The African Queen

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What a charming movie. I can fully understand why Bogart would win an Oscar for his perfomance here, because while he surely chews scenery, he does it with great flair and a rugged charme that works wonders with the exotic location. The movie has surely a fair dose of surprises and stays fresh even today, with of course some caveats. Katherine Hepburn is a wonderful performer, portraying to perfection the uptight Englishwoman and turning into a believable heroine - within the boundaries of not quite being an 'action' star - also thanks to a frankly hilarious character twist that has her discover a thrillseeking side of her that she keeps rocking till the end of the movie.

Visually the movie is very good, with all the limitations of the time: get your hands on a digitally restored copy, because the effects are pretty corny in spots - still an acceptable green screen from the 50s, really we've seen much worse even in this century - but they did the best (without a proper master, even) to correct many flaws you will find in older copies. A movie made for the two actors, with very limited other roles, but all you need is seeing Hepburn and Bogart in a boat, clashing personalities on a mission in the splendid, perilious (this movie has been plagued by several real life problems!) Africa.


Revealing mistake: When the boat is supposedly surrounded by a swarm of flies, they're really just relatively few flies trapped between two panes of glass in front of the camera lens. Evidence: whenever the camera moves, the "swarm" moves with it against the background, and you can even see some of the insects walking on the surface of the glass.

More mistakes in The African Queen

Rose Sayer: Dear Lord, We've come to the end of our journey, and in a little while we'll stand before you. I pray for you to be merciful. Judge us not for our weaknesses, but for our love and open the doors of heaven for Charlie and me.

More quotes from The African Queen

Trivia: Humphrey Bogart won his only Oscar for his performance as Charlie Allnut in this film.

More trivia for The African Queen

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