Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart in the riverboat The African Queen

The African Queen

There will be a brief Special General meeting preceding the screening.

Under Section 3-5 (d) of the Wellington Film Society Inc. Rules, you are invited to attend
a Special General Meeting of the Wellington Film Society Inc., to be held:

1. A life membership
Meeting to be followed by screening of the film “The African Queen”.

Harry Evans, President

The African Queen

John Huston | UK/USA | 1951

Director: John Huston
Producer: Sam Spiegel
Screenplay: James Agee, John Huston,
  from the novel by C S Forester
Cinematography: Jack Cardiff
Editor: Ralph Kemplen
Music: Allan Gray
Humphrey Bogart (Charlie Allnutt)
Katharine Hepburn (Rose Sayer)
Robert Morley (Rev Samuel Sayer)
Peter Bull (Captain of Louisa)
Theodore Bikel (First Officer)
Walter Gotell (Second Officer)

Rating: G Runtime: 105 minutes

One of the true classics of Hollywood’s golden era, Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart star as the devout missionary owner of a steamboat (the titular African Queen) and a vulgar Canadian mechanic, respectively.

Charting a course out of East Africa as World War I flared up, meaning they have to navigate not just the river rapids, but the occasional torpedo fired by murderous Germans.  Released six years after World War II, there is a real edge to fighting scenes that is reportedly missing from the source material, a 1935 novel by CS Forester.

Unlike most other films being made at the time, The African Queen was largely shot on location in the Congo and in full technicolour (the cameras were enormous).  The cast and crew reportedly ran out of fresh water, there were no showers, and Bogart and director John Huston were constantly drunk, to Hepburn’s disgust.  The sweat-soaked sense of adventure leaping off the screen and barbed exchanges between the two leads make this easy to believe.  “There is rollicking fun and gentle humor in this outlandish “African Queen.” …. Without two accomplished players, Mr. Huston could never have achieved his highly audacious purpose of a virtually two-character film, but Miss Hepburn and Mr. Bogart are entirely up to their jobs”. Bosley Crowther, The New York Times

Closing Night Screening in memory of Michael Thomas.


Dec 04 2023


6:15 pm - 8:00 pm