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The British 4th Commando Brigade seems to have made a raid across the River Maas into German-occupied territory on 30th November 1944. Their leader was Brigadier B. W. Leicester, nicknamed "Jumbo."
But that's all that I've been able to discover. The relevant volume of the British Official History, Victory in the West, volume 2, The Defeat of Germany, doesn't mention it. I'd particularly like to know where the raid took place, since I'm trying to locate all the major British units in Belgium and the Netherlands in late 1944, but any information at all about it might give me keywords for further searches.
A few more hours work, and help from commenters has convinced me that if Operation Bogart existed, it was quite small and not terribly significant.
4th Commando Brigade (formerly 4th Special Service Brigade) consisted of No. 4 Commando (a British Army unit) and Nos. 41, 47 and 48 (Royal Marine) Commandos. No. 46 (Royal Marine) Commando had been part of the brigade, but was replaced by No. 4 Commando. A Commando, in this usage, was a battalion-sized unit. The whole brigade took part in Operation Infatuate, the seizure of the island of Walcheren, starting on 1st November 1944 and finishing on 8th November.
No. 4 was on Walcheren until 14th November, then near Zeebrugge, Belgium to re-equip and replace troops, then back to Walcheren for guarding it via raids on Schouwen-Duiveland.
No. 41 “served on the Maas river” after Infatuate for the rest of the war, seemingly based at Bergen-op-Zoom.
No. 47 was near Zeebrugge, from 10th November to 22nd December, when they became mobile reserve for British 1 Corps. They patrolled in anticipation of a German attack towards Antwerp, but the only action was against enemy fighting patrols. On 13-14 January they raided Kapelsches Veer, an island in the Maas, but withdrew after meeting heavy opposition.
No. 48 was also on the Maas, raiding, for the rest of the war, with a large part of it under No. 47 command.
There were clearly several raids, in addition to many patrols. Some of those raids may have had code names, but if so, they weren't significant enough to make it into theatre-level histories. My main source for all this is a compilation of Royal Marine unit histories, which makes it quite clear that there were no brigade-level operations after Operation Infatuate.
I suspect that the online hints of a brigade-level operation may have arisen out of confusion between 4th Commando Brigade, and No. 4 Commando, a sub-unit of the brigade. That suggests that Bogart may have been a smaller-scale operation by No. 4 Commando on Schouwen-Duiveland. However, knowing that there wasn't a brigade operation answers my immediate questions.
How the Mob Helped Establish NYC’s Gay Bar Scene
It was an unlikely partnership. But between New York’s LGBT community in the 1960s being forced to live on the outskirts of society and the Mafia’s disregard for the law, the two made a profitable, if uneasy, match.
As the gay community blossomed in New York City in the 1960s, members had few places to gather publicly. Shunned and criminalized by the broader culture, LGBT people were eager for any spot where they could safely come together. But going to a bar could be a dangerous proposition. At the time, it was still illegal to serve gay patrons alcohol, to display homosexuality in public or for two gay people to dance together. Under the guise of New York State’s liquor laws that barred 𠇍isorderly” premises, the State Liquor Authority and the New York Police Department regularly raided bars that catered to gay patrons.
Where the law saw deviance, however, the Mafia saw a golden business opportunity.
A family chart of the Vito Genovese mob family.
Bettmann Archive/Getty Images
Since the days of Prohibition, when alcohol was outlawed, the mob controlled much of New York City’s nightclub business—with special expertise in its shadowy, illegal fringes. The Genovese family, one of the so-called 𠇏ive families” that dominated organized crime in New York City, reigned over Manhattan’s West Side bar scene, including the Village where the LGBT community was taking root.
A member of the Genovese family, Tony Lauria, a.k.a. t Tony,” purchased the Stonewall Inn in 1966 and transformed it from a bar and restaurant that attracted straight clientele into a gay bar and nightclub. Run on the cheap, Stonewall was known for being both dirty and dangerous: It operated without running water behind the bar, glasses were 𠇌leaned” by being dunked in tubs of dirty water, and toilets regularly overflowed. The club also lacked a fire or emergency exit.
Despite its less-than-ideal conditions, Stonewall quickly became a popular destination in the gay community𠅎ven something of an institution. It was the only place where gay people could openly dance close together, and for relatively little money, drag queens (who received a bitter reception at other bars), runaways, homeless LGBT youths and others could be off the streets as long as the bar was open.
To operate its gay bars, the Mafia greased the palms of the NYPD. t Tony,” for one, paid New York’s 6th Precinct approximately $1,200 a week, in exchange for the police agreeing to turn a blind eye to the “indecent conduct” occurring behind closed doors.
An NYPD officer grabs someone by their hair as another officer clubs a young man during a confrontation in Greenwich Village after a Gay Power march in New York, 1970.
Not that the police didn’t still raid the LGBT establishments. But first they would tip off the owners, who told them the best time to come by. Raids often occurred in the early afternoon, when few customers were present, so businesses had enough time to resume normal operations by night. David Carter explains in his book Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution, that during a typical raid, bar owners would change the lights from blue to white, warning customers to stop dancing and drinking. Patrons were lined up and required to show identification if they didn’t have any, they could be arrested. Men were hauled in for dressing in drag and women for wearing less than three pieces of traditional minine” clothing. Sometimes the cops even went to the extreme measure of sending female officers into the bathroom to verify people’s gender.
