Romance! Adventure! Bogart! — 6 years ago
I say this with as much respect as I possibly can for one of my acting idols: Humphrey Bogart wasn’t a movie actor, he was a movie star. Nearly every movie he was in, he was Humphrey Bogart, or at least the movie persona you associated with him. Not saying that couldn’t act, because he sure could, when he was given a role that required it. And in The African Queen he really acted, and he held his own with Katharine Hepburn, which is a hell of an accomplishment. John Huston directed them to some of the best acting of their careers, and Bogie finally got the Academy Award for his work in this movie. It’s refreshing to see a love story between two middle-aged people with both emotional maturity and emotional baggage instead of two young people, as well a real romance organically developing in the middle of an adventure story instead of the ones that happen because the story archetype dictates it. The African Queen would be worth watching just for the amazing pair of acting performances, and it’s a great story to boot.