Friday, March 23, 2007

Here's looking at you, kids

Even if you didn't want us to:

A new biography of Ingrid Bergman casts fresh light on the making of the 1942 classic "Casablanca," in which none of its three stars wanted to appear. They never suspected that their roles would become the best-remembered of their careers.

In the newly published "Ingrid," Charlotte Chandler tells of a lunch Bergman and Humphrey Bogart had before filming. She comments that "Ingrid remembered that the only subject they found in common was how much they both wanted to get out of 'Casablanca."'

Paul Henreid, newly arrived from Europe, also objected to his casting as Victor Laszlo, the underground leader and husband of Ilse, Bergman's character. He complained to his friend Bette Davis that his secondary role would harm his new career in Hollywood.

....All three stars were concerned that the "Casablanca" script was unfinished. Unanswered was the question of whether Ilse would stay in Morocco with her lover, the hard-bitten cafe operator Rick, or escape with her husband. It was agreed to film two endings.

After the first ending was shot -- Ilse's escape with Victor -- it was mutually decided that it was the logical ending to "Casablanca." A second version was never made.

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