5 Things You Might Not Know About ‘Casablanca’ On Its 70th Anniversary
A little over 70 years ago, Allied troops had invaded and freed French North Africa from Nazi occupation. And aside from helping to turn the tide of the war, it proved to be something of a boon for Warner Bros. as the company had just completed a film called “Casablanca,” which was set among the resistance movement in the Moroccan city under German occupation. The film hadn’t been greenlit with high hopes and was generally seen as something of filler material, intended to cash in on the recent success of the now-mostly-forgotten “Algiers.”
But thanks to the link with current events, the film was rushed into release with screenings taking place in New York City 70 years ago today, on November 26th, 1942. By the time it landed in theaters the following January, it was a genuine hit, proving the seventh biggest film of 1943 and going on to be nominated for eight Oscars at the 1944 Academy Awards, winning Best Picture, Best Director for Michael Curtiz, and Best Screenplay, though stars Humphrey Bogart and Claude Rains lost out and female lead Ingrid Bergman wasn’t even nominated (though she was for “For Whom The Bell Tolls,” which was shot just afterwards).
And of course, 70 years on, it’s regarded as an enduring classic, constantly placing high on lists of the greatest films ever made. And rightly so. Despite a troubled production (only half the script was complete when it began shooting), it’s virtually a perfect film — complex, funny, thrilling and swooningly, tragically romantic in its depiction of the love triange between seemingly apathetic bar owner Rick (Bogart), his lost love Ilsa (Bergman) and her French resistance hero husband Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid). Oft-imitated and parodied but never bettered, it feels as fresh today as when it was first shown seven decades ago, and as such, we wanted to mark the occasion by digging up five facts you might not know about the film. Read them below.
1. No, President Reagan was never going to play Rick.
One of cinema’s most enduring urban legends is that Ronald Reagan was originally cast as Rick in the project. In fact, it was never true, but there is at least fair basis for the rumors. Reagan was named, along with Ann Sheridan (“Angels With Dirty Faces“) and Dennis Morgan (“River’s End“) in a studio press release as taking the lead roles in the project in early 1942. But in fact, none were actually involved. Reagan had been ruled out, having been called up to active army duty after Pearl Harbor but was seemingly mentioned by publicists along with Sheridan and Morgan in an attempt to keep their names out there. George Raft also famously turned the project down, but again, the truth of that is in doubt. The studio’s records suggest that Bogart had always been producer Hal Wallis‘ first choice for the part, though Jack Warner may have preferred Raft. There were other actors considered for other parts, though. Hedy Lamarr — who also starred in “Algiers” — was mentioned for the role of Ilsa, but MGM wouldn’t release her from her contract (Lamarr went on to play the role in a 1944 radio adaptation opposite Alan Ladd as Rick). French actress Michele Morgan (“Le Quaid des brumes“) did test for the part, but RKO wanted a whopping $55,000 to loan her to Warners, so the studio went for Bergman as David O. Selznick was asking half as much money for her, so long as Warners would lend him Olivia de Haviland in exchange. Meanwhile, Joseph Cotten was among the names considered to play Victor Laszlo before it was decided to go with the authentically European Paul Henreid, while Otto Preminger was the first choice to play Colonel Strasser, but again, he was under contract to Fox, who wouldn’t release him. Meanwhile, there was a brief thought of turning Sam into a female character, with Lena Horne and Ella Fitzgerald among the names suggested. Even director Michael Curtiz wasn’t the first choice William Wyler was originally wanted by Wallis, but was unavailable. However, director Howard Hawks has a different story. He said in an interview that he was originally meant to direct “Casablanca,” with Curtiz on “Sergeant York,” but the pair had lunch, and decided they’d be better suited to each other’s projects. Hawks got his own chance at similar material a few years later with “To Have and Have Not.” Another legendary director was also involved, with future “Dirty Harry” helmer Don Siegel shooting second-unit on the picture.
2. Attempts were made to remove signature song “As Time Goes By” from the film.
It’s almost impossible to separate the film from its unofficial theme tune, “As Time Goes By” — it’s inextricably associated with the movie, giving its name to the 1998 novel sequel, and since “Casablanca” was released, playing before the logo on most Warner Bros. movies. But interestingly, there were some last-minute attempts to take it out of “Casablanca” altogether. The song had been penned back in 1931 by Herman Hupfeld for the Broadway musical “Everybody’s Welcome,” and was included in the stage play on which the film was based, “Everybody Comes To Rick’s.” It was shot by Curtiz as part of the movie, but when composer Max Steiner (“Gone with the Wind“) came on board, he asked to replace it with an original piece. He was given the thumbs up, but Ingrid Bergman had already moved on to her next film, “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” and had cut her hair short, and wasn’t able to reshoot the relevant scenes. In the end, Steiner based his score around the song, along with French national anthem “La Marseillaise.” The latter features in one of the film’s most memorable scenes, where Laszlo leads a rendition of it against Strasser singing a Nazi anthem. But in fact, the film doesn’t use the actual Nazi anthem — “Horst Wessel Lied” — which was still under copyright in many countries, with the filmmakers forced to use 19th century patriotic tune “Die Wacht am Rhein” instead.
