Monday, June 13, 2005

African Queen

Last Saturday, The Times came with a a DVD of John Huston's classic movie "The African Queen", as a free gift.

A long time ago I rented a house in Hall Road in Isleworth and used to take an occasional drink in the County Arms, the pub on the corner. A story that I heard in the pub but never thought too deeply about was that "The African Queen" had been filmed near by and that there was a photograph - that I never saw - in existence of Humphry Bogart drinking in the County. It seemed like an outrageous urban legend.

For some reason the free DVD dislodged this memory for me so I decided to follow it up via Google.

Lo and behold, the website for CP Cases Ltd - a company in Worton Road just around the corner from the County arms says:

In the 1940s and 50s, our building was a "sound stage" within the Isleworth Studios complex. Legendary director, John Huston, completed the watery Congo scenes from the film "The African Queen" in our factory building. What a unique sight� Humphrey Bogart (who in 1952 won an Oscar for his performance) hauling the boat, The African Queen, through a tank of freezing water - covered in live leeches - not something we subject our visitors to!

So it seems it is entirely likely that Bogie did indeed socialise in the County Arms of an evening, while relaxing from delivering the only Oscar winning role of his career round the corner in Worton Road.

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