WERE THE closing moments of Casablanca filmed in Los Angeles, at what is now known as John Wayne Airport, as we claimed in our Christmas quiz?

Neil W Joyce writes to report that an associate director of the film, interviewed on Channel 4, said that 'every part of the film was made in the studio, including the closing shots at the airport. The plane was a cardboard cut-out, and to add a touch of perspective a troupe of dwarfs was hired to carry out loading in the background.'

Cardboard cut-outs? Dwarfs? This sounds more like the Marx Brothers' Night in Casablanca.

Andrew Bell of Martley has no doubt that the airport in question was the Los Angeles Metropolitan in Van Nuys. He quotes from Frank Miller's book, Casablanca: As time goes by: 'The actual airport tower was used, and a fake arch saying 'Casablanca Aero-Gare' was built. No suitably Teutonic plane could be found, so the design team had German insignia painted on one. Filming took place on a single day: 10 July 1942. This was the film's only scene shot on location.'

Of course, airport stand-ins are not an unusual phenomenon in Hollywood movies. One of the most striking recent examples was the use of Liverpool for Berlin airport in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

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