Re: At the Casablanca Airfield

Date:         20 Mar 97 02:34:56 
From:         faurecm@halcyon.com (C. Marin Faure)
Organization: Northwest Nexus Inc.
References:   1 2
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In article <airliners.1997.743@ohare.Chicago.COM>, David Lednicer
<dave@amiwest.com> wrote:

> Bruce Allen wrote:
> >
> > This is more of a movie question, but the movie folks don't give a damn
> > about airplanes.
> >
> > Has anyone here ever noticed what model of aircraft that is, shown running
> > up the engines at the end of the movie Casablanca? Is it German or American
> > (a Boeing?). I can't tell because of the mist.


I saw an interview a couple of years ago with the man who'd been the
assistant director of the movie, and he went into some detail about how
the last scene was done and how they'd fooled the world.  The scene was
actually shot on a very small soundstage.  Because the budget was so small
(the studio considered "Casablanca" a B movie and they stuck Humphry
Bogart and Claude Raines in it as punishment for their uppity behavior on
previous projects), the airplane was actually a two-dimensional plywood
mockup of a Lockheed Lodestar.  Everyone thinks it's a DC-3 but someone on
the crew had a photograph of a Lodestar so that's what they patterned the
mockup after.  In order to hide the fact that the airplane was totally
unbelievable to the eye, they blew a ton of smoke (fog) onto the set.
They also hired several midgets to load "freight" into the plywood
mockup.  The airplane mockup was actually only fifteen or twenty feet
behind the actors in the sound studio; the midgets provided a believable
forced perspective and the smoke generators and fans did the rest.  They
cut in a shot or two of a real radial engine starting up and running to
convince you it was a real airplane.  But it wasn't.  Sorry....

C. Marin Faure
  author, Flying A Floatplane