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A Night in Casablanca
Alternate Title: Adventures in Casablanca
Director: Archie L. Mayo (Dir)
Release Date:   10 May 1946
Premiere Information:   World premiere in Chicago: 16 May 1946
Production Date:   early Oct--early Dec 1945
Duration (in mins):   85
Duration (in feet):   7,617
Duration (in reels):   9
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Cast:   Groucho Marx ([Ronald] Kornblow)  
    Harpo Marx (Rusty)  
    Chico Marx (Corbaccio)  
    Charles Drake ([Lieutenant] Pierre [Delbar])  
    Lois Collier (Annette)  
    Sig Ruman ([Count Max] Pefferman [pseud of Heinrich Stubel])  
    Lisette Verea (Bea [Beatrice Reiner])  
    Lewis Russell (Governor [Galloux])  
    Dan Seymour ([Captain Brizzard] Prefect of police)  
    Frederick Giermann (Kurt)  
    Harro Meller (Emile)  
    David Hoffman (Spy)  
    Paul Harvey (Mr. Smythe)  

Summary: After the third manager of the Hotel Casablanca dies mysteriously, Lieutenant Pierre Delbar tells the police his theory: During the war, Pierre was forced by the Nazis to fly an airplane filled with stolen French treasures to South American and purposely crashed the plane in Casablanca, where the treasure disappeared. Pierre is convinced that the missing loot is hidden somewhere in the hotel, which was under Nazi control at the time, and that the deaths are somehow related. If the treasure is recovered, it will prove that he was not a Nazi collaborator. Meanwhile, at the hotel, former Nazi Heinrich Stubel, using the pseudonym Count Max Pefferman, plots with singer Beatrice Reiner and Kurt, who is posing as a waiter, to become the hotel's new manager. Max's plans are foiled when his mute valet Rusty accidentally sucks his toupee into the vacuum cleaner. Afraid to leave his room without his disguise, Max fails to meet Governor Galloux and prefect of police, Capt. Brizzard, who then offer the position to Ronald Kornblow. While Corbaccio, the owner of the Yellow Camel Company, greets Kornblow, Rusty and Kurt duel with swords in Max's room. Although Rusty knows nothing about fencing, his bizarre behavior so confuses his opponent that he wins. Later Annette, Pierre's girl friend, finds the toupee, which is marked inside with Stubel's name. Pierre suggests that she place it in the hotel lost-and-found and watch to see who claims it. To help Max, Beatrice flirtatiously asks Kornblow to check the lost-and-found for her missing diamonds and thus is able to retrieve Max's toupee without revealing its owner. Max instructs Kurt to arrange a fatal accident for Kornblow. When the attempt fails, Max plots with Beatrice to entrap Kornblow so that Max, pretending to be her jealous fiancĂ©, can kill him. Rusty overhears the scheme, and he and Corbaccio decide to protect Kornblow. First, they offer to taste Kornblow's food for poison and manage to eat his entire lunch. Then, in the elevator on the way to Beatrice's room, Rusty and Kornblow get stuck between floors. Rusty climbs out to look for help and instead finds the missing treasure. Finally, Beatrice and Kornblow get together, but Corbaccio keeps them moving from room to room so that Max never finds them. After Rusty and Corbaccio break the hotel bank playing roulette, Max accuses Kornblow of colluding with them. The three are sent to jail, and Max is given the manager's job. Pierre is also arrested and put in jail to wait for deportation to France. When Corbaccio and Kornblow learn that Rusty has discovered the hidden treasure, they break out of jail and return to the hotel. In the meantime, Beatrice becomes disillusioned with Max and changes sides. When Kornblow, Rusty and Corbaccio sneak into Max's room, she hides in an empty trunk. The men start to search the room, but must hide when Max enters unexpectedly. Hoping to delay Max's departure, all three move his clothes from the trunks to the closet and back again while Max tries to pack. Finally, however, all the trunks, with everyone still inside, are loaded in a truck headed for the airport. There, in an effort to stop Max from leaving, the men jump on his plane which crashes into the jail. With Beatrice's help, they struggle with Max and Kurt, and in the process, Max's toupee is torn off. His real identity revealed, Max is arrested. Pierre and Annette kiss, and Kornblow, Rusty and Corbaccio chase after Beatrice. 

