Norman is a curmudgeon with an estranged relationship with his daughter Chelsea. At Golden Pond, he and his wife nevertheless agree to care for Billy, the son of Chelsea's new boyfriend, and a most unexpected relationship blooms.
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
Production censors objected to several aspects of the original script, which included the two characters cohabiting without the formality of marriage. Some changes were made before the film was completed. See more »
Boats float because of the weight of the water that their hulls displace, but the African Queen is an open-topped vessel (no roof), so the boat could not have floated free of the mud and grass just because the rain had made the level of the river rise, since an almost equal "depth" of rainwater would have collected inside the boat as had accumulated on the surrounding terrain. So the boat would have remained at about the same "height" relative to the surrounding terrain, namely, resting on the shallow river-bottom, as it had been before the rainstorm. Charlie and Rosie would have needed to manually pump/bail the boat out before it would float any higher in the river. (However, the river was also rising upstream and so could have exerted enough force to push the boat off a patch of mud.) See more »
[exasperated and angry]
Well I ain't sorry for you no more, ya crazy, psalm-singing, skinny old maid!
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Opening credits prologue: GERMAN EAST AFRICA September 1914 See more »
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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