'Birth of Casablanca' script offered at $60,000 with Bonhams

Bonhams will offer a script that marks the birth of beloved film Casablanca on November 24, as part of the highly anticipated TCM Presents…There's No Place Like Hollywood auction in New York.

Everybody Comes to Rick's was intended as a play, but was soon picked up by Warner Bros. in the wake of Pearl Harbour

The auction celebrates the golden age of Hollywood cinema, with Bonhams teaming up with Turner Classic Movies for a second auction. The first occurred in November 2013, with a coveted Maltese Falcon statuette selling at $4m.

The script, Everybody Comes to Rick's, was originally intended as a play, but was never produced. It arrived at Warner Bros on December 8, 1941 - the day after the bombing of Pearl Harbour.

Seeing a great opportunity to produce a wartime film, story analyst Stephen Karnot approved the script just three days later. His reader's report and synopsis - the package that convinced Warner Bros. to produce the film - is included in the lot.

He writes: "Excellent melodrama. Colorful, timely background, tense mood, suspense, psychological and physical conflict, tight plotting, sophisticated hokum. A box office natural - for Bogart, or Cagney in out-of-the-unusual roles, and perhaps Mary Astor."

The original manuscript by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison is stamped "Important! Return Story Depot!" in blue ink on the front.

Expect big bids for this important piece of film history, with Casablanca memorabilia some of the most valuable on the market. In 2013, Leonardo DiCaprio bought a piano used in the film for $602,500.

Another piano from the film is expected to exceed this sum in the present auction.

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