Casablanca: Film School in 90 Minutes

This ticket purchase includes admission to the 6:30 seminar and the following film screening of CASABLANCA, starting at approximately 8:00pm.

Tickets are $13.50 for Amherst Cinema Members, $16.75 for students and seniors, and $18.50 for general admission.


If you don’t know a pan from a dolly, or an over-the-shoulder from a two-shot, this program is for you! After a sold-out seminar last summer, local filmmaker and film expert Nina Kleinberg returns to Amherst Cinema to walk us through the making of CASABLANCA.

Learn how the Warner Brothers’ team took “the worst play ever written” and turned it into one of Hollywood’s most treasured movies. Hear about the players who brought the script to life. Humphrey Bogart knew it would make his career. Ingrid Bergman took the job while she waited for something better. Paul Henreid tried to get out of it. Rick’s Café Americain was filled with real refugees from Hitler’s Europe. You’ll hear their stories, too.

Along the way, you’ll learn about the work of the director, the cameraman, the editor and others. How do you move a 200-pound camera? How do three lights define a face? And how did classically trained composer Max Steiner take a simple tune and turn it into a symphonic masterpiece of scoring.

Using raw footage, clips, and production stills with expertise and humor, Kleinberg reveals how suspense is "manufactured" from raw materials, how continuity errors end up in the final film, and how the filmmakers worked around the censors from the Hays Commission.


About Nina Kleinberg: In the late 1960s, Nina attended film school at the University of Southern California. She then spent most of the 1970s working in the film industry in Los Angeles, mostly as an editor. Although she went on to a different career, she never gave up her love of film history and the film-making process.

Many of you know Nina from her appearances at Amherst Cinema, including her 2015 film series Film School in 90 Minutes, her 2016 series Out of this World on 1950s science fiction films, her 2019 series Print the Legend on classic Westerns, or her Science on Screen presentation on SINGIN' IN THE RAIN. Her seminar on CASABLANCA is a perpetual favorite with Amherst Cinema audiences, with many repeat viewers.