How well do you know "The African Queen"?


By: Susan McDonald

7 Min Quiz

Image: Horizon Pictures Romulus Films Ltd[

About This Quiz

Bogey and Hepburn won hearts (and an Oscar, in his case) with the 1951 film, "The African Queen." Directed by John Huston, the movie combines adventure with romance as an unlikely couple travels down a dangerous river in Africa, bent on destroying a German ship during the early days of World War I. Take this quiz and see how much you remember about this classic film.

In what year does the movie take place?

The film takes place in 1914, just as World War I is beginning. Because Rose and her brother live in a very remote area, they don't get much news about current events, so they are largely unaware of what is taking place around the world.


Why are Rose and her brother, Samuel, in Africa?

Rose and Samuel Sayer are Methodist missionaries. They have been in Africa for 10 years, bringing Christianity to the people in a small village in German East Africa.


What disrupts Rose and Samuel's church service?

The congregation is singing a hymn when the sound of a shrill whistle catches everyone's attention. When Charlie gets off the boat and walks into the village, a crowd of children gather around him and soon the entire congregation is distracted.


For what does Charlie Allnut use the African Queen?

Charlie delivers supplies and mail to people along the river. The Sayers are just two of the customers he serves in a very remote area.


What embarrassing thing happens to Charlie as he is having tea with Rose and Samuel?

As he is sitting with the very genteel Rose and Samuel, Charlie's stomach begins to growl loudly. Everyone tries to ignore it for a while, but eventually he feels compelled to address it, although that doesn't improve the situation much.


Why does Charlie tell Rose and Samuel that he might not be able to come back for several weeks?

The Sayers are shocked when Charlie tells them that Germany and Britain have started a war. He suggests they leave, particularly since they are British citizens living in a German colony, but they refuse to go.


How do Rose and Samuel end up being alone in their village?

Not long after Charlie leaves, a group of German soldiers enter the village. They beat Samuel, take the people away, and burn their homes so they will have nothing to return to. They also burn the church, but leave Rose and Samuel's house.


How does Samuel die?

Shortly after the Germans burn the village, Samuel becomes very ill with a fever. He is delirious and although Rose nurses him the best she can, he soon passes away.


Why does Charlie think the Germans will return to the area?

When Charlie returns and finds that Samuel has died, he warns Rose that she should leave before the Germans return. She questions why they would come back since they have destroyed everything, but he tells her they want his boat and will come looking for it.


What does Rose want Charlie to do?

When she learns that he has certain supplies on the African Queen, Rose makes an odd suggestion to Charlie. She wants him to travel with her to a large lake patrolled by a German gunboat, construct a torpedo, and use it to destroy the ship.


What is the name of the German ship?

The full name of the boat is the Königin Luise, which means Queen Luise. Charlie and Rose shorten it to the Luise.


Why does Rose think they can navigate the Ulanga River, even though Charlie says it's impossible?

Charlie thinks navigating the river all the way to the lake would be impossible because of the many hazards. However, Rose points out that at least one person has done it before -- the man who made the map Charlie uses on the African Queen.


How does Charlie fix the boat's steam pump when it periodically stops working?

Charlie tells Rose that one of his former assistants got a screwdriver lodged in the steam pump, which causes it to stop working sometimes. His solution is to give it a few swift kicks. He agrees with Rose that it would be easier to remove the screwdriver, but he has come to enjoy the kicking process.


What problem does Rose encounter when she takes a bath in the river?

Needing a bath, Rose and Charlie strip to their underwear and get into the river on opposite ends of the boat. Charlie has no problems, but Rose finds she is unable to climb back aboard and needs Charlie to pull her in.


Why does Rose finally allow Charlie to join her under the boat's canopy overnight?

Rose is sleeping under the canopy and Charlie is in an uncovered part of the boat when a downpour starts. He goes under the canopy and she quickly kicks him out, but later relents and lets him come in.


How does Rose react when the boat goes through a series of rapids?

After going through a series of dicey rapids, Charlie is certain that Rose will be afraid and abandon the rest of the journey. He is shocked when she finds it thrilling and asks him to teach her to steer the boat.


What happens to the stash of gin Charlie keeps on board?

Rose is unhappy when Charlie gets very drunk one night. Since she doesn't approve of alcohol anyway, she decides to solve the problem. Charlie is dismayed when he wakes up in the morning to find her pouring all of it overboard and dropping the bottles into the river.