3. Current events meant that the studio considered shooting a new ending to the film.
One of a slew of patriotic movies made in the early 1940s, “Casablanca” had originally been put into development in the immediate aftermath of the events of Pearl Harbor in December 1941. And the war in Europe cast a heavy shadow over the production. Conrad Veidt, who played Major Strasser (and who was, interestingly enough, the best paid actor in the cast) had fled Germany with his Jewish wife in 1933 after learning he was being hunted by the SS. However, Veidt insisted on being cast only as Nazi villains, believing it would help the war effort — while many extras in the film were bona-fide European emigres who shed real tears during the battle-of-the-anthems sequence. Events took a further turn on November 8, 1942 during Operation Torch, when Allied troops invaded French North Africa, with Casablanca itself being recaptured on November 10th. The news caused some hand-wringing at Warner Bros., with executives proposing that the film should be altered to reflect current affairs, with plans put in motion for a new scene featuring Rick and Captain Renault (Claude Rains) hearing of the invasion. Plans were held up due to Rains’ filming commitments elsewhere, and in the meantime, rival studio executive David O. Selznick screened the film and told Jack Warner he’d be mad to alter the ending and should release the film — which was scheduled to come out the following spring — as soon as possible to tie it to the invasion. Warner listened, and it premiered in New York on November 26th. Its general release, on January 23rd, 1943, turned out to coincide with a conference between FDR and Churchill in Casablanca, giving the film additional free publicity, helping to make it the seventh biggest grosser of the year.
4. A sequel never happened, but the film was the subject of two TV prequels.
With the movie proving successful, ideas started to be flirted with for a sequel, which would have been called “Brazzaville,” announced in early 1943, with Bogart and Sydney Greenstreet returning, and Geraldine Fitzgerald (“Wuthering Heights“) playing the new love interest, a Red Cross nurse. The film never came to pass, but “Casablanca” did live on, not least in the traditional radio drama adaptations. 1955 saw a ten-part TV prequel air as part of “Warner Bros. Presents” on ABC, with actor Charles McGraw (“The Killers,” “Spartacus“) playing Rick and Marcel Dalio, who’d played croupier Emil in the film, taking over the role of Captain Renault. Nearly thirty years later, another attempt was made at a prequel series, with “Starsky & Hutch” actor David Soul playing Rick, a young Ray Liotta as bartender Sascha, and Scatman Crothers as Sam. It lasted only five episodes on NBC, but you can watch some very brief footage below. The story has also moved to other mediums co-writer Julius Epstein attempted, unsuccessfully, to mount a stage musical version in the 1950s and 1960s, while the original play, “Everybody Comes to Rick’s,” received a short-lived run in London’s West End in 1992 starring soap star (and convicted murderer) Leslie Grantham. And there’ve been some literary follow-ups too: 1998 saw the publication of “As Time Goes By,” a Warners-approved sequel by crime reporter and Time music critic Michael Walsh, which fills in Rick’s past as a New York gangster, as well as reuniting him with Ilsa for a plot to kill Nazi Reinhard Heydrich. It was, unsurprisingly, poorly received. Film critic David Thompson also filled in some blanks in his novel “Suspects,” which reveals that Ilsa became the PA to U.N. Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold. We may not be out of the woods with a movie sequel yet, however. Earlier this year, it was revealed that Cass Warner, Jack Warner‘s granddaughter, had uncovered a treatment by original co-writer Howard Koch, written in the 1980s named “Return to Casablanca,” revolving around Richard, the illegitimate son of Rick and Ilsa, in the Casablanca of the 1960s, and it sounds, frankly, horrible. Nevertheless, Cass is hoping to package the project, with Warner Bros. indicating that with the right director and star on board, they might consider developing the film.
5. In the 1980s, a journalist submitted “Casablanca” to agencies under a new title. Less than half recognized it, and even fewer were interested in it.
In one of the better known journalistic experiments in Hollywood history, in 1982 Film Comment writer Chuck Ross had an idea to see how capable Hollywood types were at spotting a work of greatness. He put a new cover on the “Casablanca” script with the title of the play “Everybody Comes to Rick’s,” changed the name of Sam, and submitted it to 217 Hollywood agencies. Of the 85 that read it, only 33 recognized it as “Casablanca.” Four offered to represent Ross, with one commenting “it would be good for TV.” Most of the rest turned it down with notes that included “I think the dialgoue could have been sharper and the plot had a tendency to ramble” and “Too much dialogue, not enough exposition, the story line was weak, and in general didn’t hold my interest.” Depressing stuff, and as Ross wrote recently, “My guess is that even fewer agents would recognize it today… there is little doubt that it would be tough to get it represented, let alone made.”
Actress Carole Lombard killed in plane crash
On January 16, 1942, the actress Carole Lombard, famous for her roles in such screwball comedies as My Man Godfrey and To Be or Not to Be, and for her marriage to the actor Clark Gable, is killed when the TWA DC-3 plane she is traveling in crashes en route from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. She was 33.
