Monday, March 7, 2011

Bogart "sure as hell showed us who was Master, and a mad one at that!"

Over their long careers, sea captains often obtain rather interesting stories and anecdotes from their passengers. Included among these were accounts from actors regarding their films and co-stars. The following was recounted in Captain Bob Arnott's book, just as QE2 was sailing from Hawaii:

Van Johnson came aboard to sail with us back to the States, and I chatted with him about some of the films he had starred in over the years. 'I really enjoyed your performance in The Caine Mutiny,' I remarked to him at my party the first night out after Honolulu.

'Well, as a master mariner you would,' he said, 'but I guess like many on that set I was a little overwhelmed by Bogey.'

'You mean Humphrey Bogart?'

'I do indeed,' said the tall, greying actor. 'D'ya know he learned his seamanship from Katie Hepburn in The African Queen?' I smiled, and Johnson went on: 'Don't get me wrong, Captain. Bogey was only half your size, but he sure as hell showed us who was Master, and a mad one at that, on the Caine set.'

References: Captain Robert Harry Arnott, Captain of the Queen: The autobiography of the most famous sea captain of the all. (London: Quadrant Books, 1982), 209.

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