Monday, June 30, 2008
The African Queen at Key Largo
The above photo was taken Key Largo, Florida. The sign tells us only part of the story; that this is the original boat called “The African Queen” used in the 1951 movie of the same name.
Humphrey Bogart’s and Katherine Hepburn’s movie boat is on free public display docked in an ocean access canal next to the Key Largo Holiday Inn. We’re not told how the boat got here from the movie location. I'd love to know.
This boat was built in Lytham, England in 1912 for service on the Victoria Nile and Lake Albert where the movie was filmed. The British East Africa Company used the boat from 1912 to 1968 to shuttle passengers and cargo across Lake Albert located on the border between the Belgian Congo and Uganda.
Key Largo, is of course, the name of the 1947 "Key Largo," featuring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. We see establishing shots of the Overseas Highway at the beginning of the film.
As for what business “The African Queen” has doing on Key Largo, that is perhaps pure Hollywood. For more on the boat and how you can visit or even charter it, have a look at this website.