Oh but it is something special!

‘Casablanca’ Friendship Still Alive 60 Years Later
NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) – Late in her life, it irritated the great Ingrid Bergman to no end that whenever her career was discussed, the first film mentioned would inevitably be “Casablanca.” †
“It’s a nice movie,” she’d say, somewhat haltingly, “but I never thought it was anything special.”
She once said to me in a manner that indicated she was confused but resigned to that twist of fate: “I made so many films which were more important, but the only one people ever want to talk about is that one with Bogart.” (About Humphrey B., she also made the classic statement: “I never really knew him. I kissed him, but I didn’t know him.”)
But if the beautiful Bergman never quite grasped the film’s appeal, several generations of movie lovers have, and you can bet there’ll be a full house come Aug. 11 at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall for a planned 60th anniversary showing of the Academy Award-winning film, many in the audience seeing it for the first time on a big screen.
It’ll also be looking better than ever, thanks to a new 35mm print manufactured directly from Warner Bros.’ original nitrate picture and sound elements. (Also worth noting: Warner Home Video is releasing Tuesday an equally glorious-looking new two-disc special 60th anniversary DVD edition of the Rick & Ilsa saga; it boasts four hours of bonus material, including outtakes and some recently discovered deleted scenes.)
Among those participating in the Lincoln Center’s birthday toast to “Casablanca” will be Bergman’s daughters Pia Lindstrom, Isabella Rossellini and Ingrid Rossellini; Bogie’s son, Stephen Bogart; and Leslie Epstein, son of screenwriter Philip Epstein.
Some might argue that this year actually marks the film’s 61st anniversary. There’s always been great confusion as to whether it was actually a 1942 or 1943 release; unfortunately, there are facts that support both of those years as the correct one. What happened was this: “Casablanca” actually began shooting May 25, 1942, at Warners in Burbank (the first scenes filmed were the flashback-in-Paris sequences involving Bogart and Bergman), and it wrapped Aug. 2, 1942 (Bergman and Paul Henreid at the Blue Parrot cafe). The film was edited, scored and scheduled by the Warners brass as an early 1943 release.
But Allied forces landed in North Africa on Nov. 8, marking the first victory over the Axis in the European theater of war and putting the port city of Casablanca in newspaper headlines on a daily basis. It was too good a publicity break for Warners to let slip by, cueing the studio to rush the film into what they called a “prerelease” engagement in New York at the Hollywood Theater (later the Mark Hellinger) on Nov. 26, 1942.
It wasn’t until two months later, on Jan. 23, 1943, that it went into general release throughout the country, including a date in Los Angeles, thus making it eligible for 1943 Academy Award consideration. Fourteen months later, it was Oscared as “the best picture of 1943,” thus the 1943 date is the one that’s quoted most often.
But true “Casablanca” fans, of course, consider it “the best pic” period — despite what the beloved Ms. Ingrid Bergman felt.