Charlie tells Rose that it's nice to have a woman on board. What does it inspire him to do?

Charlie has always had a scruffy beard, but suddenly he shaves it off. He tells Rose that having a woman on board has not only inspired him to clean up his own appearance, but also spiff up the African Queen.


At what point must Charlie and Rose duck low into the boat and hide?

As they travel down the river, they see a large German fort on the shoreline. The soldiers spot them and begin firing, but neither is hit, although a bullet damages the steam pump.


How do Rose and Charlie celebrate getting safely through the rapids and boulders?

There have been signs that they are becoming attracted to each other, but they have not acted on it until their elation at safely navigating treacherous waters leads to a kiss and embrace. At first they pull away, but then give in to their feelings and begin a new phase of their relationship.


Why doesn't Rose call Charlie by his first name?

After they begin a romantic relationship, Rose realizes she can't continue to call Charlie by his last name, but she has a problem. Eventually, she has to ask him his first name because she has known him only as Mr. Allnut.


What does Charlie do when they pass a series of native animals?

When they cruise past a group of hippos and later a group of monkeys, Charlie teases them by imitating them and making fun of them. This delights Rose, who laughs hysterically at his antics.


What are Rose and Charlie's pet names for each other?

From the time they become a couple, Rose begins calling Charlie dear. He calls her Rosie most of the time, but on occasion uses the term old girl.


How do the boat's shaft and propeller break?

Charlie and Rose are shocked when they hear the sound of rushing water, but it is too late to avoid going down a steep waterfall. When they get to the bottom and bail out of the boat, they find that the shaft and propeller have been damaged. But with a little ingenuity, they manage to repair them and continue on their way.


From what does Rose hide under a tarp?

Soon after repairing the boat and getting underway again, Charlie and Rose encounter a large swarm of very aggressive flies. Rose is terrified and hides under a tarp, but Charlie must brave the critters to steer their way out of the situation.


Why does Charlie have to get out and pull the boat?

Near the end of their journey, Charlie and Rose come to a new challenge -- an area of thick reeds and deep mud. It is impossible to get through using the engine. They try pushing their way through with paddles but eventually, ​Charlie has to get out and pull.


What physical problem does Charlie encounter when he comes out of the water?

Charlie is exhausted after pulling the boat for some time, but that isn't the end of his troubles. Through the back of his torn shirt, Rose spots several leeches that have attached themselves to him. They manage to get them off, but it is a harrowing experience for both of them.


When she thinks they are going to die, for what does Rose pray?

While an exhausted Charlie is sleeping, Rose gets on her knees in prayer. She assumes they will die soon, but rather than asking for God to save them, she simply asks that He open the gates of heaven for them.


How does the African Queen get out of the reeds?

Exhausted and defeated, Charlie and Rose sleep soundly as a heavy rain falls. It causes the water level to rise, and when they awaken, they find that the boat has floated to the edge of the reeds and onto the lake for which they have been looking.


Why do Charlie and Rose take the boat off the lake and back into the reeds?

While they are elated to have made it to the lake, their happiness is short-lived when they see the Luise coming straight toward them. They quickly retreat to the reeds, escape the notice of the Germans, and proceed to construct their torpedoes.


What does Rose use to decorate the African Queen?

As they finish the torpedoes, Rose wants to make it clear which country has their loyalty. Standing on Charlie's shoulders, she affixes a British flag to a post.


How do Rose and Charlie plan to torpedo the German ship?

Since they have no means to propel the torpedoes, they plan to ram the torpedoes into the side of the ship and the impact will cause them to explode. Rose and Charlie will jump off the boat at the last minute.


Why does Charlie not defend himself when the Germans question him?

After losing sight of Rose when the African Queen capsizes, Charlie assumes she has drowned and he is despondent. When the Germans capture him and question him, he doesn't bother to answer their questions or try to defend himself because without Rose, he no longer cares what happens to him.


For what does Charlie ask the ship's captain?

As they are about to be executed as spies, Rose asks that they be hanged together, but Charlie has a different request. He asks the captain to marry them, so a quick ceremony is performed.


What happens just as Charlie and Rose are about to be hanged?

Just as the nooses are placed around their necks, one explosion rocks the ship and then another. It seems that the capsized African Queen has drifted into the side of the ship after all and the homemade torpedoes have exploded just as they planned. As the ship lists and starts to sink, Charlie and Rose begin swimming toward the shore.


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