Sunday, March 30, 2014

The African Queen (1951)

This exciting adventure yarn is also a delightful romantic comedy, about a straight-laced missionary and a tough riverboat captain who fall in love while escaping from a war-torn village in East Africa during the early days of WWI.

The stories about the making of this film are almost as legendary as the movie itself. It's a testament to John Huston's direction that he makes the film appear so effortless, indeed so much fun, given the circumstances they were working under much of the time. Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn carry the film with two of the best performances either actor ever gave, and are ably supported by the likes of Robert Morley, Peter Bull and Theodore Bikel, who are all effective as secondary characters.

Splendidly shot in Technicolor by Jack Cardiff, the film is visually stunning, and contains some innovative location photography for a Technicolor production of that time.

Seen at Loew's Jersey in a gorgeously restored 35mm print from Paramount Pictures.

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