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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 August, 2003, 11:16 GMT 12:16 UK
Casablanca romance a 'myth'
Ingrid Bergman
Bergman: "Did not get on with Bogart"
Casablanca stars Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman disliked the film - and probably each other, their families have revealed.

Relatives gathering for an 60th anniversary showing of the legendary film laid to rest some myths about the leading couple's famous on-screen chemistry.

Bogart's widow, Lauren Bacall, and their son, Stephen Bogart, joined Bergman's daughters, Pia Lindstrom, Isabella Rossellini and Ingrid Rossellini, to launch a 35mm print of the romantic classic in New York.

The general consensus was that neither Bogart nor Bergman thought very much of the movie - nor, it seems, one another.

Humphrey Bogart
Bogart: "No off-screen romance with Bergman"
Ms Lindstrom said to Stephen Bogart: "She didn't really get on with your father."

He agreed that the relationship was purely that of two professional actors doing their jobs.

Although the film was released nationwide in the US in 1943, it was first released in New York in 1942 to capitalise on the Allies' invasion of North Africa during World War II.

The apparent chemistry between the film's stars has often been cited as the main factor behind Casablanca's enduring popularity.

Last year the American Film Institute chose it as the greatest celluloid love story of all time.

Bogart's wife at the time, Mayo Methot, was convinced he was having an affair with Bergman, and repeatedly confronted Bogart with her suspicions during shooting.

"It was very mysterious, because they weren't even friends," said Isabella Rossellini, herself the star of films such as Blue Velvet.

Lauren Bacall said: "They did have chemistry on screen, but I don't think they were at it off screen."

Bergman never wanted to make Casablanca, and only took the role because she was initially turned down for the film she was really interested in - For Whom The Bell Tolls.

"In later years, my mother's eyes used to glaze over whenever someone mentioned Casablanca," Ms Lindstrom recalled. "It really wasn't her favourite movie-making experience."




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