I doubt that there is someone who doesn’t know the cult movie from Golden Age of Hollywood, in which excelled Humphrey Bogart along with Ingrid Bergman. Of course, I’m talking about Casablanca, which celebrated its 70th anniversary in February. The film classic from 1942, Casablanca won Academy Awards for best picture, best director and best screenplay. Oscar for the Best Director was handed to Michael Curtiz, and now, the same Statuette could fetch $3 million when it goes under the hammer in Los Angeles.
Curtiz’s golden statuette was previously sold to US magician David Copperfield for $231,500 in 2003. But the auctioneers would not reveal who currently owns the award. Gold-plated statue of “Oscar” is 11.75″ high and weighs 6 lbs, and on the front of the base is engraved: “Academy First Award / To / Michael Curtiz / For The Direction of / ‘Casablanca’”. The plaque upon the opposite side reads: “Academy Of / Motion Picture / Arts And Sciences / First Award / 1943″.
At the moment, 26 bidders had already registered their interest in the Casablanca gold-plated statuette.
Michael Curtiz was born in Budapest in 1886. His many films received Oscar nominations in various categories throughout his career, but Casablanca is his singular win. He died of cancer in 1962 at the age of 75.
Casablanca, set during World War Two, has been named by the American Film Institute as the third best film of the past 100 years. [Nate D. Sanders]