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Round Up the Usual Suspects: The Making of Casablanca - Bogart, Bergman, & World War II

Aljean Harmetz

269 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0297812947 / ISBN 13: 9780297812944
Published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1993
Condition: Good Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Round Up the Usual Suspects: The Making of ...

Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson

Publication Date: 1993

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Good

Edition: First Edition - may be Reissue.

About this title


It is 50 years since "Casablanca" opened up in America. Little did Humphrey Bogart know when he uttered the final line - "This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship" - that he had just closed what would be one of the most enduring and popular movies ever. Aljean Harmetz believes that "every movie is a creature built from accidents and blind choices - a mechanical monster constructed of camera angles, the chemistry between actors, too little money or too much and a thousand unintended moments". Her portrait of the making of an unmatched classic reveals some of the accidents: how the stars of the movie almost weren't Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman; how "As Time Goes By" nearly didn't make it to the final cut.

From Publishers Weekly:

Harmetz ( The Making of The Wizard of Oz ) brings both spirit and a substantial knowledge of Hollywood to her anatomy of the making of many people's favorite film. " Casablanca was a mosaic of fortune--good and bad," she writes, and she draws on a broad range of interviews and documents to conjure up the film world of 1942. Especially interesting are her meticulously researched accounts of the much-debated ending and the evolution of the script, which was based on an unproduced play but delicately balanced with gags and politics by competing screenwriters. Harmetz provides sketches of the stars Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart ("Saint and sinner," she says of their Hollywood personas, adding that their "real-life sexuality . . . was almost reversed on screen"), the "thick layers of character actors" like Claude Rains and Sydney Greenstreet, and the intense, mercurial director, Hungarian Jewish refugee Michael Curtiz. The Production Code forced the writers to approach sex with subtlety, while a "rich underlay" of American popular music made Rick's Cafe seem an American oasis. Harmetz also updates the careers of the movie's principals and describes how the "cult of Casablanca " was born in 1957 at an art cinema near Harvard University. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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