Casablanca(1942) is an American romantic drama film produced by Hal Wallis and directed by Michael Curtiz. Starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid and featuring Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, Sidney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Dooley Wilson, S.Z. Sakall, Helmut Dantine, Leonid Kinskey and Curt Bois. It is set in the Vichy-controlled Moroccan city of Casablanca during World War II and focuses on a man's conflict between, in the words of one character, love, and virtue: He must choose between his love for a woman and doing the right thing, helping her and her Resistance leader husband escape from Casablanca to continue his fight against the Nazis.
Although it was an A-list movie, with established stars and first-rate writers – Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein and Howard Koch received credit for the screenplay – no one involved with its production expected Casablanca to be anything out of the ordinary; it was just one of dozens of pictures being churned out by Hollywood every year. The film was a solid, if unspectacular, success in its initial run, rushed into release to take advantage of the publicity from the Allied invasion of North Africa a few weeks earlier.Yet, despite a changing assortment of screenwriters frantically adapting an unstaged play and barely keeping ahead of production, and Bogart attempting his first romantic lead role, Casablanca won three Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Its characters, dialogue, and music have become iconic, and Casablanca has grown in popularity to the point that it now consistently ranks near the top of lists of the greatest films of all time. [Text Wikipedia]
Sometimes collections of signatures from this film will come up for auction or sale. A fair guide for seven signatures would be around £1,600. A recent example of such an item sold may be found here. Humphrey Bogart's signature alone can be worth as much as £795, Ingrid Bergman £300 and Dooley Wilson £920! Even an 'inferior' Wilson signature can go for as much as £117 or a signed picture of S.Z Sakall over £100. A single signature by Leonid Kinskey alone can sell for as much as £60.
Casablanca was nominated for eight Academy Awards, and won three. When the award for Best Picture was announced, producer Hal B. Wallis got up to accept but studio head Jack Warner rushed up to the stage "with a broad, flashing smile and a look of great self-satisfaction," Wallis later recalled. "I couldn’t believe it was happening. Casablanca had been my creation; Jack had absolutely nothing to do with it. As the audience gasped, I tried to get out of the row of seats and into the aisle, but the entire Warner family sat blocking me. I had no alternative but to sit down again, humiliated and furious. ... Almost forty years later, I still haven't recovered from the shock."This incident would lead Wallis to leave Warner Bros. in April.
Lauren Bacall and Rosemary Harris head the cast of Waiting In The Wings, a play by Noel Coward. Bacall played Lotta Bainbridge, newest resident at "The Wings," a retirement home for actresses, and former fierce rival to Rosemary Harris' May Davenport. Also in the cast were Barnard Hughes, Elizabeth Wilson, Patricia Conolly, Dana Ivey, Rosemary Murphy, Simon Jones, Crista Moore, Helen Stenborg, Victoria Boothby, Bette Henritze, Helena Carroll, Amelia Campbell, Anthony Cummings, Geddeth Smith and Collin Johnson.