The African Queen

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Artist: John Huston

Year: 1950

Date of Action:

Region: North America

Subject: Religion, Sexual/Gender Orientation

Medium: Film Video

Confronting Bodies:

Description of Artwork: Cinema

The Incident: Sex was the main headache for the censors, with religion a distant second. The African Queen, directed by John Huston, brought cluckings on both counts. Mr. Breen was put off by the immoral relationship between the characters played by Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart - an immoral relationship which is treated quite as a matter of course, with not the faintest voice of morality or indication of compensating moral values. In addition, it seemed in rather questionable taste to let audiences hear the sounds of Mr. Bogart's stomach growlings. The morality monger in Mr. Breen was also worried about the characterization of the missionary played by Robert Morley: There is, of course, no objection to the proper portrayal of a devout missionary, but there must be no suggestion of lampooning his devotion.

Results of Incident: Not provided yet.


THE CENSORSHIP PAPERS Movie Censorship Letters From the Hays Office, 1934 to 1968. By Gerald Gardner. 226 pp. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company