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Katharine Hepburn as Rose Sayer: 6 Quotes About Iconic Role

By    |   Wednesday, 06 May 2015 03:36 PM

Katharine Hepburn starred in many iconic roles during her six decades on the big screen, and one of the most beloved is her turn as a missionary, Rose Sayer, opposite fellow movie legend Humphrey Bogart in riverboat adventure "The African Queen."

Here are six quotes about Hepburn in the film.

1. In a feature revealing rare photos from the film's production, LIFE magazine wrote of Hepburn's dedication to the role: "The shoot was often a grueling experience for the crew, particularly Hepburn, who suffered from dysentery caused by contaminated water. (She refused to let it affect her work and never missed a day of filming, despite the punishing schedule of what LIFE magazine called 'dawn-to-dusk labor.')"

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2. "The film veers from comedy to high adventure to romance, but always the focus is on Hepburn and Bogart, giving mesmeric performances that won him an Academy Awards and her a nomination," wrote The Telegraph's Sian Stott, reviewing the film's digital restoration for home video in 2010.

3. Praising the two leads, AMC-TV's Filmsite reviewer Tim Dirks wrote, "The acting of the two principal actors – Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn – is some of the strongest ever registered on film, although this was their first and only pairing together."

4. "Hepburn's Rose Sayer appears less of a stretch for an actress known for her portrayals of tightly wound go-getters, and Hepburn does not defy expectations so much as fulfill them with bracing force," wrote Matthew Connolly in a review of the film for Slant magazine.

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5.
Chronicling the sexual tension between Rose and Charlie in the film, The Guardian wrote, "Just as their downriver journey looks like being a metaphor for sexual initiation … it becomes an actual sexual initiation. The courage and lip-quivering vulnerability of Hepburn are tremendous."

6. According to the United Kingdom's The Independent, director John Huston guided Hepburn in her portrayal by telling her "to smile like Eleanor Roosevelt, a tip that helped the actress convey resilience, cheerfulness and a very comic hauteur."

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Katharine Hepburn starred in many iconic roles during her six decades on the big screen, and one of the most beloved is her turn as a missionary, Rose Sayer, opposite fellow movie legend Humphrey Bogart in riverboat adventure "The African Queen."
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