A riverboat captain is persuaded by an English missionary to
use his boat to attack a German warship in WWI Africa.
The African Queen (1951)
Directed by John Huston
Written by James Agee and John Huston
Starring Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn,
Robert Morley, Peter Bull, Theodore Bikel, Walter Gotell
Based on the novel by C.S. Forester
Oscar Wins - Best Actor (Humphrey Bogart)
Oscar Nominations - Best Actress (Katharine Hepburn),
Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay
The African Queen is the film that established Humphrey Bogart as a character actor and reminded the world once again that Katharine Hepburn is the undisputed queen of Hollywood. The film relies solely on their chemistry, for without it the film would be a trainwreck. Thankfully, they were fantastic together.
The film does a great job of establishing the world the film takes place in without telling the audience flat out. It's one of the few films that involves World War I, and the Germans this time around answer to Kaiser Wilhelm. While the film does take a bit to get started, once Bogart and Hepburn end up on the African Queen together, the film becomes a cinema treasure that has easily stood the test of time.
I would consider this film to be a great introduction to the films of both Bogart and Hepburn, as it showcases their respective abilities perfectly. With The African Queen, we see how love works in mysterious ways and that if you spend enough one-on-one time with somebody, eventually you'll grow to know who they really are.