Location #13:

The Casablanca Window


Q.  Where is it supposed to be?

0:39:32: When Mia & Sebastian step out of her coffee shop, onto the back lot of the studio where she works ( in what amounts to their first informal date ), she immediately stops to draw his attention to a building across the street.  She points at an upper window on one of the French-style set buildings, and announces:

"That's the window that Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman
looked out of in Casablanca."


We then are shown a shot of that window, from their viewpoint.



Sebastian seems suitably impressed.

( "I can't believe you work right across the street from that. – Amazing." )

And they proceed with Mia's impromptu tour.



Mia is talking, of course, about the classic 1942 movie "Casablanca", considered by most critics to be one of the greatest films ever made, chock full of wartime romance, heartbreak, Nazi intrigue, and noble sacrifice. Not to mention immortal lines such as "Play it again, Sam",  "Here's looking at you, kid", "Of all the gin joints, in all the world, she walks into mine",  and
"We'll always have "Paris".




In case you haven't seen the film yet, that last line refers to a lengthy flashback scene in the movie, where Bogart's character, Rick ( who is now living in Nazi-occupied Casablanca, Morocco ) thinks back on the one great, tragic love of his life: a mysterious young woman named Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), whom he met in Paris at the start of the war, just before the Nazis rolled in and occupied the French capitol.  In danger of being captured by the Nazis, the two lovers agree to meet at a Paris train station to flee the country, but she never shows up, and a heartbroken Rick is forced to leave alone, never to see her again.

At least not until. years later, she casually walks back into his life, right into "Rick's Place",  the exotic club he runs in remote Casablanca.


Here is a YouTube video of part of that Paris flashback scene.
( Unfortunately, I couldn't find one showing the entire scene. )


Q.  Where was it really shot? 


"Casablanca" was a Warner Bros film, and it was shot almost exclusively on the Warner Bros back lot, in Burbank, using several sound stages there, and (according to tradition) the studio's French Street set, which was reportedly used for filming those Paris flashback scenes.


This "La La Land" scene was shot right on
French Street, on its east side.

In fact, the director says that this moment ( of Mia pointing out the window ) was not originally in the script, but that he added it after learning that Casablanca had been filmed there, right across the street from the coffee shop where Mia works.




In the wake of the bittersweet ending to "La La Land", perhaps Mia & Seb can console themselves with the thought: "We'll always have Paris."  (Or at least, a close facsimile.)




Here is a link to a Google Earth 3-D view of French Street


    

Move on to the next movie location seen in "La La Land".

    

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