The African Queen (1951)

First off, let me start by saying that I apologize I have not been keeping this updated. I’ve been helping my mom with the house and I just started college so I’ve been quite busy lately. However, despite all the busyness, I am determined to watch at least one new-to-me movie every Wednesday night and possibly Friday night (we’ll see about that….)

Anyways, my choice for tonight was The African Queen. I originally planned to watch Night Train to Munich but for some reason I was drawn to The African Queen; probably because it has been on my to-watch list for quite some time and felt it was more ~essential~ than Night Train to Munich (which I’m not downgrading; the main reason I want to see it is because it’s directed by Carol Reed). But I am not, in the least, upset that I watched The African Queen instead of Night Train. In fact, I had no idea what to expect but I absolutely loved it.

The main reason that I loved it so much is because of Rose and Charlie’s relationship; talk about a truly equal relationship. There are almost no arguments about it; each person compliments the other the same number of times and is genuine about it, each puts in the same amount of work, is independent, and takes care of the other when in need. Who stood out to me was Rose. She is equally knowledgeable and has a lot of suggestions and help to offer to Charlie, rather than being as, oh, a damsel in distress? I don’t know. But it’s not what has been portrayed before, at least from what I’ve seen. But then again, Charlie is very different too; he never comes across as a jerk. It’s quite a change for Bogie but I loved it. And Bogie and Katharine together. Never in a million years would I think of putting them together but with their personalities, it works 100% on the mark.

The same relationship would not have been achieved, however, if they were not on a boat traveling up the river through Africa. I kept thinking of Heart of Darkness though out this film but obviously Heart of Darkness goes into a WHOLE different context of Africa, specifically going into the heart of Africa. Here in The African Queen, going up the river, Rose and Charlie find love, a love built from their journey and the life and death obstacles they encounter together. They will not leave one other for anything; an example of this is when the two are talking about who will stay on the boat to shoot the torpedoes. Bogie insists on doing it and does not want Katharine to do it. But Kate being Kate, she refuses to let him order her around and they finally settle on it being a two-man job.

The other thing that struck me about their relationship is their allowance of vulnerability to one other. I feel like in other films, they wouldn’t be as accepting of it, like they have to keep this facade of some sort. But I suppose from all the stuff they’ve been through, it doesn’t matter. At one point Bogie is on the floor of the boat, saying what a poor excuse he is as a man; Kate denies it and says that he has done so much. He doesn’t pretend to act macho 24/7. And neither does Kate. In essence, everything they do is so equal that there is no dominant of the two, but rather just one. One couple, one mind, and one true love.

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11 thoughts on “The African Queen (1951)

  1. filmgeekwatching August 29, 2013 / 4:12 am

    Hello there! Welcome back! Oh I really wanted to watch that film,but however I am bombareded by my majors LOL

  2. filmgeekwatching August 29, 2013 / 4:17 am

    BTW they have my 2 fave Hollywood actors,Bogie and Kat Hepburn :D

  3. annieshall August 29, 2013 / 9:59 am

    Haha I know how that is! But yes whenever you get the chance, watch it! I think you’d love it if those two are your favorites :’)

    • filmgeekwatching August 29, 2013 / 10:07 am

      OMG I would see how,but I heard it have the same cinematographers as Powell and Ersberguer The Red Shoes and Black Naricuss! Visually it was amazing

      • annieshall August 29, 2013 / 10:10 am

        Oh my goodness, you’re right!!!! The cinematography was brilliant! No wonder! The Red Shoes is one of my favs and yes the cinematography in that film ;_____; I have yet to see Black Naricuss though
        Ah these are the important things that I have to start looking up :)

      • filmgeekwatching August 29, 2013 / 10:27 am

        Oh I watched the Red Shoes and I find the pacing bit hard and found some parts a bit dry for me..However the cinematography is fantastic especially the ballet scenes…

      • annieshall August 29, 2013 / 3:04 pm

        Oh I loved it :) yes that was great

      • filmgeekwatching August 29, 2013 / 8:22 pm

        Maybe I did not like it because the edition I borrowed the transfer is terrible. I think it was the teacher’s relationship with the girl was no-goer for me. There is an interesting theory that Moria is cursed to her art like the shoes. It’s true on the sucide especially when they took off her shoes.

      • filmgeekwatching August 29, 2013 / 8:23 pm

        Btw if you are interested there is a queer reading on the red shoes…

      • annieshall August 29, 2013 / 11:22 pm

        Yes I would like to read it if you have a link handy.

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