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'Before animation, claymation and interactive video gaming, film had to be cut and pasted together. So certain sequences may have had varigations of the color or even a whole other camera used. Yet these sequences were then put together as the continuity of the scripts required; and The African Queen was among that genre of films. Even with the use of technicolor film to obtain some fantastic footage of scenery and the African flora and fauna, there are certain techniques of the post-production that, according to today's digitalized standards, would seem amateurish, or at least low-budget.
Yet this was no low budget picture, because of the amount of scenery to be used while the two main characters journey along on the river. And as contrast to the expanses of the African animals and landscapes, the depiction of only two characters as passengers together on the 30 ft boat named The African Queen, actually has a sort of minimalist feeling. The sequences of the encounters with the German soldiers are spliced onto the film of Bogart and Hepburn living on the boat. And that also includes some theatric and 'Foley-esque' editing. For instance, they are besieged with a swarm of flies that are obviously painted onto the film, and the sequences of the boat going along the river rapids was certainly done with a scaled model.
So viewers shouldn't expect a lot of digitalization; and instead have to appreciate the landscape and animals that are recorded on Technicolor. As actually this film does have the feeling of being from an era of when the movies were black-and-white only. Further indications of being somewhat of a technical milestone of cinematographic craft are the sound track and music. These were not done with a computer and a special fx library, but actually mixed on analog equipment. Even films produced after this had certain discrepancies of mixing, with volume and synchronization, but The African Queen has a higher level of film crafting than usual.
So an audience may then want more of this expertise; a cast of hundreds of extras and an epic score. And that may be why the film has the tremendous cohesiveness; because most of the story has to do with only two characters and the idea of them living, albeit reluctantly at the beginning, on a relatively cramped, 30-some ft boat. These sort of conditions are certainly going to produce some unique and possibly unusual resultant behavior. As an illustration of that, during a rain storm, Rose doesn't want to let Charlie sleep next to her under the tarpaulin, so he has to lay on the deck getting soaked 'til her relenting and letting him bed next to her. And this would not be so easy to convey as actors, because their attitude to each other had to seem credible, according to the conditions. But of course, they are both stellar at their portrayals of a visceral boat pilot and the prudish missionary woman. Notwithstanding that the river must be considered as symbolic to their relationship; a sort of irrefutable aura that beings them together, even though they did not seem to believe that they would be compatible.'
British Equatorial Africa is the location of this epic movie set in the early days of WWI. Charlie Allnut (Humphery Bogart) is the skipper of THE AFRICAN QUEEN, a filthy old rust bucket on the Ulonga-Bora river. He delivers supplies and mail to the settlements. The "QUEEN" is Yankee built, but its been a while since she has been out of the water for a good scraping and a paint job. She's got a wood burning kettle and can make six knots. Charlie is calling on Rose Sayer and her brother who is a minister. Together they minister and teach the word of God to the natives. Today however, the Germans have come to take the men as slaves and Rev. Sayer has been killed. Charlie helps bury the Reverend and convinces Miss Rose that they have to go before the Germans return. The Germans are down river and it will not be easy to get past them. Charlie thinks that the river splits into many channels and it just may br possible to go up river to Lake Victoria. Miss Rose is prim and proper and a tea-totler and very outspoken. Charlie, on the other hand, is unkept, he swears, smokes, and drinks gin, all of which offend Miss Rose. With the supplies on board the "African Queen", Charlie gets an idea that if they can reach Lake Victoria, he could rig a couple of home-made torpedoes and they could ram the German Steamer Gunboat "Louisa" and sink her. Rosie is all for it, and their trek begins. Through being shot by soldiers at a German fortress, to battles with insects and white water rapids, to going over a waterfall and surviving, Rosie and Charlie grow close and fall in love. They fight as hard as they can, but eventually wind up hopelessly stuck in the mud and weeds. Nearly delirious with fever and sick from leeches, they are finished. Suddenly it starts raining and continues for days. Charley wakes up only to find The African Queen on Lake Victoria! The water rose and washed them out of the reeds. In the distance they see smoke. Its the LOUISA, and it is coming their way. Hurriedly Charlie and Rosie get back into the reeds and hide as the Louisa passed near by. They were now deciding what to do. They figured the Louisa would be back the next day, and if they were to go out after her in the dark, they just might be able to pull it off. Charlie fills a couple of oxygen cylinders with explosives and makes detonators from bullets. His plan is to mount them through the bow of the African Queen and ram the Louisa. Even the best of plans don't always work, but providence has a way of correcting everything. This is a film classic that everyone should invest the time to see. Excellent!
I bought the movie because I had once seen it on regular TV and I really loved the movie. The movie is full of adventure, and romance; a winning combination. The adventure is to go down the very rough river until they get into a very large body of water, to sink an enemy ship with homemade exploding devices. I love every minute of this movie, so I have seen it over and over. I have not yet gotten tired of it. Some of this movie was filmed on location in Africa where wild animals are in this film. I hope you buy this movie; you will enjoy it each time you watch it.
This great classic has everything you could ask for - two fine stars who could carry the show by themselves, and a story full of adventure, drama, humor, and romance. It's a lot of fun to watch, and it is also a movie you can admire for the expert way it was put together.
Bogart and Hepburn not only give great performances, they are also wonderful together, and they make the on-screen relationship between their characters believable and interesting - it's great to watch as it develops. The adventures that they find are that much more entertaining for the way that you come to care about them. The story itself is exciting, too, with a lot of ups and downs for the heroes. Topping it off are the wonderful settings, with a lot of fine shots of wild animals and jungle scenery - there is always plenty to look at, and it also sets off the action nicely.
Any one of a number of things would make "The African Queen" worth watching, and as a whole it is a terrific movie. It's a must-see for any fan of classic movies, and one that you can also enjoy watching numerous times.
I love this movie because it's one of a kind. No foul lanquage and has two of best actors and actresses starring in it, you can't top that with any of the new movies that are being made today. There has not been a sequel made of this movie that I know of, it was a Great Movie.