P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2002
June 5, 2002
Casablanca at MASS MoCA
(North Adams, Mass.) One of America's most beloved films, Casablanca, will play at MASS MoCA on Friday, July 5, at 8:30 P.M. This wartime adventure covers all the bases; romance, betrayal, espionage, suspense, patriotism, humor, intrigue and tragic love not to mention the snappy dialogue and incredible cast. Quintessential tough guy Humphrey Bogart and classic beauty Ingrid Bergman lead Claude Rains, Peter Lorre, Conrad Veidt, Sydney Greenstreet, Dooley Wilson, and S.Z. Sakall.
Former freedom fighter Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) runs a cafˇ in Casablanca, Morocco, at the height of World War II. The cafˇ is also a safe haven for refugees looking to buy illegal papers which allow them to escape to America. While Capt. Renault (Claude Rains) tries to shut down the operation, famed rebel Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid) comes in looking for safe passage. But his wife Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) is the true love who ran out on Rick when the Nazis invaded Paris, and she makes it clear she regrets it.
One of Hollywood's most enduring legends and beloved stars, Humphrey Bogart was born in New York City in 1899. After being expelled from Andover, Massachusetts' Phillips Academy, he joined the Navy and served as a ship's gunner during WWI. Though for years one of his most distinctive on-screen qualities - the tight-set mouth and lisp - was attributed to a battle scar, it's now more accepted that he was roughhousing on the vessel's wooden stairway when he fell, and a splinter became lodged in his upper lip causing partial paralysis. In the 1920s he began acting on stage in New York but earned little notice until he relocated to Hollywood where he made his film debut opposite Helen Hays in the 1928 short The Dancing Town. He became the perfect heavy for dozens of films over the years, most notably The Petrified Forest, Dead End, Angels with Dirty Faces, The Roaring Twenties, Dark Victory, and They Drive by Night. Landing the lead in High Sierra brought him the attention of first-time director John Huston who cast him in The Maltese Falcon as gumshoe Sam Spade where he began to define the cavalier yet heroic, sensitive yet masculine, image of the contemporary anti-hero which still stands today. A year later he accepted the lead role in Casablanca, originally slated for Ronald Reagan, which would earn his first Oscar nomination. He would win that Best Actor Oscar eight years later for The African Queen.
Born in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1915, Ingrid Bergman was two years old when her mother died, her father passed away when she was 12, and the aunt who became her guardian died just a few months after that. Though alone in the world, her inheritance allowed her to study at Stockholm's Royal Dramatic Theatre, and she made her screen debut in 1934 with a small role in Munkbrovregen. Her first lead was in Brunninger a year later. She quickly became one of Sweden's biggest stars and crossed over to the US with the romance Intermezzo which made its way to New York. There the film and its star caught the attention of producer David O. Selznick who arranged an English remake, which lead to Bergman moving to Hollywood. Her scrubbed Swedish beauty was a refreshing departure from Hollywood's standard cookie-cutter image, and she had little trouble getting roles. In just a few years Casablanca launched her to superstardom. She won the blessing of author Ernest Hemingway for the coveted lead in 1943's For Whom the Bell Tolls which garnered an Academy Award nomination. She won that Oscar a year later with Gaslight. Her next three films, Spellbound and Notorious directed by Alfred Hitchcock and The Bells of St. Mary's, made Bergman Hollywood's top actress. She, like many around the world, was moved by Italian director Roberto Rossellini's neo-realist masterpiece Roma Citta Aperta and asked to work with him but during production of 1950's Stromboli she and Rossellini fell in love and she became pregnant with his child, though still married to her first husband. Though she hastily divorced and married Rossellini, her career would not recover until 1957's Anastasia which earned her a second Oscar. She immediately followed this up with the successful Indiscreet and later won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Murder on the Orient Express. She starred in the superb Herbstsonate in 1978, and her career continued almost until her death with she starred in the television miniseries A Woman Called Golda, a biography of Israeli premier Golda Meir in 1982. After a long battle with cancer Bergman died that same year on her 67th birthday, August 29.
Casablanca at MASS MoCA is sponsored by Holiday Inn Berkshires.
Lickety Split will be open to serve full dinners and snacks starting at 8 P.M. when the doors open. There will also be a full bar. In case of rain the film will move indoors where the Hunter Center will have been transformed into a full movie palace.
Tickets to Casablanca are $6. MASS MoCA members get 10% off. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office located on Marshall Street in North Adams from 10 A.M. until 6 P.M. daily. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours or online at www.massmoca.org.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located on a 13- acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings. MASS MoCA focuses on the work of visual and performing artists charting new territory.
For Immediate Release