Other Sellers on Amazon
The African Queen
|Additional DVD options||Edition||Discs||
|New from||Used from|
|Watch Instantly with||Rent||Buy|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Spinster Hepburn and drunkard boat captain Bogart battle each other and an uncharted river in this unlikely love story set in Africa at the outbreak of World War I.
John Huston made better, more powerful films than The African Queen, but none so universally beloved, on first appearance and over the decades since. In this adaptation of the C.S. Forester novel, Humphrey Bogart (who would win the best-actor Oscar®) and Katharine Hepburn costar as an unlikely pair thrown together in German East Africa during the First World War. He's the gin-soaked skipper of what we might call the title character, a none-too-reliable steam launch chugging along the backwaters of the "Dark Continent." Hepburn's a straitlaced Methodist missionary who, following the demise of her bachelor brother (Robert Morley) and the burning of their village by Kaiser Wilhelm's troops, determines that the Queen should be used to attack the Königin Luise, a large German gunboat patrolling a lake downriver. It's an absurd proposition. Then again, John Huston and the absurd were always on familiar terms.
It wasn't until he got to the Congo that the director realized what a funny picture The African Queen was going to be, thanks to the odd coupling of Bogie and Kate: "One brought out a vein of humor in the other, and this comic sense, which had been missing from the book and screenplay, grew out of our day-to-day shooting." Within the gunwales of a not-very-large boat, Huston managed to devise myriad ways to keep his two leading characters on separate visual planes even as circumstance and tender emotional urgency conspired to push them together. This was Huston's first feature film in Technicolor, and the peerless Jack Cardiff (The Red Shoes) was there to shoot it. Unfortunately, neither of them could do anything about the process-screen technology needed for, and glaringly inadequate to, the sequence of Bogart and Hepburn shooting the rapids--just about the only lapse in an enchanting fairy tale for adults. The script is credited to Huston and James Agee; the uncredited Peter Viertel, summoned to the African locations to write some additional material, would later fictionalize the experience as White Hunter, Black Heart, a savage roman à clef. --Richard T. Jameson
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
THOUGHTS: If you love movies you NEED to have this one in your collection. THE AFRICAN QUEEN is a bona fied classic... and for good reason.
THE BLU-RAY: I am delighted to report that this terrific movie has simply never looked better. I've owned it on both VHS & DVD and they pale in comparison to this stunning new Blu-ray release. It is a treat for the both eyes & ears! Every scene just pops and many shots look so crystal clear that you'd swear it was filmed yesterday instead of more than 60 years ago. I cannot say enough good things about the movie, and now this excellent restored & remastered Blu-ray. THE AFRICAN QUEEN is what great movies are all about. 5 STARS!
The outbreak of World War I shatters the less-than-idyllic lives of these two characters, putting them together on the African Queen to run the rapids downriver to the lake where a German gunboat waits. One professional film critic described Bogart's character, Charlie Allnut, as a "rum-soaked Cockney", while in fact he is a gin-soaked Canadian. The crowd in a Canadian movie theater always responds with raucous laughter when Bogart describes himself as a "Canuck".
Anxious fans wondered if this classic was ever going to be offered on DVD and Blu-ray. The delay might have had something to do with the modest picture quality of the original 1951 film, shot on location in the Congo. Regardless, two stars at the peak of their powers, a great story directed by Hollywood master storyteller John Huston, and a high-definition restoration of the film all combine to deliver one of the finest viewer experiences from Hollywood's golden era. An excellent extra, "Embracing Chaos: Making The African Queen" is included on the Blu-ray. For old folks this is a visit to the glorious past; for young people it is a chance to understand why that era was golden. Don't miss it.