A movie review on the film was written by Bosley Crowther entitled “The African Queen (1951)” and published online in The New York Times. This review is to be compared with one which was written by Roger Ebert entitled “African Queen Still Reigns” and published in the Chicago Sun-Times.
First of all, the time frame for the reviews were significantly different: Crowther apparently writing the review a day after the movie had been shown. while Ebert’s review was written in 1968, 16 years after its first showing. The results of the reviews were likewise understandably antithetical. While Crowther openly criticized the film with adjectives such as: incongruous, well-designed spoof, absurd, preposterous, anomalous, socially-bizarre, and even droll, among others. Ebert had contended that the movie was actually “an almost perfect illustration of how much a really good movie can please. Things happen on the screen that makes you happy. You get involved” (Ebert par. 8). He must have gathered previous reviews on the film since it was first shown and the time element could have afforded him with the opportunity to balance criticisms and comments from diverse sources.
Secondly, the perspectives and points of views assumed to be taken by these film critics could rationalize the disparity in their perceptions. Crowther could have detached himself too much and seemed to follow a checklist for all the elements that allegedly fall out of line. On the other hand, Ebert assumed the stance of an audience, a traditional movie-goer, who immersed himself with the unified effect of the elements of the film and wrote the review after synthesizing and balancing its overall appeal to the audience.