The African Queen

The African Queen

On DVD: 
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Running Time: 
105 minutes
Special Feature

Embracing Chaos: Making the African Queen

If you love your dated VHS version of The African Queen, now is the time to upgrade to the DVD (or even Blu-Ray). As popular and successful as this movie was when originally released, it is hard to believe that this classic movie on DVD had not been available in the US. But I must say, the result of the restoration will comfort those who have been waiting for it, and it will probably make them say that it was worth waiting.


The African Queen is a 1951 film featuring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn. Hepburn plays Rose Sayer who runs a missionary in Africa with her brother. Bogart’s character, grumpy river boat captain Charlie Allnut (the role earned him Oscar for Best Actor in 1951) decides to help Rose after World War I breaks out, the Germans destroy the village, and Rose’s brother dies. Allnut takes her aboard his boat “The African Queen” so she won’t be captured by the Germans. On the boat, the two start organizing an unthinkable (but certainly sinkable!) plan against the Germans.


Even though I don’t own the VHS version, it is very easy to tell that The African Queen has been digitally re-mastered brilliantly. The picture is crisp, the colors are vivid, and you can see details such as the boat’s wake clearly. Besides the adventure and romance, what also makes this movie more exciting is that the camera captures exotic wildlife hidden deep in the dense jungle in Africa. It shows director John Huston’s commitment and hard work filming in Africa, which was definitely ahead of its time, considering the production year.


This DVD release of The African Queen will not disappoint classic movie buffs who have seen it before as well as anyone who is going to see it for the first time. If you have a few more bucks to spare, go for the Blu-Ray. Oh, one more thing: don’t forget to check out the almost one hour long special feature, in which you will witness amazing and interesting behind the scene stories from the members of the cast, the crew, and other film experts.  

Review by Pat Trabi