March 18, 2012

Restored Casablanca in Theaters Mar. 21, 2012

On Wednesday, Mar. 21, Peter Lorre fans across the U.S. will have the opportunity to enjoy the restored print of Casablanca (1942) in movie theaters.

In celebration of the classic film’s 70th anniversary, Fathom Events, Warner Bros., and the Turner Classic Movies channel are joining together for the special showing – which includes a new documentary on the making of Casablanca, presented by TCM’s movie host Robert Osborne.

The program will begin at 7 pm, local time. Some theaters will also have matinee showings at 2 pm.

Participating movie theaters are listed by State and City on the Fathom Events website. Updates to the list are being made daily, and theater locations are subject to change.

Ticket prices are $12.50 for all seats, however, some cinemas may offer a discount for students, children, and seniors. Tickets may be purchased in advance at the theater, as well as on-line through the Fathom Events website and Fandango.

In the small but pivotal role of black marketeer Ugarte, Peter Lorre sets in motion the film’s events by acquiring – through murder – a pair of valuable exit visas that he intends to sell to Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid) and his wife Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman). It was a part to which Peter attached no importance. He later claimed he made more money playing the roulette wheel on the “Café Americain” set than he did in the four days he worked before the camera.

Casablanca did, however, give Peter the opportunity to work with his pal Humphrey Bogart. Not yet a contract player at Warner Bros., Peter was hired back for his third Bogart-starring movie, as the studio considered how he might fit in with their stable of actors. By the time he joined Bogart on Passage to Marseille (1944) in late 1943, Peter had appeared in several Warner Bros. films as a member of the Warners stock company.

The making of Casablanca and the on- and off-screen friendship of Bogie and Peter is documented in the authorized Lorre biography The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre (University Press of Kentucky, 2005), by Stephen D. Youngkin – now available on the Kindle and Nook, as well as paperback and hard-back.