American Film

The immortal CASABLANCA, #1 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions list, is the subject of Ronald Haver's superb behind-the-scenes account in the June 1976 American Film™. The story traces draft after draft of the screenplay's development, including screenwriter Howard Koch's addition of Rick's background as a gunrunner during the Spanish Civil War. Years later, Koch wrote a treatment for a sequel called "Return to Casablanca," set in the 1960s, in which the son of Rick and Ilse – raised by Ilse and Victor Laszlo – visits the North African town where he was conceived the night his mother, gun in hand, demanded a letter of transport from his biological dad. The studios passed on Koch's story, perhaps fearing that it would fare no better than the 1955 and 1983 TV versions of the classic film that had come and quickly gone. But Haver's story takes us back to the making of the glorious original, which cut away from the steamy reunion Koch's sequel would later have us believe took place.