Sunday, July 29, 2012

Capsule Review: The African Queen (1951)

Humphrey Bogart won his only Oscar for this rousing adventure film based on the 1935 novel by C.S. Forester, but his performance is just one of the elements that make the film so unforgettable. Katharine Hepburn's co-lead performance is equally good, and the pair share a rare chemistry that carries almost the entire running time. Bogart's gin-soaked riverboat captain finds himself clashing with Hepburn's buttoned-down missionary as the two float dangerously towards a German gunboat during the beginning of World War I. The photography (by the legendary Jack Cardiff) of the African surroundings is lush and beautiful, while John Huston dominates the landscape - and stages a number of dangerous scenes - with his usual unhinged aplomb. It's frightfully entertaining, even if the rear-projection and model work can be a little rough around the edges. Endlessly entertaining, and thankfully available in a beautiful 2009 restored version.

1 comment:

Berenice Marlohe said...

Directed by John Huston and produced by Sam Spiegel and John Woolf,The African Queen is an adventure film of the year 1951.

Berenice Marlohe