After years of wooing director John Huston via good reviews, film critic James Agee was given a chance to write the screenplay for a Huston picture. Adapted from a novel by C.S. Forester, The African Queen stars Humphrey Bogart in his Oscar-winning portrayal of Charlie Allnut, the slovenly, gin-swilling captain of a tramp steamer called the ...
After years of wooing director John Huston via good reviews, film critic James Agee was given a chance to write the screenplay for a Huston picture. Adapted from a novel by C.S. Forester, The African Queen stars Humphrey Bogart in his Oscar-winning portrayal of Charlie Allnut, the slovenly, gin-swilling captain of a tramp steamer called the African Queen , which ships supplies to small East African villages during World War I. Katharine Hepburn plays Rose Sayer, the maiden-lady sister of a prim British missionary, Rev. Samuel Sayer (Robert Morley). When Germans invade and Samuel dies, Allnut offers to take Rose back to civilization. She can't tolerate his drinking or bad manners; he isn't crazy about her imperious, judgmental attitude. However it does not take long before their passionate dislike turns to love. Together the disparate duo work to ensure their survival on the treacherous waters and devise an ingenious way to destroy a German gunboat. The African Queen may well be the perfect adventure film, its roller-coaster storyline complemented by the chemistry between its stars. The profound difficulties inherent in filming on location in Africa have been superbly documented by several books, including one written by Katharine Hepburn. Screenwriter Peter Viertel (who worked, on an uncredited basis, on the script of this film - assisting with some of the dialogue) incorporated some of the African Queen anecdotes in his roman a clef about a Huston-like director/adventurer, White Hunter, Black Heart. Hal Erickson, Rovi
No wonder this movie is considered a classic. It is so well done that it remains as fun to watch as it must have been when it first came out. Bogart and Hepburn create memorable characters that evolve in the course of the movie and make it interesting to watch the whole time. People of all ages enjoy this show.
Nov 3, 2009
I remember watching this film when it came out in the movies in the fifties. I didn't see it again until I purchased this DVD and it's still as good as I remember it. Bogey and Hepburn were a great team in this film.
Aug 13, 2009
This one holds up!
We recently had a little in-house Katharine Hepburn film festival, and concluded that most of her films were really pretty dumb. This one isn't. It's every bit s good as I remember, and for once the story is worthy of the talent (and of course, Bogart doesn't hurt!). This is one that justifies the legend.