I just watched The African Queen on Encore. I had forgotten how very much I enjoyed it. Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart blow modern actors out of the water. Think about it. 1951. No computers, no CGI. Torrential rains during filming that made the actors and crew deathly ill. All guts, and all glory. It’s 1914, and Katherine, playing prim and proper Rose, the sister of a missionary in the wilds of Eastern Africa when she meets Humphrey, playing gin swilling Charles, owner and captain of the riverboat, the African Queen. As WWI is breaking out, Rose’s brother dies during a raid by German soldiers and Rose is left alone until Charles returns down the river and loads her onto his boat to escape the Germans who are kidnapping the Africans and burning their villages (bad Germans! No tea for YOU!)
What follows is a classic, as Rose finds her backbone, and her sense of adventure, and Charlie discovers that he truly is more than just another drunken sailor, living life easy and breezy up and down the river. It is exciting in the most original way possible – two incredible actors doing everything themselves, facing weather, rapids, hippos and crocodiles, along with huge swarms of mosquitoes so large and devastating that they can drive animals to maddened stampedes.
If you haven’t watched it, believe me. Old school kicks ASS!!!! And with Katherine and Humphrey? This will always be one of my very favorite classic movies, right up there with To Kill A Mockingbird.