Gable and Lombard met in 1932 during the filming of No Man of Her Own. He was just starting out on his trajectory as one of Hollywood’s top leading men and she was a talented comedic actress trying to prove herself in more serious roles. Both were married at the time–Gable to a wealthy Texas widow 10 years his senior and Lombard to the actor William Powell𠄺nd neither showed much interest in the other. When they met again, three years later, Lombard had divorced Powell and Gable was separated from his wife, and things proceeded quite differently. Much to the media’s delight, the new couple was open with their affection, calling each other Ma and Pa and exchanging quirky, expensive gifts. In early 1939, Gable’s wife finally granted him a divorce, and he married Lombard that April.
In January 1942, shortly after America’s entrance into World War II, Howard Dietz, the publicity director of the MGM film studio, recruited Lombard for a tour to sell war bonds in her home state of Indiana. Gable, who had been asked to serve as the head of the actors’ branch of the wartime Hollywood Victory Committee, stayed in Los Angeles, where he was set to begin filming Somewhere I’ll Find You with Lana Turner. Dietz advised Lombard to avoid airplane travel, because he feared for its reliability and safety, and she did most of the trip by train, stopping at various locations on the way to Indianapolis and raising some $2 million for the war effort.
On the way home, however, Lombard didn’t want to wait for the train, and instead boarded the TWA DC-3 in Las Vegas with her mother, Elizabeth Peters, and a group that included the MGM publicity agent Otto Winkler and 15 young Army pilots. Shortly after takeoff, the plane veered off course. Warning beacons that might have helped guide the pilot had been blacked out because of fears about Japanese bombers, and the plane smashed into a cliff near the top of Potosi Mountain. Search parties were able to retrieve Lombard’s body, and she was buried next to her mother at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California, under a marker that read role Lombard Gable.”
7 Andre The Giant
Though he was known by many as The Eighth Wonder of the World, an intimidating French wrestler that stood almost 2.2 meters (7.5 ft) and weighed around 227 kilograms (500 lb), it is his role as Fezzik in the family classic The Princess Bride that has cemented him in the minds and hearts of fans everywhere. In addition to his role in that 1987 film, he starred in Trading Mom, Micki & Maude, Conan the Destroyer, and several television shows.
However, it was his legendary consumption of alcohol that has earned him a place on our list. He consumed somewhere around 7,000 calories of it a day. During one six-hour session, he drank 119 standard bottles of beer before collapsing in the corridor of the hotel he was staying at. His drinking partners let him lie under a tarpaulin they dragged over him. When one bar owner in Kansas City let Andre know he could stay as long as he kept drinking, he was still there at 5:00 AM, having gone through some 40 vodka-and-tonics. Being one of the highest-paid wrestlers of his time, much of his income was spent on beer and hard liquor after a month of filming The Princess Bride, his bar bill totalled over $40,000.
Although known by his friends as generally being a gentle man, under the influence the hulk was a force to be reckoned with. He once flipped a small car over with a few men inside that had the nerve to pick on him inside a bar, and another time, he and fellow wrestler Dusty Rhodes took off on a pair of horse-drawn carriages through the streets of Manhattan.
Despite the fact that Andre suffered from acromegaly, which was the main factor in his decline, his unhealthy appetite for booze was one of the main components of his harmful lifestyle, which experts say caused him to develop diabetes and die of heart failure much earlier than he otherwise might have at the age of 46.
This article describes events in a fictional universe. Events that have happened in real life must be referenced as having happened in the Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six universe in order for them to be included in the timeline.
The following is a timeline which represents all the births, deaths, events and operations that have happened within the Timeline, in the Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six universe:
The Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six franchise features several different timelines of events.
The "Vanilla" timeline takes place from Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six to Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2. Two new timelines were created with Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Take-Down – Missions in Korea, lasting five months in 2003, and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Shadow Vanguard, which features a new Rainbow operating as early as 2012. Another new timeline was created with Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege, which follows on from the vanilla timeline but discounts everything after 2010 in the others. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Quarantine is a sub-timeline of Siege and considered non-canon.
Humphrey Bogart: Jilted Lover Rick Everyone Loved in Casablanca
Even when he played the jilted Rick in Casablanca, Humphrey Bogart still knew how to be cool.
Humphrey Bogart’s Secret 17-year Affair with his Wig Maker
Bogie and Bacall: They were one of Hollywood’s most famous love stories. Filmdom’s most formidable and charismatic tough guy and the sultry femme fatale who taught him to whistle — among other things — burned up the big screen in four films. Off-screen they would spend 12 years together, from 1945 to 1957, as husband and wife.
But what many movie-goers may not know is that Bacall wasn’t the only woman in Bogart’s life. Verita Bouvaire Thompson, a vivacious brunette who could out-drink and out-swear the big screen legend, had a 17-year affair with Bogart, which began two years before he met Bacall on the set of 1944’s To Have and Have Not, and continued right up until his end in 1957. Their relationship, one of the best-kept secrets in show business, would finally be exposed in Thompson’s 1982 memoir/tell-all, Bogie and Me: A Love Story.
Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, ‘To Have and Have Not’
The feisty Thompson, who once dubbed herself “Bacall’s worst nightmare,” was born Verita Bouvaire in Arizona, to an Irish father and Mexican mother. She was first runner-up in the 1935 Miss Arizona Beauty Pageant, and like a lot of pretty girls, high-tailed it to Hollywood, her sights set on becoming a star. She nabbed a contract, but while shooting a Western, she came tumbling off her horse and broke her arm.
Perhaps it was fate. Thompson went to Mexico City to mend and crossed paths with a French wig-maker who wanted to work in the U.S. Before you know it, the two decided to team up.
Actress Lauren Bacall, bride of actor Humphrey Bogart. Photo by Ed Clark/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
Thompson enrolled in beauty school and would go on to become one of the most in-demand hairdressers in Hollywood, working with a slew of actresses, as well as follicly-challenged leading men — among them, Charles Boyer, Ray Milland, and Gary Cooper.
Thompson would meet Bogart at a wrap party for Casablanca, held at Warner Bros. studio. Actress Ann Sheridan, a pal, invited Thompson to the bash. Bogart took one look and was blown away. The seductive Thompson, no shrinking violet, even got the macho actor on the dance floor. “Bogie didn’t like to dance, but, honey, we danced the night away and from that day on we were lovers,” she recalled years later.
Humphrey Bogart, original Rat Pack leader (from ‘Sabrina’, 1954)
Despite the fact that they were both hitched — Bogart to his third wife, May Methot (a marriage famous for its frequent fighting), and Thompson to film technician Robert Peterson — they embarked on an affair.
Both ended up getting divorces from their spouses, but in 1945, Thompson was stunned to learn that less than two weeks after Bogart’s divorce, he tied the knot with his 20-year-old co-star in To Have and Have Not, a former New York model named Lauren “Betty” Bacall.
Bacall and Bogart in ‘The Big Sleep’ (1946)
Nonetheless, the clandestine relationship continued. The two knew they had to keep their affair a secret: Even a hint of infidelity could bring a career crashing down in those days. Fortunately, it was an ideal set-up.
Thompson had a valid reason for being around the actor — he wore a toupee and she was a wig-maker after all. Thompson would travel with Bogart, carrying a suitcase packed with colorfully-named hairpieces, including the Cocktail Wig and the Shaggy Wig. (She once confessed to sleeping with one of his wigs tucked under her pillow when he was away.) Bogart would even introduce Thompson as his mistress, shrewdly figuring that people would never believe he would admit to such an indiscretion if it were really true.
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Oddly enough, Peterson was a frequent dinner guest at the Bogart home. She’d later admit, “It seemed hypocritical as hell for me to have anything to do with Bogie’s home life, and while Bogie agreed with me in principle, he pointed out that it would raise suspicions if I didn’t act as an employee of Humphrey Bogart normally would. And so I became more familiar with Betty and the two children than I wanted to under the circumstances.”
Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart – 1945
The affair ended when Peterson married producer Walter Thompson in 1955, but she remained friends with the couple until Bogart’s died in 1957. Thompson would claim that the actor dialed her right at the very end, asking her to check on his beloved boat, the Santana. “Don’t drink all my scotch,” he told her. “I’ll be down there soon.”
Thompson’s husband died in 1975. She opened a restaurant, Verita’s La Cantina, on Sunset Boulevard. In 1982, she moved to New Orleans and opened a piano bar, Bogie and Me.
When Hurricane Katrina was about to hit in 2005, Thompson was urged to vacate the city, but she wouldn’t budge. “Lauren Bacall failed to chase me out of Hollywood,” she said. “Katrina won’t force me out of New Orleans.” Three years later, at age 89, Thompson passed away of natural causes. Bogie at last had his favorite drinking buddy back.
‘Casablanca’ Filmed Elsewhere : At Burbank Airport, a Myth Is Just a Myth
An appeal to something deep in the human soul is what made them myths in the first place.
One particular myth that will probably live on for years goes like this:
The climactic scene in the classic 1942 movie “Casablanca,” one of the great moments in film, was shot at Burbank Airport.
It wasn’t, but the truth is nearby. According to old studio reports, the airport that audiences see in a few fleeting glimpses in that film is not Burbank, but Van Nuys Airport.
The myth did give air travel another dimension, especially for San Fernando Valley dwellers, who use Burbank Airport in large numbers. It was a daydreamer’s delight, bringing to a routine airport wait the feather-light memory of a high point in American film history.
Just think. Here--where an exasperated mother is trying to herd six suitcases and three small boys on a plane to San Jose--may have been where Humphrey Bogart, playing Rick, told Ingrid Bergman, playing Ilsa, that the troubles of people like themselves in the confusing early days of World War II “don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.”
There--where an oil worker waiting for a flight to Anchorage dozes on a bench--was perhaps where a heartbroken Rick nobly sacrificed the great love of his life, dispatching Ilsa to the higher duty of keeping up the morale of her stuffy husband in his crusade against the Nazi evil.
