September 1914, news reaches the colony German Eastern Africa that its motherland is at war, so Reverend Samuel Sayer became a hostile foreigner; German imperial troops burn down his mission, driving him mad- shortly after his well-educated, snooty sister Rose Sayer buries him and leaves by the only available transport, the crummy river steamboat ‘African Queen’ of grumpy boorish compatriot Charlie Allnut. As if a long difficult journey without any comfort weren’t bad enough for such odd companions, she is determined to find a way to do their bit for the British war effort (and revenge her brother) and aims high as God is obviously on their side: construct their own equipment, a torpedo and the converted steamboat, to take out a huge German warship, the Louisa, which is hard to find on the giant lake and first of all to reach, in fact as daunting an expedition as nobody attempted since the late adventurous explorer John Speakes… –IMDb
Adventure in many forms is the theme of many of John Huston’s films. His characters are constantly searching for “the stuff that dreams are made of” (the famous closing-line of his debut film The Maltese Falcon). Huston glorified this chase despite its frequent disillusionment and false promise, since it represented a flight from the complacent virtues of ordinary life. Like Ernest Hemingway and Joseph Conrad, Huston regarded civilization as a false surface which thinly veiled a hostile nature. Only those who lived at the edge, on the margins of society were regarded by Huston as fellow travellers. In films as diverse as The Treasure of Sierra Madre, The Asphalt Jungle and Under the Volcano, Huston celebrated men who circled the abyss; characters who are driven to plunge head first into the void.
The son of the great theatre and film actor Walter Huston (who would win an Oscar under his son’s direction for his role in The Treasure of Sierra Madre) and crime journalist Rhea Gore… read more
4 stars on mute with imagination and the Forbidden Planet soundtrack or Morton Subotnick warping us into a malarial fever. The camerawork, locations and set design are fantastic. I could do without the majority of the cast and the script - keep the non-actors and its a masterful experience. I live underground, and so technicolor anthropology is the next best thing to traveling.
A look at the early work of one of the great designers of the Golden Age of Polish movie posters.
"For all of its enduring popularity The African Queen has not been available on American home video since the distant days of the laserdisc
While Lawrence of Arabia remains the best WWI film set outside of Europe, John Huston’s The African Queen was something of a preceding breakthrough. It dared to make a film set in WWI when such pictures… read review