Yesterday, I paid a visit to the Redford Theater to see two of my favorite stars, Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart, together on the big screen in The African Queen. This was such a fun screening for me for several reasons. First of all, this was the first time I’d seen the movie in a fairly long time, so it was really nice to see it again. Even though I love the movie, it’s not one I watch from beginning to end very often; I usually just catch bits and pieces of it when it’s on TCM. Plus the print they showed was the most recent restoration, which looked absolutely spectacular. The picture was so clean and sharp and the colors were so vibrant, it was a real treat to see. To me, it was like getting to see the movie for the first time all over again. For one thing, I had kind of forgotten how much humor is in it. And Hepburn and Bogart’s performances just beg to be seen on the big screen. I always thought both of their performances were terrific when I watched the movie at home on TV, but seeing them in a theater setting really magnified the greatness.
It’s also worth noting that the crowd was probably one of the most enthusiastic ones I’ve been in. When I go to classic film screenings, I’m used to people clapping for scenes they really like. But I think this screening definitely holds the record for the most random applause I’ve heard so far. I can’t think of a better way to spend a cold, rainy Saturday afternoon than to lose myself in an amazing movie along with a bunch of people who are just as into the movie as you are.