Or over there--where a pudgy businessman gallops across the Tarmac to catch the departing plane to Fresno--Rick was finally forced by love and fate to abandon the feigned selfishness that was his refuge from troubled times and take a stand with the good guys, drilling the Nazi Maj. Strasser with a concealed pistol.
With a little moonlight and a lot of fog, you could almost see the ghosts and hear the lines, drifting around the PSA baggage carts:
“Round up the usual suspects.”
“Here’s looking at you, sweetheart.”
“But we’ll always have Paris.”
The myth is widespread but undocumented. “It was the first thing I can remember ever hearing about Burbank Airport,” said Victor Gill, an airport spokesman. But he agreed there was nothing to back it up in the files of the airport, or of Lockheed Corp., which ran the airport in 1942.
Even Leith Adams, keeper of the Warner Bros. archives that the studio donated to USC, dismissed a challenge to the myth as “absolutely false.” He said it was clear from studio records that the scene was shot at Burbank Airport.
The challenge came from Richard Alleman, author of the recently published “Movie Lover’s Guide to Hollywood,” who wrote:
“And then there was Casablanca. Movieland legends say that this classic film . . . used the Burbank airport for that last tear-wrenching moment in which Humphrey Bogart doesn’t fly away with Ingrid Bergman (but instead sends her off with Paul Henreid). Actually, according to Mr. Henreid himself, the foggy Moroccan runway was created on a Warner Bros. sound stage.
“Mr. Henreid and several historians do admit that the Burbank airport may have been used for the long shot of the plane taking off--but no one knows for sure.”
Right and wrong. There were those who knew, and they left records.
Files from the making of many of the Warner Bros. films are in the archives. The “Casablanca” file includes everything from the pre-filming opinions of those who judged the story’s box-office potential--some complained that Ilsa was rather a tramp and it was too hard to believe that any American owned a nightclub in French North Africa--to the last name of Sam, the piano player who played it again for Rick. (It was Rabbit. Sam Rabbit. Beat that for trivia games.)
In the file are the daily shooting reports written by the unit manager of the “Casablanca” company, Al Alleborn, for T. C. (Tenny) Wright, the general studio manager. They cover each day the company worked, from casting and wardrobe tests to a final scrap of dialogue. They show who did what, every scene that was shot and even when the crew had lunch. The reports establish two things clearly about the famous airport scene:
Most of what audiences see in the concluding scenes was filmed on sound stage No. 1 at Warner Studios in Burbank on Friday, July 17 Saturday, July 18, and Monday, July 20. That includes all dialogue and anything else involving the actors.
A second unit later filmed runways and an airplane at Van Nuys Airport to blend with scenes shot on the sound stage.
On the night of July 23, (“50th shooting day, company 8 days behind” schedule), assistant director Ross Lederman took a second unit to Metropolitan Airport--as Van Nuys Airport was known until 1956--and “set fog effect,” Alleborn reported. The crew then spent midnight to 3:30 a.m. on July 24 “shooting the EXT(erior) AIRPORT with the plane, night sequence,” he wrote. Lederman filed a concurring report.
There is a column on the report form to indicate which actors were on the set. None are listed.
An earlier location shoot at the same airport might have provided some film for “process” shots, in which actors on a sound stage perform in front of a screen on which a film of the background is projected.
On July 10, the company spent a day on location at the Van Nuys airfield, which had been taken over by the Army Air Corps when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor seven months before. But filming took place during the day, not at night, and the only major cast members who worked were Claude Rains, who played Capt. Louis Renault and Conrad Veidt, who played Strasser.
Because there was a war on, the aircraft shots were almost filmed in Lancaster, in the Mojave Desert. Alleborn’s reports record a running worry that the Air Corps would not issue a special permit needed to fly the plane into Metropolitan Airport, which was in a coastal defense zone from which most civilian flying was barred during the war. Lancaster was the alternative site, but the permit came through.
Burbank Airport administrators took the loss of their myth with a stiff upper lip.
“I guess we have enough lore so that the absence of one incident will not overly damage our place in history,” Gill said. “At least it’s one disappointing piece of news that has nothing to do with the noise issue,” he said, referring to the airport’s running legal and administrative battles with nearby residents over jetliner noise.
“I will go over to Van Nuys at some point and tell the management there, ‘Here’s looking at you, sweetheart,”’ he lisped, Bogart style.
Van Nuys Airport spokesmen Tom Winfrey chortled in surprise when told of Alleborn’s report. “That’s great,” he said. “We’ll finally get the recognition we richly deserve.”
But no Casablanca buffs will be able to idle away a wait for a jetliner at Van Nuys Airport by summoning up the ghosts of Rick and Ilsa and Louis. Commercial passenger flights from that airport are banned by city law, and likely will remain so. Traffic is mostly light planes and business jets. There is no passenger terminal.
There may be those who will miss the small distinction the myth gave an otherwise mundane hour at Burbank Airport, waiting for a flight to Tacoma.
The Wyoming State Hospital
Originally established as the Wyoming Insane Asylum by the Wyoming Territorial Legislature in 1886, the Wyoming State Hospital in Evanston, Wyo. is dedicated to the care of mentally ill residents of the state. The story of the hospital is the story of an institution that evolved and a campus that was built according to trends in psychiatric thought and therapeutic practices.
