|Intl. Notebook||Jul 22 2023|
Thanks to the memorabilia market you can buy a new identity without breaking the law.
Okay, film buffs—can you identify the movie from which the above frame is taken? We're betting a good percentage of you knew it even before you read the question. It's Casablanca, and we're sharing the image because it shows one of the prop passports used in the film. The most important of those passports belonged to Czech resistance figure Victor Laszlo, played by Paul Heinreid. Props of that type are big items for movie memorabilia collectors, and few collectibles are more popular than those from Casablanca.
Below you see the cover and some interior pages of one of the actual prop Lazslo passports made for the movie, complete with Heinreid's photo and various official-looking visa stamps. There's disagreement on the spelling of Laszlo's name—the prop says Laslo, on AFI.com it's Lazlo, and on IMDB it's Laszlo. The movie was made before end credits were a thing, so you can't find out there. A script would settle it. Maybe that'll be auctioned next.
Anyway, this passport was auctioned a while back, and incredibly—or perhaps not—went for $12,500. You know our rule. Actually it's two rules: Never pay more for something than a flight to Paris costs; and never pay a lot for anything that can be used to swat a fly. Of course, if you've seen the movie you know the dox of crucial importance are really the letters of transit everyone desperately wants. We've added one of Victor Laszlo's feuilles de déplacement (which says Laszlo) at bottom. It was auctioned too, but the passport went for more.