Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB. United Kingdom/USA, 1951. Romulus Films, Screenplay by James Agee, John Huston, based on the novel by C.S. Forester. Cinematography by Jack Cardiff. Produced by Sam Spiegel. Music by Allan Gray. Production Design by Wilfred Shingleton. Costume Design by Connie De Pinna, Doris Langley Moore. Film Editing by Ralph Kemplen. Academy Awards 1951.
Exceptional World War I adventure begins when drifter Humphrey Bogart wanders into an African village that has been destroyed by plague. When the missionary who runs the local Christian church succumbs to the illness, his organ-playing sister (Katharine Hepburn) joins Bogart with the intention of being escorted back to proper civilization. Along the way, however, they find themselves presented with the opportunity to sabotage a German vessel that is planning a strategic maneuver. Bogart and Hepburn’s boat The African Queen becomes the little chug boat that could in a film featuring seamless direction by John Huston keeps it all taut and magnificent.