The African Queen: Special Restoration Edition [Blu-ray] 
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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, 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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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 in August/September 1914. 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 works to ensure their survival on the treacherous waters and devise an ingenious way to destroy a German gunboat.
With masterful direction from John Huston, and cinematography by Jack Cardiff, ‘The African Queen’ may well be the perfect adventure film. Its roller-coaster storyline complemented by the chemistry between its stars.
FILM FACT: Awards and Honours: Academy Awards®: Won: Best Actor in a Leading Role for Humphrey Bogart. Nominated: Best Actress in a Leading Role for Katharine Hepburn. Nominated: Best Adapted Screenplay for James Agee and John Huston. Nominated: Best Director for John Huston. Much of the film was shot on location in Uganda and the Congo in Africa. About half of the film was shot in England. For instance, the scenes in which Bogart and Hepburn are seen in the water were all shot in studio tanks at Isleworth Studios, Middlesex.Read more ›
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!??!)
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.