A Mini Structure Within the Larger Structure

In this video essay, Jennine Lanouette breaks down the third act of The African Queen, examining how this sequence contains its own three-act structure or story-within-a-story. In doing so, Lanouette illustrates how the film’s highly developed third act is grounded in human drama, unlike so many of the empty chases, shoot-outs, and explosions we see in third acts today.



The 3-Act Structure

Action Adventure

Romantic Drama

John Huston