How a ten year-old song and a three year-old unpublished play combined to make movie history.

Herman Hupfeld wrote  As Time Goes By in 1931 for the Broadway show “Everybody’s Welcome”. It’s inextricably linked to the film, as is Dooley Wilson who played “Sam”, and made this recording in 1942. Even the film’s screenplay came from an unpublished play, whose original title was Everyone Comes to Rick’s. Other than that, little was changed…the script even included this song.

In the film, The “Rick” in question is played by Humphrey Bogart. The song is a reminder of his old love Ilsa, (Ingrid Bergman) and he bans its playing in the bar. But when Ilsa returns, she begs Sam to “play the old song”. 

The oft-quoted “Play it again, Sam” line never actually appears in the film.