Movie: The African Queen
Nominations: Best Actress (Katharine Hepburn), Best Actor (Humphrey Bogart), Best Director (John Huston), and Best Screenplay
Wins: Only Bogie went home with his only award, beating out Brando for Streetcar and Clift for A Place in the Sun. Hepburn was beaten by Vivien Leigh for A Streetcar named Desire, and Huston's award went to George Stevens for A Place in the Sun which also took Screenplay.
This was one of the first movies I ever owned (Oklahoma and The African Queen on BETAMAX back in the 80s), and I've seen it and caught more and more in it every time I see it, with today being no exception. Often when a characters in a movie rely on a map, it's usually something made up or more abstract than reality. So, growing up I figured that's what they'd done with the maps Kate and Bogie use to navigate the river in the movie. However, now that I'm grown up (and some say wicked smaht) and have lived in Africa myself, I can tell they were actually using a old map of Africa - with the colonial names for things mixed with tribal names so they bear little resemblance to what I know. But it was neat looking at the movie from yet another new perspective.
For those who haven't seen it, Hepburn plays Miss Rose Sayer, a missionary keeping house for her brother in Africa (probably in Tanzania or Zambia). When he dies, she's forced try to get home, but WWI has gotten in the way, and the war has found its way to Africa (the monarchs gave Tanzania to the Kaiser, while Kenya stayed British). She gets in a boat with Canadian Charlie Allnut to get back to England eventually. However, it's rough going on a pieced together boat down rapids with crocodiles and hippos and the propriety of the time - she always calls him Mr. Allnut and he calls her Miss. They get friendly but it's not until they're almost killed a few times that they really get to know each other. They fight, they bicker, learn from each other and have terrific adventures, even attempting to change the course of the war. I love this movie every time I watch it. I'm shocked it didn't get nominated for Best Picture, and winner An American in Paris can't hold a candle to it (though it's pretty good too).
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