READ ✓ The Making of The African ueen Or How I went to Africa with Bogart Bacall and Huston and almost lost my mind

Katharine Hepburn ✓ 1 READ

AterThrough thick and through thinFor better and for worseBut not uite until death did we part It was great fun K H. A uick and delightful read infused with Hepburn s usual uirky charm If you re a fan I would definitely recommend it

SUMMARY Ñ TOBERMOREDRIVEWAYS.CO.UK ✓ Katharine Hepburn

The Making of The African ueen Or How I went to Africa with Bogart Bacall and Huston and almost lost my mind

This book will tell of The eBook #8608 youWhat it was like for me to meetJohn Huston Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. The African ueen starred Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn debuted for Academy Award eligibility in 1951 and was released wide in 1952 If you don t know what it is or why you should care about it nothing I say hereinafter will make one drop of sense to you and you d far better use your eyeblinks elsewhere Remember to shut the screen door not slam it Papaw s nerves are raggedy at this hour of the dayKatharine Hepburn was the Meryl Streep of her time Well regarded blessed with talent a bit upper crusty in her roles When the story of the making of The African ueen begins she is treading the boards in Shakespearean stuff and frankly pretty bored She needs a challenge to spark her inner V 16 engine A call comes to her friend s home where she s stayingthere s a script based on a novelnothing newbut set in Africa Yes please Mr Producer send it to me and I shall read forthwith Read she does part s great script s so so soOn page 7 Hepburn writes of her initial meeting with Producer Sam Spiegel wherein a raft of English actors were discussed for the part of Cockney Charlie Alnutt and finally Spiegel says What about Bogart he could be Canadian And there it was decided Did getting Hepburn mean Spiegel could now stand a chance to get Bogart Did it occur to him in a divine revelation on that spot Was he hell bent on the casting of both these American actors to play uber British roles so American audiences would turn out en masse We know that the Brits put up 250000 about 8 million in today s dollars only after their Film Finance Board overcame demands for Brits to be cast in the British author CS Forester s bestselling 1936 novel about Brits in World War I East AfricaSuch are the things producers must concern themselves with and all at the same time in the same calculation The film s budget in today s dollars was about 30 million and the box office ended up at around 250 million But while Producer Spiegel chatted up the excited and eager Miss Hepburn in the kitchen that first day he had bubkes except a script a director the already almost legendary John Huston and now a star But this star this force of nature Miss Katharine Hepburn wanted to film this Technicolor all outdoors vehicle for some major Hollywood egos on location In Africa that is On big African rivers with real malaria sodden African mosuitoes and real bilharzia causing schistosoma snails We ll see euivocates a rapidly thinning producer we ll see it in Africa responds Miss Famous Actress with Fans and guess where they filmed itAfrica is hot It s big People in the Belgian Congo don t speak English and even French is touch and go Getting to Africa took days on planes weeks on boats Getting Technicolor cameras to Arizona was a huge deal The mind boggles the spirit uails to imagine getting these multi million 1951 dollar monsters to Africa Not to mention two movie stars Assorted crew camera operators thousands of props safe drinking water fooda director whose gun fetish and desire to murder elephants must be coddledrich Americans all and not a little high handed even among themselvesWe packed our duds and I found myself moving all my odd stools spears arrows chairs down into the accountant s room on the first floor for him to send to New York for me Things almost impossible to pack A stink of a job to foist off on anyone You remember him the accountant the rightful inhabitant of my third floor room How could I be so awful Apparently easilyIt s her saving grace that Hepburn writing this book in the 1980s realized that she was a Bigfoot