We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.



When the Marx Brothers announced plans in 1945 to star in a film titled A Night in Casablanca, Warner Bros. quickly questioned the comedy team’s right to tread so close to the studio’s 1942 hit Casablanca. “I had no idea that the city of Casablanca belonged exclusively to Warner Brothers,” Groucho wrote in response, adding, “I am sure that the average movie fan could learn in time to distinguish between Ingrid Bergman and Harpo.” The studio demanded plot details, and Groucho offered such salaciously false tidbits as the fact that he would be playing “Bordello, the sweetheart of Humphrey Bogart.” The back-and-forth letters were widely circulated, and the embarrassed studio finally shut up. Warner did end up with the last laugh, though: Michael Curtiz’s film is a classic; the Marx effort is one of the team’s weakest. Play it again at 9:30 p.m. (see Showtimes for other dates) at the American Film Institute’s Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. $8.50. (301) 495-6700. (Dave Nuttycombe)