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Casablanca

Casablanca (1942)

16 corrections

Directed by: Michael Curtiz

Starring: Claude Rains, Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid

Genres: Drama, Romance, War

Corrected entry: Major Strasser is supposed to be a member of the Gestapo (Secret Police), but he is wearing the insignia and rank badges of a Luftwaffe (Air Force) major. (The Gestapo uniform was essentially the same as that of the Waffen-SS and would have had the double lighting bolt insignia on one lapel.)

Correction: Nowhere in the screenplay does anyone say that Strasser is in the Gestapo. His role MAY be (again, not explicitly stated) that of a Luftwaffe liaison officer. A reference to this role in the movie is specifically discussed in the book Airpower: Theory and Practice by John Gooch.

Corrected entry: Major Strasser refers to Rick as a "bumbling American." Capt. Renault then replies, "We mustn't underestimate American blundering. I was with them when they blundered into Berlin in 1918." During World War I, no Allied soldiers ever attacked or occupied Berlin. In fact, when the war ended Germans still occupied some French territory. This led in part to the rise of Hitler and World War II because of the belief that Germany did not really lose World War I but was sold out by various conspirators.

Correction: He doesn't say 'attacked' or 'occupied' - he says the Americans blundered into Berlin in 1918 and he is absolutely right. The German surrender ended World War 1 on November 11th 1918. Several battalions of British, French, Canadian and American troops were stationed in Berlin during December 1918 in a clumsy peacekeeping exercise, and mostly they spent their time drinking and having fun. They blundered into Berlin all right - and Renault was very possibly one of them.

Corrected entry: In the scene outside Ferrari's cafe, when Ilsa is examining the lace merchant's samples, Rick tries to apologize to Ilsa for the way he treated her the previous evening. He says "Maybe it was the bourbon." He pronounces it 'boor-bon' like the French would, not 'burr-bun' like an American.

Correction: He's lived in France and French occupied territories for years! He's picked up regional pronounciations just like anyone would.

Corrected entry: In the German version, Nazi elements were cut out in order to "save the national image." The same reason as found in "Die Hard" (1988), though the changes involved "anglicizing" the German terrorists.

Correction: Wrong on both counts. "Casablanca" was banned in Germany during World War 2. When it was finally released in 1947 it was illegal in germany for a film to make even the most oblique reference to Nazis or Nazism and any depiction of their flags, symbols or uniforms was banned - hence the cuts to the film. The terrorists in "Die Hard" were anglicised because as any German speaker will tell you they are speaking absolute gibberish in the original film - nothing like real German - and if they had been presented as Germans the audiences would have left the theatres convulsed with laughter.

Corrected entry: When this film won the Academy Award for Best Picture, Jack L. Warner was first on stage to accept the award, beating the film's actual producer, Hal B. Wallis, who was incensed at this slight and never forgave Warner. Wallis, at the time regarded as the "wunderkind" at the studio, left Warner Brothers shortly afterwards.

Correction: Wallis actually left Warner Bros, before Casablanca was produced. It was his first film as an independent producer, and was merely distributed by his former employer.

Corrected entry: Heddy Lamarr, Ann Sheridan, Michele Morgan, and Edwige Feuillere were considered for the role of Ilsa.

Correction: This is an urban myth, along with the oft-quoted rumour that Ronald Regan was originally cast as Rick. In the documentary You Must Remember This: A Tribute to 'Casablanca' Julius Epstein confirmed that the roles were written specifically for Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, and nobody else was considered.

Corrected entry: The airplane at the Casablanca airport lands while doing about 10 MPH.

Correction: How on earth did you work that out? There is nothing in the shot that gives you the reference points to judge the speed of the aeroplane. Piston engined aircfaft of the time landed at very low speeds - some such that they could land on top of a slow moving car - a frequent display at flying shows.

