Monday, July 4, 2011
Last night I watched The African Queen for the first time. I am a big Bogart fan despite only having seen a few of his movies before this one: Casablanca, of course, The Barefoot Contessa, and The Big Sleep.
Loved it. I was expecting a rollicking adventure but I had no idea it would be so funny. I didn't know Bogart could be so hilariously undignified, and I thought Hepburn was incredible, with a few fantastic one-liners: "I never dreamed that any mere physical experience could be so stimulating!" Then there's the Captain of the Louisa: "By the authority vested in me by Kaiser Wilhelm II, I pronounce you man and wife. Proceed with the execution."
It's such a strange movie - it doesn't seem at all likely to work - but somehow it manages to combine Africa, suspense, war, romance, comedy, in a completely charming and exciting way.
Then I tried to go to sleep and kept waking up from dreams about crocodiles and rapids and being stuck in a papyrus swamp and arguing with Mr Allnut. It was most frustrating.