Appreciating all that makes America special

The African Queen


Hepburn and Bogart in "The African Queen,"

The number one female legend and the number one male legend, together at last. Uploaded by

The African Queen pairs the number one male screen legend with the number one female screen legend. Or at least, that’s how the AFI’s 100 Years…100 Stars ranked them. And you won’t get much of an argument from me. (Though frankly, I’d probably put Bogart at number 3, behind Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant. Katharine Hepburn is undoubtedly the number one actress, though.)

Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart in "The African Queen,"

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John Huston directs this action adventure with the kind of opposites attract romance you knew had to occur between Bogart and Hepburn. He was a gin drinking riverboat captain, she was an uptight missionary. It took the breakout of World War I, and the death of her brother and fellow missionary, to bring them together so that sparks could fly.

Bogart was the main beneficiary of the pairing, The African Queen bringing him his only Oscar. In addition to recognizing the stars, the American Film Institute’s original 100 Years…100 Movies list named it the number 17 film of all time. (For reasons I can’t fathom, the 10th anniversary of the list dropped the movie to number 65. Someone at AFI needs to be horsewhipped.)

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