Filming The African Queen

British and American film "The African Queen" was released to New York City film goers on February 20, 1952. It was a critical and box office success.

Adapted from a novel written in 1935 by C. S. Forester, the film starred Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn.

1951 The African Queen Film Poster
1951 The African Queen Film Poster
Humphrey Bogart won his only Academy Award for his portrayal of the boozy Canadian boat captain Charlie Allnut.


Katharine Hepburn played a British missionary to East Africa named Rose Sayer. When her brother dies, Allnut is tasked with transporting Rose back to civilization.

Lauren Bacall Making Sandwiches During Lunch Break Set of The African Queen Eliot Elisofon
Lauren Bacall Making Sandwiches During Lunch Break
Set of The African Queen
Eliot Elisofon
Having married Humphrey Bogart in 1945, actress Lauren Bacall put her career on hold and followed her husband for filming in the Congo.

She cheerfully endured the heat, humidity, torrential rains, poisonous snakes, and wild animals while becoming friends with Katharine Hepburn and a den mother of sorts to the cast and crew.

Although Hepburn thought Africa "utterly divine" and Bogart felt it was a "stinking hole", they worked well together and developed a chemistry that translated well to the finished product.

In an interview in 1984, Director John Huston said of his time in Africa, "It was a wonderful experience. One of the happiest I've ever had."

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