The European curiosity about the myth of Africa gives some wonderful literary accounts. Director John Huston’s this film is based on an adventurous novel written by C S Forrester. I haven’t seen much of Humphrey Bogart except his signature classic ‘Casablanca’. Unlike his stylish and attitude driven famous character of Rick, its complete 180 degree opposite role for him. He plays Mr.Allnut, an uncouth drifter boatman who helps missionary socially polished Rosie played by Katherine Hepburn to get out of Africa after the death of her missionary brother when German army invaded jungle during First World War time.
It’s quite difficult to push the film when there’s no other character except the lead pair in the film but the odd chemistry of Bogart and Hepburn is complimentary to each other and its one of the strong reason to see this film. Although most of the film takes place on a boat floating on river with two people overcoming all their physical hazards and psychological barrier to fall in love to make journey interesting one for viewers.
The film was nominated in four categories in Oscar, with Bogart being the only winner with Best actor trophy. Although it was a popular opinion that the award was probably a consolation prize for his performance in same director’s ‘The Treasure of Sierra Madre’ made in 1948. But for me Rick of ‘Casablanca’ is still his best and he definitely deserved it but didn’t get it then.
The film is quite fun if you like the old fashioned movie adventure and romance.
A fine vintage wine.