Corrected entry: Lazlo says on the first confrontation with Major Strasser: 'I'm a Czechoslovakian', and Strasser answers: 'You were. Now you're a subject of the German Reich'. If that means even the slightest connection with being 'citizen' then it is wrong. The movies legend suggests that Lazlo is from Prague - which in 1941 was in the Protectorate of Bohemia (only the Sudetenland was part of Germany). Not even the Germans living there were subjects of the Reich. They were so called Volksdeutsche and could for instance not be drafted in the Army. The Czechs of course had even less rights.

Correction: During World War II, Czechoslovakia ceased to exist and was divided into the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia of the Third Reich and the newly declared Slovak Republic. This qualifies him as a subject of the Third Reich. And a "subject" does not imply any citizenship. It implies that you are under someone's control/rule, like a "serf". (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupation_of_Czechoslovakia)

Rlvlk

Corrected entry: Major Strasser comes to the airport with reinforcements to prevent Viktor Laszlo from leaving the country. When he arrives, and Rick shoots him, his reinforcements are nowhere to be found.

Correction: We see him calling for his reinforcements and then we see him in his car alone. They are presumably coming from the barracks while he is coming from his residence so they don't arrive until later.

tw_stuart

Corrected entry: When Capt. Renault and Rick talk in his office about Rick's patriotism they are interrupted by Lt. Caselle (Renault's aid) who announces that, "Capt. Strasser is here, Sir" which, of course, should have been "Major Strasser."

Correction: Caselle actually says "Major", it is Renault who's talking about himself to Rick as a "Captain" (Renault says something like: "I'm a captain.").

Corrected entry: The scene: Rick is sitting in his darkened club after it has closed, he is drunk and waiting for Ilsa and talking to Sam. He wants Sam to play "As Time Goes By". After he says to Sam, "If she can stand it, so can I. Play it", Sam starts playing, and the camera starts to zoom in on Rick. It appears that Rick mistakenly re-starts some dialogue from earlier in the scene: "Well, that's the way it goes, one in one out." He says "Well.." and then appears to stifle himself.

Correction: Michael Curtiz was a notoriously careful director, and Humphrey Bogart was a notoriously perfectionist actor, so it's unlikely that the halted dialogue was a slip; the scene would probably have been reshot. More likely, Rick was going to say something but a wave of emotion on hearing "As Time Goes By" causes him to stop.

Corrected entry: When Strasser receives the message to go to the airport, he travels there alone. Why not simply take a truckload of German soldiers with him?

Correction: He practically does ... right after ordering his car he says "have a squad of police meet me at the airport at once".

jle

Corrected entry: In the scene where Bogie meets up with Ingrid Bergman in his nightclub and breaks his rule of never drinking with customers, Claude Rains states "A precedent has been broken". He repeats this a minute or so later when Bogie picks up the tab. The error is grammatical in that precedents are set; only conventions are broken!

Correction: Claude Rains' character is French. He may speak very good English (with no accent), but it is perfectly believable that he could make a grammatical error such as this.

Corrected entry: About midway through the film, during the flashback scene, Rick and Ilsa are shown driving in an open car with a Paris street scene behind them. The rear scene fades to a country scene but the actors and the car do not fade.

Correction: It's a montage.

Corrected entry: The people are looking for passes to board the aeroplane that the police commissioner said were signed by D'Gaulle. D'Gaulle was a criminal in the eyes of the Vichy government, allied with Germany, and anyone with travel documents signed by him would probably be arrested.

Correction: If you listen closely to Peter Lorre you'll hear that he says General Weygand, not General De Gaulle. General Weygand was a member of the Vichy-government in charge of the French colonies.

Corrected entry: The map shown in the opening credits is very inaccurate. Among other things, Poland is listed in eastern Ukraine; Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia are displayed, although they had been annexed by the Soviet Union a year earlier and were also under Nazi occupation in 1941; the border between Libya and Ethiopia is wrong (it should be straight and further west); and the Soviet Union is mislabeled.

Correction: The incorporation of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia into the USSR was not recognised by the USA.

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Quotes

Rick: Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine.

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Mistakes

In the final scenes at the airport, when Rick is talking to Major Strasser, the epaulettes on Strasser's shoulders alternately appear and disappear.

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Trivia

At no point in the film does anyone say "Play it again, Sam".

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