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The African Queen Blu-ray

United States
Paramount Pictures | 1951 | 105 min | Not rated | Mar 23, 2010

The African Queen (Blu-ray)

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC (38.80 Mbps)
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.37:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.37:1

English: Dolby Digital Mono
French: Dolby Digital Mono
Spanish: Dolby Digital Mono
Portuguese: Dolby Digital Mono

English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese

50GB Blu-ray Disc
Single disc (1 BD)

Slipcover in original pressing

Region free

List price: $22.99, Price history

Amazon: $20.68 (Save 10%)
Best Buy: $19.99 (Save 13%)  

New from: $9.98 (Save 57%)
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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Blu-ray rating
Video 4.6 of 54.6
Audio 3.8 of 53.8
Extras 3.1 of 53.1
Based on 12 user reviews

Movie appeal


The African Queen


The African Queen Blu-ray delivers stunning video and solid audio in this excellent Blu-ray release

Charlie Allnut is the slovenly, gin-swilling captain of a tramp steamer called the African Queen, which ships supplies to small East African villages during World War I. Rose Sayer is the maiden-lady sister of a prim British missionary, Rev. Samuel Sayer. When Germans invade and Sayer dies, Allnut offers to take Rose back to civilization.

For more about The African Queen and the The African Queen Blu-ray release, see the The African Queen Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.

Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Robert Morley, Peter Bull, Theodore Bikel, Walter Gotell
Director: John Huston

» See full cast & crew

The African Queen Blu-ray, Video Quality

  4.5 of 5

The African Queen traverses onto the Blu-ray high definition landscape and yields a 1080p, 1.37:1-framed transfer that doesn't sparkle like a new release but nevertheless looks as beautiful and pristine as one could hope of a classic movie approaching its 60th birthday. Please also note that this transfer preserves the film's original theatrical aspect ratio, placing vertical black bars on either side of the image when replayed on a standard 1.78:1 high definition display. The opening title credits stand out as beautifully sharp, and the transfer only continues to impress from there. The African Queen retains a thick layer of natural film grain that adds to the image's distinctive and classic texturing and only helps in brining out the best of what else the transfer has to offer. Fine detail is wonderfully preserved throughout; whether the caked-on grime and scruffy facial hair that covers Charlie's face for the majority of the picture, beads of sweat on faces, the rough texturing of the Queen's wooden hull and various metal parts, the fine lines of clothing, or the breathtaking backgrounds of the African setting, The African Queen never yearns for additional detailing. Colors, too, are splendidly reproduced; the bright adornments worn by Africans attending Rose's mission church as seen at the beginning of the film, the green foliage that's visible throughout, or the darker shades that make up the Queen are all delivered with the utmost care and make for a standout feature on this already highly-impressive image. Darker scenes are also handsomely captured with no devouring of detail or excessively bright blacks, and the wide-range of flesh tones seen in the film all take on natural-looking shades with no obtrusive push towards red or orange. There are no major distracting print anomalies -- scratches, dirt, debris, and the like -- to take away from the quality of the image, either. Only minor bouts of softness in several scenes pull the viewer out of the movie, but considering the astounding quality of the film in general, it's easy to assume that such scenes are inherent to the source, as are the several obviously fake backgrounds that stick out thanks to the increased resolution of the Blu-ray disc. Nevertheless, what's important here is that Paramount's Blu-ray wonderfully preserves what the film very well may have looked like in its original state decades ago, and fans can rest assured that this is the best the film has ever looked for consumer home viewing. The African Queen represents what Blu-ray is all about; the format is proving nothing less than a miraculous technology for presenting properly-restored classic films for home viewing, and this presentation ranks among the very finest transfers of a classic film currently available on Blu-ray.

The African Queen Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  3.5 of 5

The African Queen floats onto Blu-ray with a minimalist but true-to-the-source Dolby Digital mono soundtrack; only the center channel speaker will be engaged in 5.1 home set-ups. This presentation is decidedly but understandably limited; various atmospherics throughout the film will never engulf the listener, nor will any sound effects enjoy the heft and clarity associated with multichannel presentations of newly-minted content. That's not a bad thing at all, however; alongside the glorious video restoration, the original mono soundtrack only adds to the quality of the presentation in recreating the movie for home viewing in a manner that's as close as possible to its original theatrical exhibition. Still, it's worth noting that, while perfectly clear, audible, and comprehensible, various jungle sound effects generally play as miniscule and add but a cursory environmental feel to the track. Gunshots are equally puny but sonically effective at a very base level. The track in general has a cramped feel to it, but again, this presentation is perfectly fine in the context of the aged but original elements. Audio purists will enjoy this track a great deal, and those accustomed to or preferring more rambunctious audio presentations can take solace in the fact that this is The African Queen as it was meant to be heard both in 1951 and 2010. Update: Upon closer inspection, very slight information may be heard emanating from the front side and surround speakers during playback. However, the sound is so faint that hearing it clearly required a full disconnect of the center channel speaker and an increase in volume to near maximum on the equipment used in evaluating this disc. The additional sound in no way either enhances nor hinders the presentation in any way and, again with this equipment and in the same environment, proves inconsequential and inaudible during playback at reference level where the center channel speaker completely dominates the presentation.

The African Queen: Other Editions


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The African Queen Blu-ray, News and Updates

Deal Alert: The African Queen Blu-ray for $15 (Expired) - April 23, 2010

Best Buy has an interesting BD-related deal of the day going on now. Today only, you can buy the Blu-ray of the classic John Huston adventure movie The African Queen for only $15.00 (62% off MSRP). This offer is available for in-store pickup and online, and expires ...

Video: Restoring The African Queen - March 17, 2010

An exclusive eight-minute video was posted today at MovieWeb offering a fascinating look at the many challenges faced for the restoration of John Huston's The African Queen, which will finally come out on Blu-ray next Tuesday. Paramount's ambition with this restoration ...

The African Queen Blu-ray Announced for March - January 11, 2010

Paranount Home Entertainment has announced that it will release 'The African Queen' on Blu-ray on March 23. Meticulously restored using state-of-the-art 4K digital technology, 'The African Queen' will now be available for a new generation to appreciate and for ...

» Show more related news posts for The African Queen Blu-ray

The African Queen Blu-ray, Forum Discussions

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