Giants of the silver screen delivering one giant of a movie. WW1, East Africa, after her brother is killed by invading German troops, Rose Sayer is reliant on gruff steamboat captain, Charlie Allnut, to ferry her safely out of harms way and back to civilisation. Trouble is is that they are poles apart in ideals and ways, she is a devoted missionary, he a hard drinking tough nut with a glint in his eye. Yet as they venture further down the river, an unlikely alliance is starting to form, both in personalities and a keenness to give it to the Germans! It's probably something of a given that The African Queen was starting with an advantage from the very first cry of action! Because to have Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn as your lead actors is not to be sniffed at, whilst also having John Huston directing is stacking the odds heavily in your favour. Thankfully history and time show us that all involved in this piece crafted a most delightful and exciting picture, yet it triumphs more as an intriguing picture than merely a meeting of Hollywood giants. Adapted by Huston and James Agee from the novel by C.S. Forester, it's believed that the original intention was to film it as an outright drama, but whether by star design or a going with the flow attitude, the picture turned out to be a drama fused with splices of humour, the kind where the tongue gets firmly stuck in the cheek. As character pieces go, The African Queen has few peers, especially in the pantheon of 50s cinema, then you add the excellent story to work from, with the location work in Congo and Uganda expertly utilised by Huston (clearly revelling in the mix) and his photographer, Jack Cardiff. Then there is that magical flow, just as The African Queen (the boat itself) is flowing down the river, so does the film effortlessly glide along without pretentious posturing, screaming out that this is as a humane a story as you are likely to witness again. Some cynical reviewers will point to the dated studio filmed segments as a reason why this film shouldn't be termed a classic amongst classics, but really it's only an issue if you want it to dim your appreciation of the splendour from every other frame. From Bogart and his wry or humorous expressions, to Hepburn and the art of acting prim, this is a pure joy and justly it deserves to make all those lists containing greatest films of all time. 10/10
Saw this at the BFI in London recently and it looks superb on a big screen. Essentially a two-hander with screen legends Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn who have to escape the approaching WWI German East African forces by sailing down a river on a boat held together by chewing gum and a lot of good luck! Robert Morley has a small role at the start, and plays it to a "T" - setting us up for a cracking adventure yarn that ends up being the most unlikely romance you will ever see. John Huston has done a brilliant job with CS Forrester's characters - they are engaging, the trip is enthralling and the ending, though a tad predictable, brings a smile to your face. Originally slated for David Niven and Bette Davis, but hard to imagine they would have been near half so good!
**A film too American in an Africa still dominated by Europeans.** The film is set in colonial Africa during the First World War, near the Lake Tanganyika area, where the borders of the colonies of Rhodesia (British), Belgian Congo and Tanganyika (German) were formed. It all begins with the German attack on a native Rhodesian village where Protestant missionaries were based. After the attacks, the place is visited by a British boatman, owner of a steam barge called “African Queen” and which is apparently dedicated to carrying out river transport. He collects the deceased missionary's sister, and together they decide to go to the lake and attack a German military ship that is blocking the passage of British ships. Currently forgotten, it is one of those cheap adventure films that puts unlikely people doing unnecessary acts of heroism and that anyone in their right mind would refrain from doing if they could. This is the main problem with the script, and the only thing the film really gets wrong: there is no logical reason that leads them to act and attack the Germans, other than idiotic jingoism. Furthermore, it is a film full of good adventures and moments of humor and danger that will certainly entertain the public. The film features two enormous actors in a smaller and less significant effort for their respective careers: Humphrey Bogart is excellent and sufficiently credible, except for the fact that he is obviously North American and is in the middle of Africa, which was completely controlled by the Europeans. A British actor and a British character would have been more convincing. Katherine Hepburn, in turn, gives us work of great strength and personality. I also felt that she might not be the best choice for the character, since there is no place for Americans in this film. The actress, however, puts in a lot of effort and does a very good job. Technically, the film has many merits: filmed in Africa, the technical team went through enormous difficulties of all kinds to get the production to a successful conclusion, and this includes a series of tropical diseases and logistical difficulties that we can hardly imagine. The cinematography is extraordinary, and the film is visually beautiful. The sets and costumes are convincing, and the soundtrack works well.
Joan Wilder is thrust back into a world of murder, chases, foreign intrigue... and love. This time out she's duped by a duplicitous Arab dignitary who brings her to the Middle East, ostensibly to write a book about his life. Of course, he's up to no good, and Joan is just another pawn in his wicked game. But Jack Colton and his sidekick Ralph show up to help our intrepid heroine save the day.
Movie Star Rating : 6.2 Read More
In 1841, young Ishmael signs up for service abroad the Pequod, a whaler sailing out of New Bedford. The ship is under the command of Captain Ahab, a strict disciplinarian who exhorts his men to find Moby Dick, the great white whale. Ahab lost his his leg to that creature and is desperate for revenge. As the crew soon learns, he will stop at nothing to gain satisfaction.
Movie Star Rating : 7 Read More
Cursed since childhood, dentist Charlie Logan cannot find the right woman. Even worse, he learns that each of his ex-girlfriends finds true love with the man she meets after her relationship with him ends. Hearing of Charlie's reputation as a good-luck charm, women from all over line up for a quick tryst. But when Charlie meets the woman of his dreams, he must find a way to break the curse or risk losing her to the next man she meets.
Movie Star Rating : 5.9 Read More
The circle of life continues for Simba, now fully grown and in his rightful place as the king of Pride Rock. Simba and Nala have given birth to a daughter, Kiara who's as rebellious as her father was. But Kiara drives her parents to distraction when she catches the eye of Kovu, the son of the evil lioness, Zira. Will Kovu steal Kiara's heart?
Movie Star Rating : 6.9 Read More
Ever in search of adventure, explorer Allan Quatermain agrees to join the beautiful Jesse Huston on a mission to locate her archaeologist father, who has been abducted for his knowledge of the legendary mines of King Solomon. As the kidnappers, led by sinister German military officer Bockner, journey into the wilds of Africa, Allan and Jesse track the party and must contend with fierce natives and dangerous creatures, among other perils.
Movie Star Rating : 5.5 Read More
A fearsome 19th century bandit, Cobra Verde cuts a swath through Brazil until he arrives at the sugar plantation of Don Octávio Countinho. Not knowing that his new guest is the notorious bandit and impressed by his ruthless ways, Don Octávio hires Cobra Verde to oversee his slaves. But when Cobra Verde impregnates Don Octávio’s three daughters, the incensed plantation owner exiles the outlaw to Africa where he is expected to reopen the slave trade. Following his trans-Atlantic journey, Cobra Verde exploits tribal conflicts to commandeer an abandoned fortress and whips an army of naked warriors into a frenzied bloodlust as he vies for survival.
Movie Star Rating : 6.9 Read More
The stakes are much higher than life or death in The Tribunal, a courtroom drama set in a Catholic Marriage Tribunal. On the surface, it appears that the struggle between Tony and Joe, two best friends who both love Emily, hinges on Joe obtaining an annulment of his first marriage, so Emily, a devout Catholic, can marry him. As they each fight for whom they love, the Tribunal slowly answers the ever-present question hanging over the proceedings, "What does God want?" Why it matters to these three is the reason it matters to every person. Our souls will not rest until they rest in the arms of the Lord.
Movie Star Rating : 1 Read More
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