stomping all over everyone Didn t stop her probably wouldn t if she d gone again but really now is any celebrity likely to behave differently Not oftenThe shoot is huge The crew isn t all in place when they arrive The advance construction of different things must needs be torn down and rebuilt the piece supposed to fit here don t fit there in short the bog standard common as pigtracks problems of doing a complicated thing in a limited amount of time Miss Hepburn acts as costume lady invents a solution to wilting chapeau syndrome super creative impressed me a lot seamstresses does hairI never have a permanent for it makes hair feel funny it makes it smell and I m a sort of impractical character Love the feeling of soft clean hair Can t remember that anyone ever made a comment certainly not either of those jerks But please yourself and at least someone is pleasedThose jerks are Bogie and John Huston Hepburn s costar and director Her friends She has little enough to say about Bogart a good deal to say about Bacall who came with him but not all of it kind She s also not kind about Huston s inability to be on time his indifference to the reality of others feelings emotions existence his bloodlust But beginning on page 81 and ending on page 83 Miss Hepburn the journeyman actress recalls Director Huston s performance notes on Rosie Sayer s unsmiling serious countenance How hard it is to watch a serious face for so longhow Mrs Roosevelt an unhandsome lady dealt with a similar issueAnd Miss Hepburn the journeyman actress writing at a distance of thirty five years still lights up at the memory of receiving her entire performance in a short simple perfectly observed and conveyed image from a genius of image making She went on to make the film on a perfect note sustained throughout by the single conversation and its illuminating insight It is the most gorgeous moment in the bookThere aren t a lot of anecdotes in the book the kind you ll whip out at parties to improve the shining hour but there are lovely and honest observations a lot of unnoticed privilege behind her uite self aware self regard and photos Lots of themforty fivefrom a man called Alfred E Lemon and some from a Life magazine photographer called Eliot Elisofon The permissions must ve taken forever to clear The text design is clear and simple using Garamond type and generous white space around the scattered halftone reproductions including both endsheets The binding is smyth sewn with real cloth on the boardsThe book is as much an artifact of a vanished world as is the film it describes as is the now gone writer of this personal and charming memoir Time pressed on her those years so clear in memory but so distant in time still eagerly sought by the FansIt s strange being a movie actor The product goes out it s popular it s unpopular or it s somewhere in between And it s always to me a real part of myself I mean it represents my own decision to do it Was I wise Was I dumb I ve tried never to do anything just for the money I do it because I love it the idea and the characters And my oh my it is great when you when the people like it too and make it theirs that is the real rewardSo suddenly thirty five years have rushed by Bogie has gone Spiegel the producer has gone The ueen herself is still alive so are John Huston and Betty Bacall and Peter Viertel the German boat captain and IIt s hard to get old and lose people and places and memories that meant something are increasingly one s own unshareable treasures What matters in the end Is it something anyone can see or is it something so buried there s never going to be another soul who sees it whole and entireKatharine Hepburn was a star but she was a genius because she had an answer to that uestion one that most people I think can agree with and buy into It is her last word on the topic of this bookview spoilerNow what do you suppose ever happened to Charlie and Rosie Where did they live Did they stay in Africa I always thought they must have And lots of little Charlies and Rosies And lived happily ever after Because that s what we wanted them to do And every summer they take a trip in the old ueen and laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh hide spoiler

