Post by urbanpatrician on Jun 10, 2017 23:59:23 GMT
About 15 years ago on IMDB, this movie might've been recognized as part of Huston's 3 major movies: Maltese Falcon, Treasure of the Sierra Madre and...it, but recent consensus is pushing Treasure's way. African Queen still trails both those other two in terms of pure classic status and iconography. It was ranked #17 on the AFI list previous edition, but took to a hit down to #65 in 2007's.
Anyways, I think it's a classic comedy and adventure. I thought it had some pure adventure aspects and some scenes with Bogart, the torpedos, the river, and the jungle were unforgettable and some of the Hepburn with Bogart scenes were to die for. And I thought Bogart deserved the Oscar.... and it contends with some of his best works (Treasure, In a Lonely Place)
What I wrote on letterbox:
"Comedy mixed with adventure. Most people were probably expecting a Bridge on River Kwai type kick-ass movie; I was one of the ones who expected that when I first saw it about 13/14 years ago. It came well short of that expectation back then, but now I see it as very good for what it is. Bogart was appropriately recognized back then for this performance. I always thought Casablanca, In a Lonely Place, and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre was his holy trinity of performances, but this one is etching closer; Bogart doing comedy so effectively is refreshing. He's always been a wise cracker, but here he has all the likable touches to compliment a fun classic ride."
I'm expecting most people to not like it, or say "meh" or "Brando > Bogart", but hopefully I can get some love for it here.
African Queen still trails both those other two in terms of pure classic status and iconography.
Needs to be replaced by The Man Who Would be King - or The Dead (but a society in which a film like The Dead is a classic would look very different).
As far as the film goes: It's very well made atually. I can't fault it for not achieving what it sets out to do because it does that really well but I think it lacks the edge of some of Huston's other films. It's a relatively tame film. I don't even necesarilly think it's better than something like Bunuel's Death in the Garden (which has a much more biting scenario) even though from a dramatic standpoint there is no question. I like the interplay between Bogart and Hepburn but that's it, I like it. There are no strong feelings attached, it doesn't get me thinking or engages with me on a deeper emotional level, it's just a well told story - this is not so much a criticism of African Queen as it's praise of Huston's other films, of coruse there is a place for just telling a good story well but I think Huston regularly achieved more. The location is of course superbly used though because it's a 100 % integral part of the story as it should be but that's Huston's strength anyway. From the 6 Huston films I've seen African Queen is my least favorite but I still like it a fair deal (I can certainly admire it for being a well made movie in the classical sense but there's only so far that admiration goes).
Brando's performance in A Streetcar Named Desire is perhaps the best male performance ever so that's out of competition.
"You see things; and you say Why? But I dream things that never were and I say Why not?" - George Bernhard Shaw
Post by avnermoriarti on Jun 14, 2017 16:46:04 GMT
It's one of the most enjoyable films I've ever seen. And you know there's something great happening on screen when you give a free pass to the somewhat problematic screenplay ( it is difficult to believe how many of their problems find their way out ). It's all on the chemistry between Bogart and Hepburn and they just shine, shine and shine and glow the screen and the delivery of their one-liners are perfect, not to mention the film looks spectacular. It is a first-class adventure film.
'There's a terror in knowing what the world is about'
A wonderful adventure film and one of Hustons best. It has some really great dialogues and the chemistry between Bogart and Hepburn is superb. While I certainly prefer The Maltese Falcon and The Night of Iguana among Huston's films I probably have African Queen ahead of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.