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Here's Looking At You, Kid! Thrilling Secrets Of 'Casablanca'

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Mar. 24 2017, Published 9:55 a.m. ET

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Suave and exciting, the classic film "Casablanca" is a heady mix of breathtaking romance and pulse-quickening intrigue that has long captivated audiences who are enchanted by the performances of Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and the rest of the stellar cast.

Set in an exotic northern African port at a time of political upheaval, the legendary Warner Brothers movie is steeped in sentiment but loaded with melodrama, creating a memorable story that has stood the test of time.

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As "Casablanca" celebrates the 75th anniversary of its 1942 release, RadarOnline.com takes a look at some of the secrets behind the smoldering World War II love saga.

The film was based on Murray Burnett and Joan Alison's unproduced play "Everybody Comes to Rick's."

Warner Brothers paid $20,000 for the rights to the work, an astonishing sum at the time.

The production was retitled "Casablanca" to piggyback on the success of 1938's "Algiers."

"Casablanca" can take credit for inspiring one of the most misquoted movie lines of all time. No one ever says, "Play it again, Sam."

Ilsa Lund, played by Bergman, only says "Play it, Sam. Play 'As Time Goes By.' "

Bergman was a few inches taller than Bogart, who wore platform shoes to compensate for the difference. To create the illusion that Bogie was taller, director Michael Curtiz had him stand on boxes and sit on pillows for some shots, while making Bergman slouch down in others!

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Actor George Raft was originally offered Bogart's role of Rick Blaine — but he turned it down. Raft later had a change of heart, but by then producer Hal Wallis insisted on Bogart. Ironically, Raft had turned down two other gigs that boosted Bogart's career: Roy "Mad Dog" Earle in "High Sierra" and Sam Spade in "The Maltese Falcon," both from 1941.

Future president Ronald Reagan, then a Warner Bros. contract player, had also been briefly considered to play Rick.

Bogart actually improvised the classic line: "Here's looking at you, kid." Coupled with the actor's undeniable charisma, those simple words still deliver a stunning emotional punch.

Bogart's wife at the time, Mayo Methot, constantly accused him of having an affair with co-star Bergman, often confronting him in his dressing room and causing Bogart to come to the set in a rage.

Despite the on-screen chemistry between Bogart and Bergman, they hardly spoke. The only time the pair bonded was when they had lunch with others on the set.

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Dooley Wilson, who portrayed Rick's sidekick Sam, could not really play the piano. Wilson was a professional drummer who faked it! The movie's music was recorded at the same time as the film, with Elliot Carpenter tickling the ivories behind a curtain. Carpenter was positioned in view of Wilson, who mimicked his hand movements.

Interestingly, Wilson was the only member of the cast who had ever actually visited the city of Casablanca.

Conrad Veidt, who played Major Strasser, was actually a German refugee himself, who was well known in his country's theatrical community for his hatred of the Nazis. He was forced to flee Germany because the SS learned of his anti-Nazi activities — and had sent a death squad after him!

The large numbers of European exiles fleeing the war were a boon to the studio's casting department — and added greatly to the emotional impact of the film. Out of all the credited performers, only three were born in the U.S.: Bogart, Wilson and Joy Page.

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We pay for juicy info! Do you have a story for RadarOnline.com? Email us at tips@radaronline.com, or call us at (866) ON-RADAR (667-2327) any time, day or night.

//casablanca film anniversary secrets pp

Suave and exciting, the classic film "Casablanca" is a heady mix of breathtaking romance and pulse-quickening intrigue that has long captivated audiences who are enchanted by the performances of Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and the rest of the stellar cast.Set in an exotic northern African port at a time of political upheaval, the legendary Warner Brothers movie is steeped in sentiment but loaded with melodrama, creating a memorable story that has stood the test of time.

Article continues below advertisement
//casablanca film anniversary secrets
Source: MEGA

As "Casablanca" celebrates the 75th anniversary of its 1942 release, RadarOnline.com takes a look at some of the secrets behind the smoldering World War II love saga. The film was based on Murray Burnett and Joan Alison's unproduced play "Everybody Comes to Rick's."

//casablanca film anniversary secrets
Source: MEGA

Warner Brothers paid $20,000 for the rights to the work, an astonishing sum at the time. The production was retitled "Casablanca" to piggyback on the success of 1938's "Algiers." "Casablanca" can take credit for inspiring one of the most misquoted movie lines of all time. No one ever says, "Play it again, Sam."Ilsa Lund, played by Bergman, only says "Play it, Sam. Play 'As Time Goes By.' "Bergman was a few inches taller than Bogart, who wore platform shoes to compensate for the difference. To create the illusion that Bogie was taller, director Michael Curtiz had him stand on boxes and sit on pillows for some shots, while making Bergman slouch down in others!

Article continues below advertisement
//casablanca film anniversary secrets

ctor George Raft was originally offered Bogart's role of Rick Blaine — but he turned it down. Raft later had a change of heart, but by then producer Hal Wallis insisted on Bogart. Ironically, Raft had turned down two other gigs that boosted Bogart's career: Roy "Mad Dog" Earle in "High Sierra" and Sam Spade in "The Maltese Falcon," both from 1941.

//casablanca film anniversary secrets

Future president Ronald Reagan, then a Warner Bros. contract player, had also been briefly considered to play Rick.

Article continues below advertisement
//casablanca film anniversary secrets

Bogart actually improvised the classic line: "Here's looking at you, kid." Coupled with the actor's undeniable charisma, those simple words still deliver a stunning emotional punch. Bogart's wife at the time, Mayo Methot, constantly accused him of having an affair with co-star Bergman, often confronting him in his dressing room and causing Bogart to come to the set in a rage. Despite the on-screen chemistry between Bogart and Bergman, they hardly spoke. The only time the pair bonded was when they had lunch with others on the set.

//casablanca film anniversary secrets

Dooley Wilson, who portrayed Rick's sidekick Sam, could not really play the piano. Wilson was a professional drummer who faked it! The movie's music was recorded at the same time as the film, with Elliot Carpenter tickling the ivories behind a curtain. Carpenter was positioned in view of Wilson, who mimicked his hand movements. Interestingly, Wilson was the only member of the cast who had ever actually visited the city of Casablanca.

//casablanca film anniversary secrets

Conrad Veidt, who played Major Strasser, was actually a German refugee himself, who was well known in his country's theatrical community for his hatred of the Nazis. He was forced to flee Germany because the SS learned of his anti-Nazi activities — and had sent a death squad after him! The large numbers of European exiles fleeing the war were a boon to the studio's casting department — and added greatly to the emotional impact of the film. Out of all the credited performers, only three were born in the U.S.: Bogart, Wilson and Joy Page.

We pay for juicy info! Do you have a story for RadarOnline.com? Email us at tips@radaronline.com, or call us at (866) ON-RADAR (667-2327) any time, day or night.

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