The African Queen Blu-ray Review – 1951 Classic!

Another classic film on Blu-ray, but has it been restored properly? I’m going to find out in my The African Queen Blu-ray review.

I will start by stating that this is indeed a classic film, no doubt about in my mind. Bogart won the Best Actor Academy Award for his portrayal of Charlie Allnut in this film. However I am not swayed by awards in fact most of my favourite films and actors have seldom been recognised by the Academy awards. This is one of the rare occasions I believe they got it right.

The film stars Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn in what becomes an adventure down the Ulanga River. Oh and just to clear the boat is called The African Queen!

  • The African Queen (1951)
  • Genre: Adventure
  • Directed By John Huston
  • Written By: Screenplay By John Huston, James Agee, Peter Viertel, John Collier
  • Music By: Allan Gray
  • Blu-ray Region: Region B (UK)
  • Released By: ITV
  • Starring Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Robert Morley
The African Queen Blu-ray Review


Samuel Sayer (Robert Morley) along his sister Rose (Katharine Hepburn) are British missionaries in a small village, Kungdu in German East Africa. With news of the beginning of the First World War making its way through via a Canadian boat captain Charlie Allnut (Humphrey Bogart), things are about to take a turn for the worse.

They know Charlie because he also delivers their mail.

The Germans enter the village burn it to the ground taking all the villagers away with them. Rose’s brother seems to be unable to accept the reality of their situation. He later passes away from a fever leaving Rose to contemplate her next move.

Charlie re-appears and offers to take Rose with him as he tries to evade the Germans. He just wants to find somewhere out of the way while Rose has other plans. She wants to sink a German ship that blocks their route.

So she convinces Charlie to go along with her plan although he a rather reluctant at first.

This film is a journey down an African river with the goal to blow-up a German boat, but in truth the journey is really all about the relationship between Rose and Charlie and how it changes the further down the river they go.

At the start of the film Charlie is all very ‘thank you miss’ and ‘miss can I help you.’ The gulf in their classes is evident with Rose coming across as very emotionally reserved. Charlie on the other hand seems a little uneasy around both Rose and her brother and is more the rough and ready type.


The key to this film and why it is so highly regarded is all down to the two outstanding acting performance from Bogart and Hepburn. The chemistry between the two is spot on and this really does become the key point as for most of the film it’s just the two of the sailing down a river.

Bogart’s facial expressions a priceless and shows off how good an actor he was. Similarly Katharine Hepburn is the perfect choice to play a English lady of the time.

The transformation off both characters is a joy to watch as we (the viewer) see them journey down the river.

Style / Direction

A well shot and directed film from director John Huston, who realises the focus of this film needs to be on the actors and character development. Helped along by some rather jovial music that really sets the tone and mood.

The film simply oozes class.

Conclusion: The African Queen (1951) Film Review

The African Queen is simply an outstanding film that everyone should ensure they find time to experience. With its release on Blu-ray there really has never been a better time (other than it initial release) to watch it.

This is another classic where I really have nothing negative to say about the film. Sure I could say the back projections used are not great by today’s standards, but that was common place for the time. Sure if this was made today, they are probably in pre-production as I write this, you could have more realistic looking film.  But there is no way the new filmmakers and studio executives would understand what actually makes this film feel so great.

The African Queen Blu-ray Review

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Conclusion: The African Queen Blu-ray Review

The African Queen Blu-ray Review (1951): So how did the Blu-ray version turn out? Phew! They really have done a fabulous restoration making this film look like it is brand new. The print is faultless, it’s sharp and the colours are vibrant giving this film a new lease of life just as it deserves.

No speckles or flickers of dirt anywhere to be found. It really does make for the perfect viewing experience, an outstanding job and is a must in anyone’s Blu-ray collection.


In terms of Blu-ray extras there is a hour long making of documentary which may be worth a look to those wanting to see just how it became the great film that it is.

The African Queen (1951) blu-ray is available now from Amazon.

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The African Queen Blu-ray (1951)

Popcorn Cinema Rating: The African Queen (1951)




The African Queen (1951) Film Trailer

For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster with trailer…

The African Queen Blu-ray Review is just one of the many classic films covered on the site. 

What Do You Think?
Summary: The African Queen (1951) Blu-ray Review
The African Queen Blu-ray Review

Movie title: The African Queen (1951)

Duration: 105 mins

Director(s): John Huston,

Actor(s): Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Robert Morley

Genre: Adventure

  • Movie Rating
  • Blu-ray Rating
  • Extras


Classic adventure film with actors at the top of their game The African Queen is a must see and must own film on Blu-ray.