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Is there any truth to the story I heard that the studio brass originally wanted Ronald Reagan and Anne Sheridan as Rick and Ilsa?
I keep imagining how the movie would have been different, how Ronald Reagan would have gone on to bigger things in his movie career and Humphrey Bogart might have been President.


By the way, have you read David Thompson's Suspects?


No truth to the Ronnie Reagan/Ann Sheridan story - that was just a Warner Bros. PR plant.

Bill Straub

That's one of my favorite film stories (although I heard they were driving down Sunset Boulevard when the inspiration came). It doesn't end there. The Epsteins wrote the finale and Cutiz filmed it (he was Hungarian and was famous for saying things like "Next time I need a stupid son of a bitch to do something I'll do it myself). Anyway, it gets filmed and the Epsteins get a call -- the ending, it doesn't work. They respond what do you mean it doesn't work, it works perfectly. They view the rushes and discover Cutiz filmed it wrong -- apparently a wide shot with no tension. They're the ones who said the shot needs to cut from face to face and, most importantly, to add the long pause after Renault says Major Strasser has been shot (silence, jump from face to face to face) round up the usual suspects. One of the great endings.


I would have rather seen the Searchers. The Serchers is to American film what huckleberry Finn is to American literature.

Lance Mannion

Mutaman, they saw both. The Searchers is on the syllabus along with Glenn Frankel's book. Which makes The Searchers homework. Casablanca was just for fun. As it ought to be.

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