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The African Queen (R2/UK BD) in June

ITV Studios Home Entertainment have announced the UK DVD and Blu-ray Disc release of The African Queen: Special Restoration Edition on 14th June 2010. Legendary director John Huston’s treasured romantic adventure stars the incomparable Humphrey Bogart as hard-drinking boat captain Charlie Allnut—a role that won him his only Academy Award (Best Actor, 1951)—and renowned actress Katharine Hepburn as missionary Rose Sayer in a tale of two disparate people thrown together by fate and drawn together by love.

The UK release will follow the world premiere as part of Cannes Classics at the Cannes Film Festival on 19 May and will receive a special screening at the BFI on 27 May to be introduced by renowned actress Anjelica Huston, daughter of the late film’s director John Huston.

Meticulously restored using state-of-the-art 4K digital technology, you can read more on the restoration work below…

A six-year journey filled with challenges nearly as difficult as those faced by Rose and Charlie, the restoration process began at the source: Romulus Films—one of the film’s original production companies—provided access to the original three-strip negative at a London facility where the film was carefully scanned and digitized. The separate elements were then transferred to Los Angeles and painstakingly recombined and inspected frame by frame to ensure that every detail aligned and that any dirt and scratches were removed.

To ensure that the restored picture matched the filmmakers’ original vision, Paramount arranged a screening of an MPAA archive print for the film’s original cinematographer, Academy Award® winner Jack Cardiff, whose comments were recorded live during the screening. That same archival print was later screened alongside the newly restored version so that the restoration team could ensure that all of Cardiff’s notes had been addressed. The result is a vibrant, warm picture that reverentially recreates the film as it was originally meant to be seen.

Available on DVD (£15.99 RRP) and Blu-ray Disc (£19.99 RRP) both feature a new documentary entitled Embracing Chaos: Making The African Queen. This comprehensive documentary takes a look back at the production with commentary about the cast, the challenges of the filming locations and how the spectacular cinematography impacted the industry overall. Includes on-camera interviews with notable Hollywood icons, critics and crew members from the film including Martin Scorsese, Tony Huston, Richard Schickel and more, plus never-before-seen archival images and home movie footage provided by the estate of cinematographer Jack Cardiff.

Also included in the special features are:

  • Feature commentary with Jack Cardiff
  • Written Star Profiles of Humphrey Bogart, Katherine Hepburn, John Huston, Jack Cardiff
  • Picture Gallery of Poster & Lobby Cards & Behind The Scenes
  • Original Cinema Trailer

We don’t usually mention digital downloads but like many films The African Queen will be available on iTunes as well and for a very reasonable price (for a change) - £3.99.

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