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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.

Director:

John Huston

Writers:

C.S. Forester (novel), James Agee (adapted for the screen by) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
4,930 ( 1,357)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Humphrey Bogart ... Charlie Allnutt
Katharine Hepburn ... Rose Sayer
Robert Morley ... The Brother / Rev. Samuel Sayer
Peter Bull ... Captain of Louisa
Theodore Bikel ... First Officer
Walter Gotell ... Second Officer
Peter Swanwick Peter Swanwick ... First Officer of Shona
Richard Marner ... Second Officer of Shona
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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:

The greatest adventure a man ever lived...with a woman! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English | German | Swahili

Release Date:

21 March 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

African Queen See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$536,118, 24 December 1967

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$10,750,000, 10 April 1990
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (as Colour by) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

When Rev. Samuel and Rose kneel to pray, his coat is unbuttoned. When they go out to attend the African man who screams, his coat is completely buttoned. See more »

Quotes

Rose Sayer: Mr. Allnut! Mr. Allnut, you may come in out of the rain!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Soundtracks

God of Grace and God of Glory (Cwm Rhondda)
(uncredited)
Words by Harry Fosdick
Music by John Ceiriog Hughes
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Bogart And Hepburn At Their Best
14 February 2007 | by ctroutSee all my reviews

Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn are arguably the two greatest performers of all time. Bogart has proved his success with such roles as Rick Blaine in Casablanca and Samuel Spade in The Maltese Falcon. Hepburn has shown us her talents with The Philadelphia Story and Bringing Up Baby. Did they ever happen to make a movie together? Yes, they did. Was it any good? You bet your ass!

The African Queen is a rousing tale of adventure and romance with two unlikely companions. Bogie plays a steamboat captain who agrees to take Robert Morley's sister, The Great Kate, back to civilization during the onset of World War I. In the process, they must fight for survival along treacherous waters.

The gin-guzzling riverboat captain is a great counter to the strait-laced missionary and the two stars make this a ride to remember. Besides the performances, the script probably shines the most. James Agee and John Huston, who also directed, have a great knack for writing crisp and smooth interplay between the two leads.

There aren't very many supporting roles in this movie, but Robert Morley makes the best of his small performance. He's actually quite memorable and he hearkens back to supporting players of older Bogart movies like Sidney Greenstreet.

Both leads received well deserved Oscar nominations and Humphrey Bogart finally won his big award. That should tell you that I'm not the only one who thought this movie was excellent. If you like stirring action with great chemistry from the stars, then you'll love The African Queen.


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