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The African Queen: Special Restoration Edition [Blu-ray] [1951]

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Price: £5.80 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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The African Queen: Special Restoration Edition [Blu-ray] [1951] + Casablanca [Blu-ray] [1942]
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Product details

  • Actors: Katherine Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: ITV Studios Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 6 Sep 2010
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00378L06A
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,992 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

From the Golden Age of cinema The African Queen is a truly magnificent film adapted from a novel by C.S. Forester. Starring Humphrey Bogart in his Oscar-winning portrayal of Charlie Allnut, the slovenly, gin-swilling captain of a tramp steamer called the African Queen, which ships supplies to small East African villages during World War I. Katharine Hepburn plays Rose Sayer, the maiden-lady sister of a prim British missionary (Robert Morley).

When invading Germans kill the missionary and level the village, Allnut offers to take Rose back to civilisation. She can't tolerate his drinking or bad manners, he isn't crazy about her imperious, judgmental attitude. However it does not take long before their passionate dislike turns to love. Together the disparate duo work to ensure their survival on the treacherous waters and devise an ingenious way to destroy a German gunboat.

The African Queen may well be the perfect adventure film, its roller-coaster storyline complemented by the chemistry between its stars. Along with masterful direction from John Huston, the wonderful script makes this a rare treat indeed.

The film’s restoration in 2010:
ITV STUDIOS Global Entertainment has partnered with Paramount Pictures to save this great classic and restore it back to its former glory. The Original 35mm three strip camera negatives were scanned at high resolution and digitally recombined using restoration tools to repair tears and scratches, remove dirt and stabilise the picture. The soundtrack underwent full digital audio restoration removing clicks, hum, and other audio defects before creating a new Optical soundtrack negative. The Digital files have been output to a high resolution digital cinema File as well as creating a pristine new combined 35mm negative and an HD master. This is a fine example of how today’s technologies can protect and preserve film both digitally and photo-chemically for the next 100 years and beyond. The film is expected to be re-released in UK Cinemas in 2010 both on 35mm prints and digital projection and is available on DVD and Blu-ray to enjoy at home.


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,

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 5 Dec 2010
Format: Blu-ray
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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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Richard Bevan on 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fortuna on 16 Dec 2014
Format: DVD
The perfect gift for all movie buffs is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker

Despite John Huston's brilliant directing, Jack Cardiff's gorgeous cinematography and the script's entertaining dialogue it's still the on screen chemistry between Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn that is the film's strongest element. It almost overshadows everything else in the film as it's always the first thing brought up.

As with most of John Huston's films, it's an adaptation of a novel, this one being from 1935 and written by C.S. Forester. The changes from novel to film adaptation being for the good of the story are debatable, but them being for the best possible John Huston film would be spot on. Even if it was an adaptation, Huston knew his film was about Charlie (Bogart) and Rosie (Hepburn) and he wanted it told a certain way from beginning to end.

You could probably spot the scenes that were filmed in Africa compared to the ones filmed at Isleworth Studios, but you won't bother because the trials and tribulations of Charlie and Rosie on the steam-boat, The African Queen, are too engaging. While they certainly are the main characters of the film, Africa itself with the African Queen are characters themselves and almost just as important. All that and I didn't even mention that the film takes place at the beginning of World War I, which is a major plot point... but again secondary to Bogart and Hepburn on screen together.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Courtney Stokes on 20 Jun 2004
Format: DVD
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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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By South West shooter on 16 Jan 2003
Format: DVD
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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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Mark Barry HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 Sep 2010
Format: Blu-ray
*** BLU RAY Version ***

Soldier ants three inches deep on the hut floor, hornet nests alongside the river bank, twenty crocodiles ready to eat you for breakfast should you actually venture into the river, dip your feet in the black rotten water of the river to dissipate the unbearable heat and a parasite called a Jigger Bug would lodge itself between your toes and eventually kill you though liver failure... When you listen to Jack Cardiff's spectacularly good feature-length commentary on the actual filming of "The African Queen" in 1951 (he was Director Of Photography), it's a small miracle that this beloved independent gem ever got made at all...

Escaping the suffocating McCarty trials in the USA at the end of The Forties and beginning of the Fifties (Bogie, Hep and Huston were all considered to have lefty affiliations), Director John Huston set off to Africa to film C.S. Forester's 1935 novel on location (an unheard of thing at the time). He dragged with him huge and cumbersome Technicolor cameras, his sickness-prone crew and Jack Cardiff's two lamps and small generator. 1st location was in Biondo on the Ruiki River in the Belgian Congo, 2nd location was Uganda and 3rd was back in the UK (all shots that required actors getting into the river were done in water tanks in London because the Ruiki was just too dangerous in real life).

Their trials and tribulations throughout the shoot are truly the stuff of Hollywood legend - Lepers carried their equipment, they bunked in bamboo huts with all manner of creepy-crawlies joining them under the netting and an African hunter who had been supplying them with meat on a daily basis was led off by authorities for suspected cannibalism (natives going missing).
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