It is 1915 and the war in Europe is in full swing. Rose Sayer (Katharine Hepburn) is a missionary in a small village in East Africa, along with her brother, Reverend Samuel (Robert Morley), but when German forces raid the village, he dies soon afterwards.
Charlie Allnut (Humphrey Bogart) is the disreputable Canadian captain of a steamboat who runs supplies into and out of this territory. When he sees Rosie's plight, he reluctantly agrees to get her out.
Their journey down the Alonga River starts with some problems. They are like chalk and cheese: he is a dissolute drinker, and she is a disapproving Christian lady. Further on, the principals are intrigued by and attracted to each other despite their contrary ways. When Rose hears about a German warship in the area, the Louisa, she convinces Charlie to help her in a crazy plot to destroy it.
Within 2 days it would have been Robert Morley`s (Samuel Sayer) 105th birthday.
* May 26, 1908
† June 3, 1992
Release date: December 23, 1951
The movie was shot in Zaire, Uganda, Los Angeles and London.
Best Actor in a Leading Role -> Humphrey Bogart: “I’m not going to thank anybody; I’m just going to say I damn well deserve it” Source / More (Book)
Best Actress in a Leading Role -> Katharine Hepburn
Best director -> John Huston
Best writing, screenplay -> James Agee and John Huston.
The film has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry
Katharine Hepburn penned a book about the events called: The making of the African queen, or how I went to Africa with Bogart, Bacall and Huston and almost lost my mind. Source / More (Book)
Clint Eastwood made a movie with John Huston’s adventures: White hunter, black heart
Nearly everyone in the cast and crew, got dysentery (except for Huston and Bogart who drank whisky the whole time) Source / More (Book)
The first choices for the lead roles were John Mills and Bette Davis.
John Huston:“The way Hepburn and Bogart climbed inside of the people they were supposed to be, made this movie better than we had written i”
The book The African Queen (1935) was written by Cecil Scott Forester (1899–1966) an English novelist who was best known for his novels of the royal navy in the days of sail, including the series about Capt. Horatio Hornblower. Source / More (Book)
The African Queen was first published in 1935; however, the publisher did not like the end of the book and removed the last two chapters. In 1940, The African Queen was reissued in the form the author intended. Source / More (Book)
This week 75 years ago Crime school premiered (May 28, 1938)
December 25, 1899
Humphrey Deforest Bogart
January 14, 1957
He grew up in New York, met with disciplinary problems at school and was expelled.
After his discharge from the Navy, Bogart never took acting lessons, but just started an acting career on the Brooklyn stage in 1921. In 1935 he would act in his last Broadway play The Petrified Forest, a role he would reprise on film in 1936.
In 1930 Humphrey went to Hollywood. His big break came in 1941 with High Sierra and The Maltese falcon. Now Bogey was a big star and he made classics like Casablanca and The African Queen. The Caine Mutiny was Bogart's last major movie, a film made when he was already seriously ill. He dropped his asking price to get the role of Captain Queeg.
Terrence Pettigrew -> Bogart: A Definitive Study of His Film Career (1981)
Stephen Humphrey Bogart -> Bogart: In Search of My Father (1995)
Gerald Duchovnay -> Humphrey Bogart: A Bio-Bibliography (1999)