Sue's Reviews > The Making of The African Queen, or: How I went to Africa with Bogart, Bacall and Huston and almost lost my mind

The Making of The African Queen, or by Katharine Hepburn
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May 14, 09

bookshelves: biographical-autobiographical, history
Read in May, 2009

After reading the novel on which this film was based, and afterward discovering that the film is not available on DVD in the US, I found this online and decided to try this book as a way to satisfy my craving to "see" it again. And it does have some wondeful photos, both behind the scenes and of the settings.

As for the style of writing, I have to admit I'm a bit disappointed. I thought she might have written this as a memoir, but it's very clear almost from the first page that this is just a transcript of an interivew with her. Because of this, the narative tends to ramble at times and is very disjointed at others. However, if you just imagine you're sitting with Hepburn and listening to her talk, it works to give you a feel of what the experience was like.

My favorite bit? Probably the anecdote where she's being told that the African Queen has sunk overnight in the middle of production. When the man tasked with guarding the boat is asked what he did when he noticed it was leaking, he simply reponds, "I got off."

That's just the sort of trivia I want to know!
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