C.S. Forester's straightforward adventure story becomes a beautifully understated yet unforgettably steamy and tense thriller in the hands of director John Huston. Unusually Humphrey Bogart (the grimy, gin-swilling steamboat captain, Charlie Allnut) and Katharine Hepburn (the straight-laced missionary, Rose Sayer) never collaborated in any other movie, which is strange considering the chemistry between them here in this superb classic.
Set during the First World War, Rose Sayer's brother, a prim British missionary (Robert Morley), is killed by invading Germans who level their village. Allnut kindly offers to take Rose back to civilisation aboard his boat, but it's not the easiest of journeys. She can't tolerate his drinking or bad manners; he isn't crazy about her imperious, judgemental attitude. However it doesn't take long before their passionate dislike of each other turns to something else. Together the disparate duo work to ensure their survival on the treacherous waters and devise an ingenious way to destroy a German gunboat.
A tremendous must-see film, Bogart won an Oscar for Best Actor, the only one of his career. Highly recommended.