“The African Queen” seems like it must have been a great excuse for Humphrey Bogart and John Huston to get blackout drunk in the Ugandan jungle.
But as a classic film... it’s the equivalent of a two-ingredient cocktail. It does the job, but it’s not very impressive.
It’s hard to watch “Queen” and not compare it to another boat-borne jungle film with a notoriously difficult production; “Fitzcarraldo.”
Where Herzog’s epic of artistic ambition was meticulous to the point of insanity, Huston’s feels loose to the point of recklessness.
The chemistry between Bogart and Katherine Hepburn is tenuous at best, and “Queen” works better as a series of jungle-set sketches than a cohesive narrative. But as Bogart responds when he’s accused…