Now that I’ve read the book I see how perfectly the Katherine Hepburn part was cast. I liked the glimpses into what motivated Charlie & what he was thinking. That is something that always bothered me in the movie. Normally I’m disappointed in movies compared to the book, but the movie was very faithful to the book until abo the last 10 pages. I did like the movie ending slightly better than the book. The chivalry shown by the Germans seems unlikely, yet I know there was quite a bit of chivalry shown by both sides in the Great War as they killed each other in staggering numbers. I read this book because I’ve developed an interest in WWI. It seemed very true to the period.
I enjoyed the book and it was well-written. C S Forester is mostly known for the Hornblower series but this is quite different. The ending was a bit odd.
You might know The African Queen as an excellent old movie starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn. This is the book that film is based on, and it?s every bit as good--even without Bogie and Kate. They play the characters of Charlie Allnutt and Rose Sayer, a burned-out trader with a beat-up old steamboat and a stern, no-nonsense missionary?s sister. Rose is indignant with anger at the World War I German threat to the British way of life (even in the heart of the African jungle), and Mr. Allnutt is the hapless fellow who gets roped into her outrageous plan. But first, they have to get their boat, The African Queen, down the river past rapids, waterfalls, malaria-ridden swamps, and German outposts. They also have to get to know each other?alone, in the jungle, on a rickety old boat. C.S. Forester knows boats and adventure, and what?s more, he knows character, dialogue, and human nature. The 1951 film is best-known for the performances of Hepburn and Bogart (who won the Oscar for best actor) and they are excellent as Rose and Allnutt, whether wading through swamps or nursing each other?s wounds. The film was shot on location in Africa, and remains as good as an adventure and romance as the book it was based on. Another link between the page and the screen is Katherine Hepburn's funny little 1987 memoir, The Making of The African Queen, or How I went to Africa with Bogart, Bacall and Huston and Almost Lost my Mind.
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