Sunday, July 1, 2012

The African Queen (1951)

Director: John Huston. Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Robert Morley. 105 min. Unrated. UK/USA. Adventure/Romance.

Why don't they make movies like this any more? Just watching these two immortal stars interact (and Bogie playing so ... against type!) in such a beautiful African backdrop would have been enough to make this a classic. But Houston is as great a director to give you more, including engaging dialogue between Hepburn and Bogart, and comedic moments as a sighing relief. Even though the love relationship between such extreme opposites is a tough sell, and even though the ending is a one-in-a-million shot (literally), still, this is one of those films you need to see before you die.

Mo says:


  1. Dear Mohsen
    I saw this movie a few years ago, and quite accidentally. I usually cannot wait and finish movies which are rather slow in the beginning, but I watched this one to the end and I liked it.
    One cannot help regretting that our world has changed so much that such films may no longer be made.

  2. Dear Shahram,

    First of all, it's so great that you have access to my blog! Hope I read more of your movie opinions in the future.

    I have that longing for good old-fashion movies too - something I feel the most when watching David Lean movies, such as "Lawrence of Arabia", "The Bridge on the River Kwai", "Passage to India", etc etc. But when I was watching "The African Queen", I was also asking myself: Would I really want to watch a similar movie made today, with today's actors and directors? Would I enjoy a slow movie with Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts, but made along old themes and settings and tones?

    I don't know. Hard to imagine. I guess we should go along with Woody Allen's advice in "Midnight in Paris", that nostalgia is interesting, only if we keep a safe distance from the nostalgic concept.