REVIEW The Making of The African ueen Or How I went to Africa with Bogart Bacall and Huston and almost lost my mind

In London and in AfricaFor the first timeTo work with them nonstop for about three months And why Come hell or high w. This is such an extremely happy book as Katherine Hepburn is in scintillating form as she recounts that she enjoyed herself throughout the entire filming of The African ueen in Africa and briefly in London In the title she does say and almost lost my mind but nowhere in the book does she give any indication of this happening she so much enjoys every minute of the experience All I can think is that the monotony of living for three months in primitive conditions in the jungle in strange surroundings played on her mind but I stress that at no point in the narrative does she overtly say thisKatherine covers the preparations for spending time on location in the Belgian Congo and discusses the personnel that she was to be involved with Those people are a diverse group but Katherine adapts very easily to living and acting with them She discusses all the uirks of John Huston and the delight of working with Bogie who was uite an unusual but very likeable character Bogie was accompanied by his wife Lauren Bacall who wasn t in the movieThe filming of The African ueen was no easy task and Katherine tells of the trials and tribulations of working on the film on and off the Ruiki River and how taxing it was travelling to and from the location shots At one point the boat sinks and it takes an almighty effort from cast crew and local natives to raise her so that filming can continue In addition torrential rainstorms leave cloying mud underfoot but Katherine copes with it all with aplomb hardly ever bemoaning the sometimes awful working conditionsProducer Sam Spiegel flits in and out of the narrative and Katherine is amused by the different priorities of director John Huston and Spiegel one wants to carry on regardless of any obstacles as he has a film to direct while the other is ever conscious of the money restrictions and wants to get the whole thing over as uickly and as inexpensively as possible But even so there are no major fall outs between them or any of the cast and Katherine finds her native houseboy Tahili Bokumba particularly helpful in keeping her in prime condition both mentally and physically so that she can complete the movie with as little discomfort as possible One thing that Tahili is particularly good at is providing her with breakfast every morning on her hut s verandah from where she welcomes the day with a cigarette while listening to and watching the sights and sounds of the jungle Once location shooting is over it is back to London to complete the filming in the studio where a huge tank is constructed to be used for static river scenes with a part constructed African ueen At one point the tank does spring a leak but fortunately contingency plans are on hand to ensure the film is completed successfully Incidentally Katherine does remark that one of the stars Robert Morley missed the fun of the jungle for he did all his filming in London and when he was buried in the African jungle a double took his placeIt is a lovely book story lovingly and vividly descriptively with many candid photographs told and it certainly leaves the reader with a desire to see the movie once this time in a new light no matter how many times one has already seen it


10 thoughts on “The Making of The African ueen Or How I went to Africa with Bogart Bacall and Huston and almost lost my mind

  1. says:

    The African ueen starred Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn debuted for Academy Award eligibility in 1951 and was released wide in 1952 If you don't know what it is or why you should care about it nothing I say hereinafter will make one drop of sense to you and you'd far better use your eyeblinks elsewhere Remember to shut the s

  2. says:

    This book left me unexpectedly irritated Why? Because this isn't a book about the making of The African ueen It's a book about whatever relationship Katharine Hepburn had with the film's director John Huston I suppose I should back up a bitK

  3. says:

    This is Katherine Hepburn's first book and she doesn't give a fuck She writes how she wants to write and does no

  4. says:

    As a young child my mom and I watched the classic movie The African ueen together At first I wasn't too thrilled it was in black and white HORRORS but the movie sucked me in and thus began my appreciation for the classic movies especially anything with the great stars including Katharine HepburnThis book was penned by Katharine because people kept asking her what it was like to work with Bogart so she decided it would be

  5. says:

    This is such an extremely happy book as Katherine Hepburn is in scintillating form as she recounts that she enjoyed herself throughout the entire filming of 'The African ueen' in Africa and briefly in London In the title she does say

  6. says:

    Such an interesting life Such an interesting person I love reading her books it's like you are having a conversation with her and you are her best friend So warm so dear

  7. says:

    A uick and delightful read infused with Hepburn's usual uirky charm If you're a fan I would definitely recommend it

  8. says:

    Bogart Katie what's happened to you? You're a decent human beingHepburn Not any I'm not If you obey all the rules you miss all the funThe Making of the African ueen OR How I Went to Africa with Bogart Bacall and Huston and Almost Lost My Mind 1987 by Katharine Hepburn is the actress's recollections of her great African

  9. says:

    How could you go wrong with Bogie Katherine Hepburn John Houston and one of the classic films of all time gathered together in these pages Hepburn who writes as charmingly and as eccentrically as she acts kept a diary of the making of The African ueen and it is delightful Eccentric funny and full of pictures that I have never seen before it

  10. says:

    I dare you to read this and not hear Kate’s voice Delightful from beginning to end

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