Black SplatThe African Queen (1951)

"Well I ain't sorry for you no more, ya crazy, psalm-singing, skinny old maid!"

The African Queen - Humphrey Bogart as Charlie Allnut

Description: Humphrey Bogart as Charlie Allnut yells at missionary Rose Sayers (Katherine Hepburn) in the motion picture The African Queen (1951).

Charlie Allnut is the skipper of an old steamer, The African Queen which he uses to ferry supplies to villages in East Africa at the beginning of World War One.

The African Queen - Charlie Allnut delivers the mail

On one of his visits in September, 1914, Allnut discovers that the Methodist Church in Kungdu run by Rev. Samuel Sayers (Robert Morley) has been burned down by Imperial German troops. The barbaric actions results in the minister's death. Realizing the area is no longer safe, Charlie agrees to take Sayers' sister, Rose back to civilization.

At first, Charlie and Rose get on each others nerves: Charlie being a lazy, grimy, booze drinker and Rose, a prim and proper Christian. But after many hardships getting the African Queen down the river, they warm up to each other.

"Oh, if there's anything in the world I hate, it's leeches! The filthy little devils."

It is at this time that Rose contemplates a bit of revenge by wanting to destroy the German warship Louisa, a 100 steamer with a six pounder gun - the largest in Africa. Charlie thinks the idea is crazy, but he soon relents and decides to rig his own boat with a makeshift torpedoes and ram the vessel.

The African Queen - Rose talks with Charlie

Rose: Is something the matter, Mr Allnut? Tell me.
Charlie: Nothing...Nothing you'd understand.
Rose: I simply can't imagine what can be the matter. It's been such a pleasant day. What is it? Yes, Mr Allnut?
Charlie: All this foolish talk about the Louisa, going down the river.
Rose: What do you mean?
Charlie: I mean, we ain't gonna do nothing of the sort.
Rose: Of course, we are. What an absurd idea.
Charlie: "What an absurd idea. What an absurd idea." Lady, you've got 10 absurd ideas for my one. Ha.
Rose: Just why don't you want to go on, Mr Allnut?
Charlie: The Shona.
Rose: Shona? (A German Military Base)
Charlie: You're darn right, Shona. All it would take is one bullet in the blasting gelatine and we'd be in little bits and pieces.
Rose: Then we'll go by night.
Charlie: Oh, no, we won't. After Shona is the rapids, and nobody in their right mind would tackle the rapids at night.
Rose: Then we'll go in daylight. We'll on the far side of the river from Shona as fast as ever we can.
Charlie: Oh, no, we won't.
Rose: You agreed to go.
Charlie: I never did. I never agreed to nothing.
Rose: You are a liar, Mr Allnut, and what is worse, you are a coward.
Charlie: [Drunk] Woo! Coward yourself. You ain't no lady. No, miss. That's what my poor old mother would say to you, if my poor old mother was to hear you. Whose boat is this, anyway? I asked you onboard cos I was sorry for you on account of you losing your brother and all. That's what you get for feeling sorry for people. Well, I ain't sorry no more, you crazy, psalm-singing, skinny old maid! [The next morning Rose pours all of the booze on the boat in the river.]

As Charlie and Rose navigate their boat to the mouth of the river, they spot the Louisa. With Rose at the tiller, and Charlie on the engine, they direct their boat toward their target, but the African Queen is scuttled in a storm and Charlie and Rose are rescued and taken aboard the Louisa where they are interrogated by the ship's captain (Peter Bull) who declares the two castaways enemies of the German Empire and sentences them to death by hanging.

The African Queen - Rose and Charlie captured by the Germans

Captain: Why were you on the lake?
Rose: We came to sink this ship, and we would have except... Let's at least have the pleasure of telling them.
Charlie: Don't believe her. She's touched.
Rose: Stop that, Charlie. I'm certainly not going to outlive you.
Captain: And just how, Fräulein, did you propose to sink the Louisa?
Rose: With torpedoes.
Captain: Torpedoes?
2nd Officer: Nein.
1st Officer: Will you be so good as to tell us exactly where and how you acquired torpedoes?
Rose: Mr Allnut made them.
1st Officer: How very interesting.
Rose: You don't believe me, do you? Charlie, tell them how you made the torpedoes.
Charlie: Well, well,see what I did, I took the heads off two cylinders of oxygen, and filled them with live explosive. That was easy enough. The detonators took some doing. You know what I used? Cartridges and nails and blocks of soft wood. Then I put the two cylinders and I pot em in the bows of the African Queen, near the water line. When we rammed you, poof!
Captain: Where is the African Queen?
Rose: She sank in the storm.
Captain: How did you get onto the lake?
Rose: We came down the Ulanga. The Bora, you call it here.
Captain: That's impossible.
Rose: Nevertheless.
Captain: But the river's un-navigable.
Rose: That may be. We came down it, though, didn't we? And in the African Queen.

Before their sentence is carried out, Charlie makes a last request of the Captain to marry them. He agrees and performs the ceremony, that ends, "By the authority vested in me by Kaiser William II, I pronounce you husband and wife. Proceed with the execution.”

Now happily married and ready to face death together, Charlie and Rose look into each others eyes and wait for death, but a funny thing happens: the Louisa has struck something in the water that sinks the ship. The explosion was caused by the torpedoes still attached to the floundering remains of The African Queen. Abandoning ship, newlyweds Charlie and Rose happily swim to the safety of the shoreline.

The African Queen - Movie Poster

The African Queen - Move Poster

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