Watch The African Queen
- 1 hr 45 min
The African Queen (1952) is classic war drama from renowned director John Huston about a mismatched pair attempting to take on the German army on their own. In September 1914, Reverend Samuel Sayer (Robert Morley), who runs a missionary school in Eastern Africa, learns that Germany is at war, from Charlie Allnut (Humphrey Bogart). Charlie, an American, runs a delivery steamboat, the African Queen, to different villages, and warns the Reverend and his sister, Rose (Katherine Hepburn), that they need to leave immediately since as British citizens they are now considered hostile foreigners. The Sayers insist on staying and continuing their work, only to be invaded by German imperial troops, who beat the Reverend when he tries to stop them from burning down their village. After he dies, Rose must find a way home or at least to safety. When Charlie returns to their area, he agrees to transport Rose, but she also wants to revenge his brother's death, as well as do her part for the war effort. She believes that they can take out the German warship Louisa by taking a barely navigable stream and making a surprise attack. Charlie laughs at her plan, since the route she suggests is impossible, especially for his dilapidated vessel. As they make their way through the African countryside, the devout spinster and the drunken bachelor begin to form a friendship, born out of their ability to survive against leech-infested swamps, dangerous rapids and through German occupied territory. Rose has stepped down from her moral high ground, and Charlie has been humanized from having to look beyond his own pleasure. As they near the location of German war ship, Charlie must decide whether to take up Rose's challenge to fight or to flee to safety. Humphrey Bogart won his only Academy Award for his performance, and the Library of Congress selected the film for the prestigious United States National Film Registry.