with the bold text in the example below:

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The African Queen by John Huston, 1951 (NR)

with Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Robert Morley, Peter Bull, Theodore Bikel, Walter Gotell, Peter Swanwick, Richard Marner, Errol John, Gerald Onn

Charlie Allnut (Humphrey Bogart), the booze-guzzling, rough-hewn captain of a broken-down East African riverboat, teams with a straitlaced, iron-willed missionary Rosie (Katharine Hepburn) to take on a menacing German gunboat during World War I.

A peculiar movie, it is a period piece in a way, but not from long before. But because it happens in west africa with missionaries, it really feels as if Rosie was from the previous century, cut out from her own country with proper manners and old-fashioned sense of herself as a missionary, devoted, a good soul, with perhaps not much excitement in her life. There come the Nazis, destroying everything, from her community to the church itself, and finally her brother, so she is left by herself, welcomed to the boat of the only man who can get her out of this, but really, who would believe they could possibly have anything in common. Turns out she needed some excitement in her life, and when the austere Rosie comes into colors, she is probably the wildest creature you could find, with still that sense of respect and honor, and with something else that is reckless, and perhaps feelings, over-boarding the African Queen. The beginning depict a certain reality of the time, somehow in a comical way, still with a primitive eye to what was western countries culture that Christianity have ignorantly eradicated. The rest is more interesting, a performance of two amazing actors and nature, with a relationship that create an equilibrium between two persons of different sex, learning to lean on each other, eventually surprise one another, and love each other. I am still not used to the idea of the steamboat captain ending up with the brother of the pastor, but the movie is convincing, they truly look like love birds in a shitty cruise, looking at the sky and everything around with the eyes of oblivion. I thought it would have a bad ending, but that was forgetting that this was a Hollywood movie from the very best of tradition, with a twist in the end.

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