating if not fundamental source for the Casablanca’s analysis.
Call#: Van Pelt Library PN1999.W3 I5 1985
A self-proscribed “day to day story of a studio during its ‘Golden Age,’ Inside Warner Brother is a truly fascinating book that is predominantly made up of expertly arranged personal notes between the most important men within Warner Brothers (particularly Hal Wallis, Jack Warner, and directors and casting heads). By providing primary source material, Inside Warner Bros. does an excellent job of showing exactly how the studio system worked. This description of Warner Brothers’ inner workings is particularly relevant when one studies the studio’s most famous film, Casablanca. Indeed, Inside Warner Brothers devotes an entire chapter to the collaborative efforts that occurred in order to make the film. This chapter contains interoffice correspondence detailing the purchase of Everybody Comes to Ricks, the casting of the leading roles, the creation of appropriate music, the production code edits required by Joseph Breen, the budget problems, and the extensive revision of the Casablanca screenplay. All of these documents combine to form a historically accurate portrait of how the film was made and how many people worked to achieve its completion. Whether analyzing the studio system or Casablanca itself, Inside Warner Brothers is a fascinating portrayal of old Hollywood.
Call#: Van Pelt Library PN1997.C352 P65 2005
Essay Number Ten: On the Argument of Casablanca and the Meaning of the Third Rick by Kenneth De Luca
The appeal of Casablanca is unmistakable. Popular amongst men and women of all ages, Casablanca is frequently listed as the second greatest film of all time. What makes this film so universally popular that it can still garners passionate fans amongst generations that can not even remember World War II, the studio system, or even Bogart and Bergman? It is this question that Political Philosophy Comes To Rick’s: Casablanca and American Civic Culture tries to answer with a series of relevant scholarly essays. The tenth essay (written by Kenneth De Luca) is of particular interest to the analysis of the legendary film. This essay reflects on the relationship between Rick’s character and the ideals of America. According to this essay, Rick’s character maintains modern American appeal because he represents the personification of Jeffersonian individualism. Rick is a man who needs to be free to the point where he can actually be moral and even beautiful. By making the ultimate sacrifice of love, Rick achieves personal autonomy and also freedom from the overwhelming guilt of having done the morally wrong thing. De Luca states that Americans find this sacrifice seductive because it represents a combination of seemingly irreconcilable freedoms – freedom to satisfy self interest and freedom to be directed by some higher purpose. This essay is important to the study of Casablanca because it shows the noncommercial / non-studio system aspects of Casablanca overwhelming popularity.
Call#: Van Pelt Library PN1998.3.C87 R63 1993
This book distinguishes itself by giving a through biography of Casablanca’s often forgotten director, Michael Curtiz. Usually considered to be nothing more than a studio workhorse, Curtiz and his work have often been ignored as merely the cookie cutter products of the enormous studio factories. In the Casablanca Man, Robertson tries to rebuff this image of Curtiz and investigate the unique elements of Curtiz’s work. During this investigation, Robertson outlines Curtiz’s life-story and the influence that it had on his films. Robertson also attempts to discover the man behind Curtiz’s films by researching the director’s view of film auteurism. In 1917, Curtiz stated that the director’s place in a film could be described as a kind of supreme behind the scenes coordinator. Throughout his life, Curtiz favored a hidden approach regarding the influence he had on his own films. Unfortunately, this method has led critics and viewers alike to forget his existence or see his many successful films as merely happy studio systems accidents. This book is highly relevant to the analysis of Casablanca because it reminds its audience to not forget the work of a director who seems to have put a great deal of effort into being forgotten. Curtiz’s influence on Casablanca is significant and (as this book reminds us) should not be forgotten.
Call#: Van Pelt Library PN1997.C3523 L4 1992
The object of this book is to present a detailed summary of many aspects of the making of the legendary film Casablanca. This summary includes a brief history of the Warner Brothers studio, the life of Jack Warner, short biographies of Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, and the traumatic story of the writing Casablanca’s screenplay. Although at first glance, this book seems to be a classic coffee-table book, its contents and writing style do much to differentiate it from this rather superficial genre. Lebo seems to desperately search for a middle ground between the aesthetically pleasing use of pictures in his book and the more academic use of detailed analysis and quotation. By blending the two styles, Lebo creates a book that is stimulating both visually and intellectually. Casablanca Behind the Scenes’ is relevant to this film’s analysis because it gives a detailed summary of the behind the scenes drama and controversy inherent to the making of the now legendary film. This analysis particularly shows the inner workings of the Hollywood studio system and gives examples of the system’s advantages and faults.