Many Community Center to feature Casablanca

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February is Valentine’s month, and the first February is the much loved Casablanca, a love story starring Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart.

Casablanca plays at the Many Community Center on Saturday, Feb.3, at 7 p.m. Admission is free, as always, thanks to the Town of Many, Mayor Ken Freeman, and the Many Cultural Advisory Committee.

You must remember this: Casablanca, perhaps the most beloved movie of all time, celebrates the 75th anniversary of its world premiere this month.

Set in December 1941 in the Moroccan city of Casablanca, the film centers on Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), owner of Rick’s Café Americain, and Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman), the wife of a Resistance leader, who sacrifice being together for a higher purpose: defeating the Nazis in World War II.

To commemorate, here are facts, observations and quotes related to a classic that ranks third on the American Film Institute’s (AFI) list of the 100 greatest movies of all time.

Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman) and Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) look on as the German army occupies Paris in ‘Casablanca.’

Casablanca is adapted from a 1940 play, Everybody Comes to Rick’s, written by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison.

Casablanca is in North Africa. Casablanca was filmed at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, Calif.

Casablanca premiered in Feb. of 1942, in New York, days after the British-U.S. invasion of North Africa. The film’s wide release came on Feb. 23, 1943, as President Roosevelt attended a conference of Allies in Casablanca.

Casablanca’s writers said they didn’t know how the movie would end when filming started. But they didn’t know how World War II would end, either.

Casablanca won three Academy Awards, including best picture, director (Michael Curtiz) and screenplay (twin brothers Julius and Philip Epstein and Howard Koch).

Casablanca established Bogart as a romantic leading man and cemented his screen image as a cynic hiding a soft center. He was shorter than Bergman, which required adjustments to make him look taller.

Wartime cafe owner Humphrey Bogart’s life is turned upside down when the woman who broke his heart walks into his bar with her husband, a fugitive from the Nazis, looking for an escape to America. This is one of those films the phrase “they don’t make ’em like that. It is a classic and sad love story that you will remember… one of those love stories where the lovers don’t live happily ever.

A perfect and thrifty way to celebrate Valentine’s month is to attend Casablanca on Feb. 3 at the Many Community Center.

Popcorn and soft drinks cost only $1.00 each. Alcohol, outside food and drinks are not allowed. Large bags, backpacks may be inspected or must be left in a storage closet at the front of the theater. Guests may also leave backpacks and large bags in their cars, if asked to do so.

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