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 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 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.