The book is just plain fun and very Katie Hepburn. Lots of insight into the making of the Africian Queen. Excellent purchase!
Rather nice, a bit above standard "making of" style books
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 17 years ago
I have always rather liked Katharine Hepburn, and this movie. This is a rather nice "making-of" book. It is mildly humourous, good-natured, and nicely illustrated. While I wouldn't go out of my way to buy it or keep, I did really enjoy flicking through it. This is really Hepburn's diary/account of the making of the African Queen and all the attendent problems of filming a movie in an equatorial country, and specifically in this case, in the continent of Africa. The rain, the mud, the mosquitos, the director, the other actors. Hepburn does come across as being slightly removed from it all, she has a slightly distant and almost superior tone to her writing - for instance she is always up first in the morning and likes eating alone, and then from her hut she watches everyone else going about their morning. It is like she is Jane Goodall analysing Chimpanzees at times. However she does lavish praise where praise is due, and she is not above laughing at herself at times either and so I felt fine about forgiving her the occassional remoteness. This was fun to flick through.
great survival tale
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 20 years ago
This is one those books that is really autobiographic - it seems no one has altered or interfered with anything. If you have seen many movies with Katharine Hepburn, you can actually hear her tell the tale of how she survived the African jungle and actually loved it.She is the first one to say that she is a bit of a pain in the neck, bossy and interfering. And always worried about the details. And she freely admits that when there is no bathroom, she's gotta go. She lively discribes how the cities look, how it feels to be in the jungle. Explaining that taking a shower there is like angels touching your body. And that there is nothing worse than having to go to the bathroom (in somewhat of a rush...) and finding a black mamba snake there. She was so shocked she had to throw up. And the throwing up keeps up until after they come back in England.What struck me as most odd was that she doesn't hold back. She told off Huston often, refused to help Lauren Bacall with the food, carried the mirror around and often thought what the hell she was doing there. But it was fascinating. Reading about it is fascinating, you want to go there yourself and look what it is like in real-life (instead I watched The African Queen for the 164th time).The photographs in the book are really worth looking at - they give you a feeling of actually being there. Seeing Kate washing her hair with her 'house-boy' standing by, the costumes close-up, the little comments next to the pictures, one of 'Bogie Allnut' - Bogie laughing out loud wearing his costume and of 'Rosie Hepburn' - Kate sitting on the railing, wearing slacks, holding Rosie's English umbrella... It really shows that Katharine Hepburn had many talents - she is certainly able to write an extraordinary tale of adventure, making movies, making fast friends, overcoming problems (the sinking of The African Queen, giant antz, losing twenty pounds by drinking water, almost being killed by a wild boar) and loving it all.
Easy to like Story of the Making of a Classic Movie
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 23 years ago
The title leaves no question as to what this book is about. "The Making of the African Queen: Or How I Went to Africa With Bogart, Bacall and Huston and Almost Lost My Mind"--that really sets the tone of this book, wherein Hepburn gives an account of the making of a Hollywood movie, and tells of her experience in Africa (where most of the movie was filmed). This, her first book, is a very relaxed, informal affair, more like a friendly conversation really, as if you had met Hepburn and told her you were interested in Africa, and she started, "Oh I was in Africa once..." It's Hollywood in Africa, 1951. Some of what she writes is now a kind of history: where else might you learn that airplanes once had sleeping-berths like Pullman railway cars. Of course, mostly there is movie-making: working with director John Huston, and co-stars Humphrey Bogart and Robert Morley; how the cast and crew managed their equipment and wardrobes on location; the boat itself and the Ruiki river; living conditions in the temporary camp (including some very practical advice concerning improvised toilet facilities), colonial-era hotels and travel, and so on. The hardcover edition is illustrated with dozens of photographs. An interesting and charming book for anyone with an interest in Africa, classic Hollywood movies, or Hepburn, Huston, or Bogart. Peter Viertel, who worked with Huston on "The African Queen" also wrote a book about the experience titled "White Hunter, Black Heart" which Clint Eastwood made into a movie.
ThriftBooks sells millions of used books at the lowest everyday prices. We personally assess every book's quality and offer rare, out-of-print treasures. We deliver the joy of reading in recyclable packaging with free standard shipping on US orders over $15. ThriftBooks.com. Read more. Spend less.