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The African Queen (1951)

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In Africa during World War I, a gin-swilling riverboat captain is persuaded by a strait-laced missionary to use his boat to attack an enemy warship.

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(novel), (adapted for the screen by) | 1 more credit »
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4,388 ( 677)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
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The Brother / Rev. Samuel Sayer
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Peter Swanwick ...
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Storyline

September 1914, news reaches the colony German Eastern Africa that Germany is at war, so Reverend Samuel Sayer became a hostile foreigner. German imperial troops burn down his mission; he is beaten and dies of fever. His well-educated, snobbish sister Rose Sayer buries him and leaves by the only available transport, the dilapidated river steamboat 'African Queen' of grumpy Charlie Allnut. As if a long difficult journey without any comfort weren't bad enough for such odd companions, she is determined to find a way to do their bit for the British war effort (and avenge her brother) and aims high, as God is obviously on their side: construct their own equipment, a torpedo and the converted steamboat, to take out a huge German warship, the Louisa, which is hard to find on the giant lake and first of all to reach, in fact as daunting an expedition as anyone attempted since the late adventurous explorer John Speakes, but she presses till Charlie accepts to steam up the Ulana, about to brave... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Bogart the King is back with the 'Queen!' See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements, some violence and smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

21 March 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

African Queen  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(as Colour by) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Columbia Pictures originally bought the novel as a vehicle for Charles Laughton and his wife Elsa Lanchester. Instead, it made The Beachcomber (1938), which was same story but a box-office failure. At one point David Niven and Paul Henreid were each considered for the male lead. See more »

Goofs

The propeller on the boat is made of bronze (stainless steel hadn't been invented yet). Bronze cannot be easily welded, even with the proper equipment, but he welds a new blade to the propeller. (In the book, Allnut makes a replacement blade out of iron, and rivets it to the bronze propeller.) See more »

Quotes

Charlie Allnut: What are you being so mean for, Miss? A man takes a drop too much once in a while, it's only human nature.
Rose Sayer: Nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we are put in this world to rise above.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: GERMAN EAST AFRICA September 1914 See more »

Connections

Featured in Empire: The World's Best Movie Quiz (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Bold Fisherman
(uncredited)
Sung by Humphrey Bogart
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Three Great Artists and One Great Movie
9 April 2005 | by (Boston, MA; United States) – See all my reviews

This is not the best movie Ford, Bogart, or Hepburn did as individual artists, the but joining of their considerable talents did create a unique and most enjoyable movie that is fondly associated with all of them.

"The African Queen" is a war movie, romance, adventure, comedy, drama, morality tale, and battle of the sexes all in one and it works on all levels. Though it often appears as somewhat "hoaky"...almost like a silent movie at points with its melodramatic score... that's because it does not strive to recreate reality like the usual war movie, it is actually an on location play. You could put it on a Broadway or London stage today and it would still work without a word or inflection changed.

Though this is a movie of many great moments, what stays with you is the blossoming love of Charlie and Rose and how it helps them find the best in themselves for each other. I guess when all is said and done, "The African Queen" is a romance after all.

If you appreciate any of the great artists that created it or just great movie making, this is one for the collection.


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