Production Company: Loma Vista Films, Inc.  
Distribution Company: United Artists Corp.  
Director: Archie L. Mayo (Dir)
  Jack Sullivan (Asst dir)
Producer: David L. Loew (Pres)
  David L. Loew (Prod)
Writer: Joseph Fields (Orig scr)
  Roland Kibbee (Orig scr)
Photography: James Van Trees (Dir of photog)
Art Direction: Duncan Cramer (Prod des)
Film Editor: Gregg G. Tallas (Supv film ed)
  Grace Baughman (Film cutter)
Set Decoration: Edward Boyle (Set dec)
Music: Werner Janssen conducting the Janssen Symphony Orch of Los Angeles (Mus score)
Sound: Frank Webster (Sd)
Production Misc: Joe C. Gilpin (Exec prod mgr)
Country: United States

Songs: "Who's Sorry Now?" words by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby, music by Ted Snyder.
Composer: Bert Kalmar
  Harry Ruby
  Ted Snyder

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Loma Vista Films, Inc. 10/5/1946 dd/mm/yyyy LP364

PCA NO: 11407
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: Western Electric Recording

 
Genre: Comedy
 
Subjects (Major): Hotels
  Treasure
 
Subjects (Minor): Airplane accidents
  Air pilots
  Camels
  Casablanca (Morocco)
  Conspiracy
  Disguise
  Duels
  Gambling
  Germans
  Harps and harpists
  Jailbreaks
  Murder
  Mutes
  Pianists
  Singers
  Toupees
  Trunks (Luggage)

Note: The film's opening title card reads: "David L. Loew presents The Marx Bros. in A Night in Casablanca ." When the Marx Bros. began to work on the film, Warner Bros., which had produced the 1942 film Casablanca , tried to prevent Loew from using "Casablanca" in the title. In letters that are reproduced in a modern source, Groucho Marx made fun of the demand. "You claim you own Casablanca and that no one else can use that name without your permission. What about 'Warner Brothers'? Do you own that, too? You probably have the right to use the name Warner, but what about Brothers? Professionally, we were brothers long before you were. We were touring the sticks as The Marx Brothers when Vitaphone was still a gleam in the inventor's eye, and even before us there had been other brothers--the Smith Brothers; the Brothers Karamazov; Dan Brothers, an outfielder with Detroit; and 'Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?'" The exchange of letters continued with requests for a plot outline from Warner Bros.' lawyers. Groucho responded: "I play Bordello, the sweetheart of Humphrey Bogart. Harpo and Chico are itinerant rug peddlers who are weary of laying rugs and enter a monastery....Across from this monastery, hard by a jetty, is a waterfront hotel, chockfull of apple-cheeked damsels, most of whom have been barred by the Hays Office for soliciting....Harpo marries a hotel detective; Chico operates an ostrich farm....Bordello spends her last years in a Bacall house." According to an 8 Nov 1945 HR news item, an arbitration board in New York awarded producer David L. Loew the right to use the title Adventures in Casablanca . This was later changed to A Night in Casablanca . Another HR news item notes that some scenes were shot on location in Palm Springs, CA. A Night in Casablanca marked the Marx Bros.' first film together since M-G-M's The Big Store in 1941; their next film together was the 1950 United Artists' release Love Happy (see above for both). 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   20 Apr 1946.   
Daily Variety   15 Apr 46   p. 3.
Film Daily   19 Apr 46   p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter   5 Oct 45   p. 21.
Hollywood Reporter   8 Nov 45   p. 3, 8
Hollywood Reporter   7 Dec 45   p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter   10 Apr 46   p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter   15 Apr 46   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   19 Aug 46   p. 6.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   9 Mar 46   p. 2884.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   20 Apr 46   p. 2949.
New York Times   12 Aug 46   p. 17.
Variety   17 Apr 46   p. 16.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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