The Real Story of "Casablanca" Was the RefugeesBreaking News
tags: film, fascism, movies, refugees, World War 2, Casablanca
It's been 80 years since the Hollywood classic Casablanca opened nationwide. Set at Rick's Cafe, a nightclub in the Moroccan city during World War II, the story centers around a love triangle.
Humphrey Bogart stars as Rick, the cynical American bar owner who repeatedly claims to be neutral in the war. Ingrid Bergman plays his old flame Ilsa Lund, who is now married to Victor Laszlo, a dashing resistance leader played by Paul Henreid.
But Casablanca is more than just a love story. It is a film about, and stocked with, the waves of refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe during wartime. And many of the actors playing those roles were, in fact, refugees.
"When people speak here, the accents are real," says Leslie Epstein, the son and nephew of screenwriters Philip and Julius Epstein. "That gives it a kind of authenticity. In a sense, they're playing themselves."