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The African Queen Film Review

Updated on July 19, 2019
Coffeequeeen profile image

I am a film enthusiast and enjoy reviewing films I have watched. I like all sorts of films but mainly black & white ones from the 50's & 60s

Actor
Character
Katharine Hepburn
Rose Sayer
Humphrey Bogart
Charlie Allnutt
Robert Morley
Rev Samuel Sayer
Peter Bull
Captain of Luisa

About the film

Released: 1951

Director: John Huston

Producers: Sam Spielgel, John Woolf

Running time: 1 hr 45 mins

Genre: Drama, Adventure, Romance

Budget: $1,000,000

Distributed by: United Artists

About the film

Rose and her brother Reverend Sam are missionaries in a village called Kingolu in German East Africa. They get their supplies delivered to them from Charlie, who is the Captain of The African Queen. When WW1 breaks out, Rose and Sam decide to stay in the village. But the Germans birn down the village and Sam is beaten. He subsequently dies from a fever. Charlie helps Rose to bury him. After the death of her beloved brother, Rose and Charlie set sail on The African Queen. There is a reason for their journey though. Charlie mentions to Rose that the Germans have a gun boat called The Konigin Luise. Rose suggests that they turn The African Queen into a torpedo boat and sink The Konigin Luise, or Queen Luise in English. The Konigin Luise is patrolling a large lake, blocking any British attacks.

So, on their journey down the river to the lake, they face many obstacles along the way, including being shot at by the Germans, which shot at their boat which needed repairing. And also having to navigate the boat through 3 rapids and facing a swarm of insects.

My thoughts

With Rose and Charlie being the 2 main characters in this film, it can be difficult to make a movie with so few people in it, but this has worked well. Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart were mega stars of their time, and the pair worked well together. As we see their journey on The African Queen down the river, we see how the pair are forced to work together as a team. A team that becomes eventual lovers there is plenty of drama in this film to keep the viewer interested.

They say opposites attract, and this is indeed the case with these two. Rose, who is very religious and as we see at the start of the film, is helping her brother in the Church. Then there's Charlie who likes his drink and often wakes up with a hangover. So much so, he has a drink to cure it! There are some light hearted when Rose pours all his bottles of drink in the sea.

But, there are also plenty of dramatic scenes in the film, especially when they have to navigate the boat through 3 rapids in the river. This can have a major blow on The African Queen, but she manages to carry on sailing. Especially when they encounter the Germans firing guns at them which damages the boat. Robert Morley plays a short part in the film at the beginning, but think he played the part of the Reverend Samuel well.

This is a classic film. Although I've watched the film several times now, I still enjoy watching it. I love how Bogart and Hepburn work together, and they act well together onscreen. I've always been a big fan of these two. It's just a shame we don't see a little bit more of Robert Morley in the film, but the small part he did have was good.

Award
Won
Nominated
Academy Awards
Humphrey Bogart - Best Actor in leading role
Katharine Hepburn - Best Actress in leading role
Academy Awards
 
John Huston - Best Director
Academy Awards
 
James Agee, John Huston - Best Writing, Screenplay
Bafta
 
Best film from any source
Bafta
 
Humphrey Bogart - Best foreign actor
Bafta
 
Katharine Hepburn - Best foreign actress
National Film Preservation Board
National Film Registry
 
New York Film Critics Circle Awards
 
Best film
New York Film Critics Circle Awards
 
Katharine Hepburn - Best Actress
New York Film Critics Circle Awards
 
John Huston - Best Director
Online Film & Television Association
Motion Picture
 

© 2018 Louise Powles

Comments

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    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      It has been some time since I have seen this old classic movie. I enjoyed the reminder of just how good it was.

    • KPM2017 profile image

      Karl Magi 

      2 years ago

      If you can find the Dick Cavett interview with Katherine Hepburn, I highly recommend watching it. It really gives one a good idea of what an impressive woman she was.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      2 years ago from Shelton

      again you hit it on the head.. I love Hepburn and her classics.. I saw this one many times and your review is on the mar bravo and thanks for the memories this brought back

    • Sean Dragon profile image

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      2 years ago from Greece, Almyros

      An excellent review of an excellent film. Thank you for sharing your work, dear Louise. Keep on!

      God Loves Cinema!

      Sean

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      2 years ago from The Caribbean

      So many of these good old films are brought to our attention because of you. Thanks for the reviews.

    • Mike Hardy profile image

      Mike Hardy 

      2 years ago from Caseville, Michigan

      I actually saw a restored African Queen giving rides in Key Largo Florida. Very touristy but the boat looked amazing.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I love this classic. Yes, Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn work together so well that makes the movie more entertaining.

    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 

      2 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      I love these old films also. I'm so glad they are preserved so we can still see them today. Thanks for your insight on this hub.

      Blessings to you.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      2 years ago from Oklahoma

      A classic I have yet to see:-/

      Great overview!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      2 years ago from Shelton

      Coffee this was one of my Favorite Hepburn movies.. and love your thoughts on it too.. thanks for sharing...:)

    • Coffeequeeen profile imageAUTHOR

      Louise Powles 

      2 years ago from Norfolk, England

      Ok thanks Pat, I'll make the corrections. =)

    • profile image

      Pat Mills 

      2 years ago from East Chicago, Indiana

      I very much enjoyed this film, too. One point, though. Hepburn's first name was Katharine, not Katherine.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      2 years ago from USA

      I’ve never seen this movie and appreciated your review. It’s amazing how many classic movies there are out there that people haven’t seen.

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