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Round Up the Usual Suspects: The Making of "Casablanca" - Bogart, Bergman, and World War II Paperback – December 1, 1993

4.8 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Harmetz conjures up the film world of 1942 in this spirited and knowledgeable look at the production of Casablanca . Photos.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; 1st Paperback Ed edition (December 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1562827618
  • ISBN-13: 978-1562827618
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #846,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"Casablanca" is quite simply my favorite film. Its history encompasses the studio system at its finest, the political movements of World War II (the famous Casablanca conference provided invaluable free publicity for the film), and some of the best casting in film history (my favorite character was always Claude Rains' Louis Renault).
In "Round Up the Usual Suspects," Aljean Harmetz has brought the history of this film to glorious life, exploring its origins and dispelling its myths. (How seriously was Ronald Reagan considered for the lead? Did Ingrid Bergman know the ending?)
Her attention to detail would have been sufficient to make this a great book, but Harmetz does much more. Her greatest achievement (and it's great indeed) is to present the film as a miracle of accidents, the almost coincidental meeting of the forces of Hollywood with the forces of history.
"Round Up the Usual Suspects" is essential reading for anyone interes! ted in the story of how a great film is made.
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Format: Paperback
"Round Up the Usual Suspects" provided many behind-the-scenes tidbits about CASABLANCA that I've never heard before - Murray Burnett's lawsuits against Howard Koch, the feud between Jack Warner and Hal Wallis and a precise picture of the Warner Brother house style. Ms. Harmetz provided an excellent and detailed account of Hollywood moviemaking in the early 40s. After reading this and her books on GONE WITH THE WIND and THE WIZARD OF OZ, she just may well be one of the foremost historians of Hollywood's Golden Age.
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Format: Hardcover
Aljean Harmetz's "Round Up the Usual Suspects" is one of the best books on the making of what is probably the best film of the 1940s (and possibly of all time). Harmetz explains almost every aspect of the story--often sounding more like fiction than fact--of the making of this all-time winner. These aspects include who was behind the camera, the actors, and the writers. She provides many details about life behind the WB shield--which collaborates the view of Jack Warner as a jerk seen in a fine book,"Hollywood Be Thy Name"--the fights on who wrote the screenplay, and how they all meshed together to create an enduring classic. She also explains how the film escaped the propanganda machine of later 1940 films. If you love this film, you should read this book! Let us hope that it returns to print witht he release of the special DVD edition of "Casablanca".
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Filled with fascinating details about film making at the time. Superbly well researched work by author of THE MAKING OF THE WIZARD OF OZ. I don't mind used books that don't have distracting margin notes, underlines, or highlighting. Hardbound copy doesn't appear to have been read, as the spine isn't broken in any way. I plan to read other books by Ms. Harmetz.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a great read. Although heavily documented, the "characters" come alive throughout--the characters being actual actors, the Warner brothers of Warner Bros., the director, writers, even the lighting director and sound men on the set.
It wonderfully describes the studio system, the differences between the studios and how "properties" were loaned out, and how WW II affected everybody in the movie business.
Two quotes had me laughing until I was in tears. It is a great book. Additionally, the hardcover with translucent dustjacket is most gorgeous. This is a winner and a keeper for movie history buffs.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read a couple of books about the making of Casablanca and this one is by far the most fun to read and the most fact filled.
If you love Casablanca and want to find out more about it... this is the book
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book when it first came out and remembered liking it. I went through it again recently and found it held up well. EXCEPT for the author's rather casual use of the term "Japs" in several places -- pages 242, 296 ("In the film, a group of besieged Army nurses in the Philippines in 1942 are saved from the Japs when one of them (Veronica Lake) sacrifices her life."), and 301 ("The black private (Kenneth Spencer) died as stalwartly as the young sailor played by Robert walker and the sergeant played by Robert Taylor, all of them sacrificing their lives to hold back the Japs for a few extra days.")
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Format: Paperback
As a Casablanca lover (words don't do it justice), I ate this book up. Harmetz writes with warmth about nearly everyone involved in the film except Jack Warner, about whom she writes with a deserved respect. The stories of the bit players, most refugees, expanded the Casablanca context tremendously for me. The suspense, and the tale of how this gem could have been different in so many ways (or not produced at all), made me appreciate this cultural icon even more. I haven't seen the film since reading this book, but you bet when I do I'm going to turn off the phone.
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