NEW YORK – We'll always have Paris, thanks to "Casablanca" (search), which turns 60 years old this year.
Legions of fans and bold-faced-names showed up to celebrate the legendary film's birthday in grand style Monday night at New York's Lincoln Center (search).
Ingrid Bergman's daughter Isabella Rossellini was the hostess of the night's festivities. And Humphrey Bogart's real life dame, Lauren Bacall, was on hand to spill a few little-known details about the treasured Oscar-winning film.
"By now everyone knows Ronald Reagan almost snagged the part of Rick," she said of Bogart's character Rick Blaine, who recently came in No. 3 on the American Film Institute's list of the top 50 movie heroes (search).
"But did you know the script was rewritten 17 times?" she added.
Fans who think they know the movie inside and out should take another look at their favorite "gin joint" flick. A new 35 mm print was issued directly from Warner Bros.’ original nitrate picture for the event. And a newly released and re-mastered two-disc DVD includes four hours of additional material, including outtakes and never-before-seen footage.
"Casablanca," so beloved by Hollywood and fans alike, almost didn't get made. Yet, today it's used by popular screenwriting guru Robert McKee to teach aspiring writers how the greats are put together.
Of all the movies in the world, we're glad this one came to pass.