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The African Queen [VHS]

Humphrey Bogart , Katharine Hepburn , John Huston    Universal, suitable for all   VHS Tape
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Robert Morley, Peter Bull, Theodore Bikel
  • Directors: John Huston
  • Writers: John Huston, C.S. Forester, James Agee, John Collier, Peter Viertel
  • Producers: John Woolf, Sam Spiegel
  • Language: English, German, Swahili
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Romulus
  • VHS Release Date: 16 July 2001
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005B3FV
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 212,447 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

From Amazon.co.uk

The African Queen, John Huston's 1951 classic set in Africa during World War I, garnered Humphrey Bogart an Oscar for his role as a hard-drinking riverboat captain who provides passage for a Christian missionary spinster (Katharine Hepburn). Taking an instant, mutual dislike to one another, the two endure rough waters, the presence of German soldiers, and their own bickering to fall finally into one another's arms. Based on CS Forester's novel, this is classic Huston material--part adventure, part quest--but this time with a pair of characters who'd all but given up on happiness. Bogart (a long-time collaborator with Huston on such classics as The Maltese Falcon and Key Largo) and Hepburn have never been better, and support from frequent Huston crony Robert Morley adds some extra dimension and colour. --Tom Keogh, Amazon.com

On the DVD: A trailer, a gallery of contemporary posters and stills, plus some text biographies of the principals, simply whet the appetite for the main extra feature here: an audio commentary by veteran cinematographer Jack Cardiff. The man responsible for the lush, albeit studio-bound jungle textures of Black Narcissus faced innumerable challenges lighting real Borneo jungle in the heart of the Congo for Huston's ambitious project, and here he relates all the behind-the-scenes anecdotes of disease, infestation and disaster that plagued the production. It's a real treat to hear one of the last survivors of the Golden Age filmmaking happily reminiscing about one of cinema's classic pictures, talking companionably of Huston, Bogie and Katie Hepburn and what everyone--cast and crew alike--endured to finish the picture, from lepers carrying their gear to the location, Huston fishing while directing, hornets stinging the crew, to terrible sickness brought on by drinking unfiltered lake water (except Bogie and Huston, who stuck religiously to the whisky!). The movie itself, in its original 1.33:1 ratio, looks just fine, and the sound is an unfussy digitally remastered mono. --Mark Walker

Product Description

John Huston's romantic river epic starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn in their only on screen pairing. Rose (Hepburn) is a prim missionary who is forced to team up with gin-swilling river trader Charlie (Bogart) when her village is destroyed during the Great War. As they flee from the Germans down the Congo, aboard the trader's battered ship, The African Queen, their mutual dislike turns gradually to love. Shot in rich Technicolor by celebrated cinematographer Jack Cardiff, the film has gained classic status over the years. Bogart won an Oscar for his portrayal of the gruff, cynical sailor.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars African Queen Blu-Ray 5 Dec 2010
The African Queen [Blu-ray] [1951]I've read a few reviews on here commenting on different versions/prints of the African Queen, believe me the Blu-Ray version is almost perfect, one of the best transfers I have ever seen.
I would also point out it's in the original screen ratio.
I find a lot of Blu-Rays no better than the ordinary DVD version but this one is in a league of its own.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great transfer and great commentary 20 Nov 2012
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
The transfer of this film is really good for a picture of this age. You could not wish for anything better. It is happily in the original aspect ratio and I sometimes worry about the comments from other reviewers complaining that "it's not widescreen" when it wasn't actually made in that ratio in the first place. For those people: change the widescreen setting on your TV and cut off the top and bottom of the picture and you will be happy.
The commentary by the cinematographer is the gem on this disk and I think I enjoyed his comments more than the actual film itself. Full of fascinating detail about the filming in Africa.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars stirring adventure 16 Jan 2003
John Huston once again shows what a great director he is in making this delightful picture. It really is a character piece, focusing on the two leads and there undeniable chemistry. Bogie deserved this oscar - it arguably is his greatest performance. Hepburn is equally as excellent in playing the prim and proper, slightly stuck up passenger. Once again she shows her off talent in being able to balance the comedy elements with the melodrama - a performance also worthy of an oscar. It is testament to their acting ability and the direction of Huston that you never doubt the situation they are in - they really do look like they went through emotional and physical hell. You won't find the gloss i.e. nice spanking new costumes and perfect facial complexions here.
I for one became attached to the duo's journey - who can forget the episode with the leeches, the sheer disgust and fear on Bogie's face when he first realises the critters are on him, and the slow realisation he has to go back into the water to get the boat moving. Masterful acting it really is, and surprising coming from him.
This is a classic and was responsible for setting the template for all subsequent romantic adventures. Its a disgrace the film did not even get nominated for the 51' best picture oscar, since is thoroughly deserved to win it (an American in Paris!??!)
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful classic 20 Jun 2004
The African Queen is a wonderful product of film making's Golden Age, and offers a focused showcase of the acting skills of Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn. Their opposite characters grow to understand and accept each other as they endure various hardships, and they eventually fall in love. The actors are excellent, and one can watch their transformation through their faces and actions, which are not over the top. Because the majority of the movie has only these two characters, the script also had to be exceptional for the movie to succeed, and is witty and entertaining.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By D. Parkin TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I'm a bit of a sucker for the classic films, but these films are classics for a reason. Having previously bought the dvd of this back in the mists of time, I have to say that the print is as fresh as a daisy on this blu-ray release, giving full vent to the technicolour of the original print. The film of course is a gem, and has me hankering for the times when films did not have to have gratuitous shedloads of swearing in them for "impact"; it's a bit of a slow-burner where the leads carry the picture beautifully, despite Bogart's rictus grin looking cheesier than normal at times. If you haven't seen it, then just do yourself a favour...
What lured me to this print was the promise of a commentary by the late and luminous Jack Cardiff, and I have to say that the edition does not disappoint in this respect. It is lovely to hear tales about the production from the horse's mouth. Both sound and vision are top notch.
Well worth the money, and, to put it bluntly, a steal.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adventure, comedy and romance 23 July 2004
Katherine Hepburn and her clergyman brother (Robert Morley) are missionaries in darkest Africaduring WW1. When Morley dies of some horrible tropical disease, a tough, hard-drinking vulgar riverboat captain (Humphrey Bogart) helps Hepburn to escape from the advancing German troops and takes her off down the river in his grubby little boat The African Queen. When Hepburn discovers that Bogart has dynamite on board, she conceives the brilliant idea of building a torpedo and blowing up a German gunboat. As they travel down the river together they at first seem the most ill-matched couple, but gradually come to like and respect each other, and eventually, of course, to fall in love. They have many adventures and several narrow escapes from death on their hazardous journey This film has absolutely everything to delight, two wonderful characters, an exciting plot, spectacular scenery, and an absoloutely thrilling, suspenceful climax. Hepburn has the two best lines in the film. When they have just shot the rapids, and Bogart is expecting her to be terrified, she exclaims joyfully "I never dreamed any mere physical experience could be so stimulating!" Then later when Bogart has got drunk and she has poured all his whisky into the river, he tells her reproachfully that it's only natural, and she replies coldy "Nature, Mr Alnut,is what we are put in this world to rise above" Absolutely wonderful film.
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