An exceedingly rare and attractive poster for the first post-war release of Casablanca in Japan, printed only for use in the three theatres where the film premiered on 13th June 1946 - Musashimo Kan, Houraku Zza, and Denkikan. Following Japan's surrender in 1945, Hollywood films were screened widely throughout the country during the US occupation. Almost 80 years after it was first released, the enduring Hollywood classicremains one of the world's best loved and most quoted films, transcending its era to entrance generations of moviegoers. Directed by Michael Curtiz based on an unproduced stage play and adapted for the screen by Julius and Philip G. Epstein, along with Howard Koch, the masterful wartime tale follows Humphrey Bogart as an American nightclub owner in Vichy-controlled Casablanca who sacrifices his renewed feelings for former lover Ingrid Bergman to help her and her husband escape in order to continue their fight against the Nazis. Rushed into release in November 1942 to capitalise on the publicity surrounding the Allied invasion of North Africa and the capture of Casablanca, the film exceeded Warner Bros. expectations, achieving wide critical acclaim and box office success, and going on to win the Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. With it's rich atmosphere, pervasive dialogue, sentimental theme song and magnetic, career-defining performances from Bogart and Bergman, the film's popularity only seems to grow "As Time Goes By," consistently voted as one of the greatest films in Hollywood history. It follows that any paper for Casablanca has become increasingly sought after and scarce, snapped up by collectors at every opportunity. Featuring lush painterly illustrations of Bogart and Bergman, unique to the original Japanese release, this incredibly rare poster in original unbacked condition is a treasure for any Casablanca connoisseur.
Very good (B+)
Unfolded, not backed. A soft partial horizontal fold. Horizontal printing creases to upper left portion extending through Bergman's face, which are not particularly distracting, only visible in certain lights, and could be smoothed by linen or paper backing. Some black smudging to both Japanese and English titles from the printing process. A printer's ink smudge to centre of artwork at the left of Bogart's face and another at lower right corner. Minor bumps to corners and the odd negligible handling ding to edges. Slight darkening to edges. Image and colours otherwise excellent.