A town Marshal, despite the disagreements of his newlywed bride and the townspeople around him, must face a gang of deadly killers alone at high noon when the gang leader, an outlaw he sent up years ago, arrives on the noon train.
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
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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