The African Queen

Starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn
Written by John Huston, James Agee, John Collier and Peter Viertel
Directed by John Huston
Production year 1951
Running time 105 minutes

One of the greatest  films from the golden age of Hollywood this sparkling comedy adventure features two of the most iconic movie stars ever to grace the silver screen. Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn were 52 and 44 respectively when they appeared in The African Queen. He plays a curmudgeonly boat captain and she a prim Methodist missionary, thrown together in German East Africa at the beginning of World War 1. Their unlikely friendship, born in adversity, blossoms into an even more unlikely romance...

 Four writers worked on the screenplay including James Agee and John Huston. Also credited is the novelist Peter Viertel who turned the experience of working on the film into his book 'White Hunter, Black Heart', which was made into a film by Clint Eastwood in 1990.

 The African Queen was directed by John Huston whose glittering 45 year career included such early classics as The Maltese Falcon and The Treasure  Of The Sierra Madre as well as later gems like The Man Who Would Be King, Prizzi's Honour and The Dead. He was a larger than life character who at various times was a boxer, portrait painter, cavalry rider and reporter. Huston loved hunting, gambling and drinking and directed his pictures with the vision of an artist. He got great performances from his players and himself acted from time to time - his most memorable role being the evil patriarch Noah Cross in  Roman Polanski's 'Chinatown'.