The oldest part of its campus, a cluster of handsome brick buildings around a lawn shaded with cottonwoods, stands on a hill about a mile south of downtown and is visible from most of Evanston's downtown neighborhoods, as well as Interstate 80.
The hospital's stately architecture and peaceful setting are neither incidental nor accidental. Both were deliberately created to serve therapeutic purposes for the thousands of patients housed at the institution since 1889, when it opened. The hospital is also very much a part of community life, with a staff drawn from four generations of Evanstonians.
The Kirkbride model
When the Wyoming Insane Asylum was established, the idea of government responsibility for the care and treatment of the mentally ill was less than 30 years old. The chief agent of change was Quaker physician Thomas Kirkbride of Pennsylvania, who advocated what he termed “moral treatment” of the insane, and argued that asylums ought to have a curative rather than simply a custodial function.
Kirkbride's principles were published in 1854 in his book On the Construction, Organization and General Arrangements of Hospitals for the Insane. The chief features of his model were a country setting for the institution on at least 100 acres a fireproof building constructed of stone or brick with a slate or metal roof that would house both patients and staff a maximum population of 250 patients and pleasant surroundings, intellectual amusements and “rational discussion” to encourage patients to regain their mental balance. Kirkbride placed special emphasis on training staff to treat patients with gentleness and compassion.
By the 1860s, several states had created state asylums based loosely on the Kirkbride template. The establishment of the Wyoming Insane Asylum was thus part of a larger social movement.
In 1887, the Wyoming Territorial Legislature located the Insane Asylum in Evanston, appropriated $30,000 for its construction and stipulated that at least 100 acres be procured for the grounds so that land could be farmed to produce income to offset hospital expenses. A site was chosen on the southern edge of Evanston on a hill overlooking the town. Intentionally or not, the site fit the ideals of the Kirkbride model.
Local government, at first
Dr. William A. Hocker of Evanston was named superintendent and construction on the hospital began in June 1888. Hocker had served in the Territorial Legislature from 1879 to 1884 and was a logical choice for the post since he had been a strong advocate for a state mental institution.
The first building was a brick, two-story structure housing male patients on the first floor and females on the second. It also included space for administrative offices and living quarters for staff. At his own expense, Hocker built a superintendent's residence on the hospital grounds for himself and his family. On May 15, 1889, the hospital welcomed its first patients, transported by rail in a Pullman car from Jacksonville, Ill., where Wyoming Territory’s mentally ill had been previously housed.
The first governing body of the asylum was a local board of commissioners appointed by the legislature. The board included three prominent businessmen: A. C. Beckwith, William Crawford and Charles Stone. When Wyoming's state government was organized in 1890, the asylum was placed under the jurisdiction of the new state Board of Charities and Reform, abolishing local control of the institution.
In 1891 the board replaced Hocker with Dr. C. H. Solier. The change was apparently motivated by politics. Solier had graduated from medical school in 1888 and moved to Rawlins, Wyoming, in 1889 where he was the county physician and a surgeon for the Union Pacific Railroad. Those who wrote letters of support for Solier's appointment stressed that he was a “good Republican” (Hocker was a Democrat) as were all the members of the Board of Charities and Reform.
Green lawns and a new name
In many respects, the institution that became the Wyoming State Hospital was Solier's creation. His annual reports vividly demonstrate its evolution and show his commitment to the Kirkbride model for care.
In his 1894 report, for example, Solier asked the Legislature for funds “for grading, terracing, seeding to grass and setting out of trees around the asylum buildings. The great desirability, in fact the almost absolute necessity of a well arranged park and lawn around such an institution as this must be obvious to every one,” he argued. “It is not merely to appeal to the aesthetic tastes of the more refined and cultured, but it is in many cases really curative of mental disorder.”
In his report for 1895, Solier recommended a name change. “Most of the older states have already discarded this term [Asylum] and have substituted in its stead the word ‘Hospital,’” he explained. Accordingly, in 1897, the Legislature adopted the Wyoming State Hospital for the Insane as the name of the institution.
In 1896, Solier asked the Legislature for funds for a new building to house the growing population of male patients. By that time, the patient population had risen to 129--90 men and 39 women--from a total of just 31 in 1891. The steep increase was due to the low discharge rate—between 30 and 35 percent—of the population, dominated as it was by aging alcoholics and those suffering from general paresis resulting from syphilis.
Early farm and garment work
At the turn of the 20th century, doctors frequently believed it best to treat mentally ill patients by keeping them occupied with meaningful work. Farm work filled this purpose at the Wyoming State Hospital and, at the same time, served the economic needs of the institution. While male patients performed much of the work on the hospital farm, female patients were kept busy making and repairing garments and other items needed by hospital patients and staff. They also produced a variety of “fancy work” for sale to hospital visitors.
From the beginning, annual and biennial superintendents' reports chronicle the growth of the hospital farm, accounting for each bushel of vegetables and gallon of milk produced. Staff and patients alike worked on the farm. The number of buildings needed to support their work grew steadily. An icehouse was built in 1892 by the 1930s, structures included a kitchen and bakery, a dairy barn, livestock barns, a granary, a slaughterhouse, a root cellar and various sheds.
