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Golden Age of Hollywood: The African Queen

Monday, April 15, 2019, 2 p.m.

Where: Angelika Film Center and Café, 11620 Carmel Mountain Road, San Diego | get directions

Cost: Not available

Age limit: Not available

God knows I’ve tried — on several occasions — to grasp the genius of this vaunted chestnut, the wormy apple of John Huston fans’ eyes. But even a 35mm dye-transfer Technicolor® print wasn’t enough to recruit me. The last thing this reporter wants to do is book passage up river with a grimy and gin-besotted Humphrey Bogart. This is especially true when the script calls for our reluctant captain to trade in his love of the bottle for that of spinster Katherine Hepburn at her most suffocatingly self-affected. The thought of spending so much as one hour in the presence of Hepburn’s Rose gives sobriety a dirty name. And as if Hepburn’s “virgin with a bad case of the vapors” weren’t enough, James Agee’s script takes an unsteady turn towards the propagandistic, such that we find our couple called into service to take out an enemy ship. To those who don’t believe the film worthy of its own wing in The Hall of the Overrated, I say, “You’re Allnutts!” — Scott Marks

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