I happened across a DVD Beaver frame capture from Casablanca this morning, and for the first time ever noticed the date on the lower right corner of the payment receipt — December 2, 1941. In other words, the Casablanca story is unfolding only three or four days before the attack on Pearl Harbor, which obviously intensified matters all around, at least as far as Americans were concerned.

The hand belongs to Humphrey Bogart‘s Richard Blaine

The Oscar-winning Michael Curtiz film was, I believe, shot in early ’42 and released in late November of that year. (Oddly, it didn’t open in Los Angeles until January 1943.) Interesting that Curtiz (or his production designer or set dresser) envisioned the action happening right before the Japanese attack rather than, say, early or even mid ’42. This isn’t an earth-shaker, I realize, but has anyone else caught the date before?