Already by the late 1910s, with a patient population above 300, the hospital farm was producing thousands of pounds of beef, pork, mutton and chicken per year, along with substantial crops of hay, wheat, oats and a wide range of vegetables. The hospital bakery supplied the bread consumed by staff and patients by the 1930s, the farm was producing a large array of canned fruits and vegetables. In addition to feeding hospital patients and staff, much of the food produced was sold locally, fulfilling the original legislative mandate that the hospital be largely self-sustaining.
More patients, more therapies, more buildings
From 1906 through 1918, the hospital continued to change thanks to growing numbers of patients and new therapeutic considerations. Among these were new treatments, the separate spaces for different kinds of patients, and amenities as porches and walking paths that supported therapeutic goals.
In 1906, the legislature approved adding a new wing for male patients to the original hospital building. In 1907, lawmakers authorized construction of a building for women patients.
Designed by Cheyenne architect William Dubois, the women’s building was completed in 1910 and named Brooks Cottage in honor of Gov. Bryant B. Brooks. It featured open porches and spacious, well-lighted and well-ventilated interiors. Another new addition to the original men’s building included rooms for hydrotherapy, a new treatment believed to have a calming effect on patients.
Beginning in 1914, Solier was able to fulfill his plan for a park by creating a lawn planted with several hundred trees for shade and windbreaks, along with a concrete roadway from the main gate to the buildings, for use by “daily walking parties of patients.”
Fire destroyed the original building in 1917. Fortunately there were no injuries and the 1916 addition for male patients was not damaged. By 1918, a one-story fireproof cottage, also designed by Dubois, was under construction to house 45 of the “more disturbed and unmanageable male patients.”
“All of our male patients are now housed in modern, well-built and comfortably furnished fire-proof buildings,” Solier reported in 1918. “Each [ward] has a comfortable and spacious outdoor porch always open to patients and so sheltered that only in the severest winter weather will they be uncomfortable.”
In contrast to the picture Solier painted for the Board of charities and Reform, charges of abuse and maltreatment periodically arose. The most public, even notorious, of these were made by journalist E. T. Payton, who had been a patient at the asylum on several occasions beginning in 1899. For the next 20 years, Payton waged a campaign against Solier, claiming that patients were regularly beaten and forced to live in squalid conditions.
The Board of Charities and Reform undertook an investigation of the charges in 1903 but took no action. Payton believed that Solier was exonerated because of his political affiliation. In succeeding years, former patients also told their stories of abuse to various Wyoming newspapers, but the board steadfastly refused to take action against Solier. In 1923, a woman patient brought her charges of cruelty directly to the board but received no recourse.
In 1923, the name of the institution was changed a final time, to the Wyoming State Hospital. By then, the campus had matured into two distinct areas--the residential/administrative complex at the north end and the farm operations on the south. Construction continued through the 1920s. The patient census reached 460 by 1930.
In addition to buildings to house patients, tunnels were built linking the buildings' basements. The tunnels allowed for easier transport of meals and supplies in winter and secure transport of patients year round.
After nearly 40 years as superintendent—some would argue an autocratic one protected by his politics—Solier died in California in December 1930. In 1931, the Board appointed Dr. David Williams to replace him.
Judging from his first report in 1932, Williams seems to have taken up the work of the hospital where Solier left off. “Where it has been possible,” the Williams report states, “patients were assigned congenial, as well as useful occupations, and most of them having a preference for outdoor life, were engaged in farm work and the other departments outside.” Williams' account of a smooth transition did not mention the mass resignations of many of the staff loyal to Solier, nor the impending investigation of continuing charges of abuse against hospital staff.
New times, new treatments
By the mid-1930s life and work at the state hospital was coming under economic and social pressures. During the Great Depression, the only building added to the campus was the Building for the Criminal Insane in 1935, constructed as a Federal Works Project.
More important, radically different treatments began to emerge, intended to reduce the role of mental hospitals as custodial institutions for long-term care. These treatments included insulin-induced coma, electroshock, lobotomy and, after World War II, psychotropic drug therapy. Unfortunately, none of the superintendents' reports from 1933 to 1950 are extant, so it is difficult to gauge how these national trends played out at the hospital during this time frame.
In the 1950s and 1960s, two more trends affected the operation of Wyoming State Hospital. First was the rapid development of psychotropic drugs, used to control symptoms and regulate the behavior of the mentally ill, reducing the need for long-term care. The second was the emergence of a national policy calling for community-based mental health care, which relied on outpatient and day care facilities rather than more expensive hospitals for care of the nation's mentally ill. Both practices have resulted in a steady decline in patient populations in mental hospitals and the closure of many institutions across the United States.
By the 1960s, patient populations at the Wyoming State Hospital were fluctuating between 400 and 600 patients. Following national trends, hospital populations declined as the use of psychotropic drugs and community care became more common.
The facility now houses fewer than 100 residential patients at any given time, and several of the older buildings on campus have been abandoned. The staff concentrates on providing outpatient services. But the campus still stands on the hill as a symbol of the historical continuity of the hospital's statewide mission and of its role in Evanston's own history.