The African Queen (1951)

PG  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Romance  |  20 February 1952 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 56,100 users  
Reviews: 205 user | 106 critic

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



(novel), (adapted for the screen by), 3 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Peter Swanwick ...


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


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:






| |

Release Date:

20 February 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

African Queen  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)


(as Colour by) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


About half of the film was shot in England. For instance, the scenes in which Charlie and Rose are seen in the water were all shot in studio tanks at Isleworth Studios, Middlesex. These scenes were considered too dangerous to shoot in Africa. All of the foreground plates for the process shots were also done in studio. See more »


When Charlie climbs back onto the boat after diving under the water to inspect the damage to the propeller and shaft, his hair and upper torso are clearly dry. See more »


Charlie Allnut: [about the grinking water they'll get from the engine's radiator] OGf course, it'll taste a little rusty, but we can't have everything, can we?
See more »


Bold Fisherman
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.

29 of 51 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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