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Casablanca’ Rick’s Café: from a fiction to reality

Source : | 20 March 2013 |  Arts & Culture | 291 views


By Youssef El Kaidi

Morocco World News

Fez, March 20, 2013

One of the greatest Hollywood films of all times is certainly Casablanca (1942) filmed during World War II. The film was based on an unproduced play called Everybody Comes to Rick’s by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison who sold the rights of their work to the producer Hal Wallis. The film was released in 1943 to have a lasting impact and a growing popularity ever since.

The events of the film take place in the Moroccan city of Casablanca but the film was not actually shot in Casablanca, rather it was entirely filmed in a Hollywood studio. Until 2002, many American tourists visiting Casablanca asked for the very popular canteen in the film, which is Rick’s café but they realized that there was no such a place in the city.

In 2002, Kathy Kriger, an American resident in Casablanca since 1998, was inspired to bring the fantasy of Rick’s Café from celluloid to wood, glass and plaster; from fiction to reality. She couldn’t find better than the late specialist in Moorish architecture and décor Bill Willis to bring her idea to life.

 The restaurant- piano bar is filled with architectural and decorative details reminiscent of the film: curved arches, a sculpted bar, balconies, balustrades as well as dramatic beaded and stenciled brass lighting and plants that cast luminous shadows on white walls.

Now ‘everybody comes to Rick’s’ and Americans visiting Casablanca can live the dream again. The famous soundtrack “As Time Goes by” can also be heard but not by Sam, rather by Isam!

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