The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952)

The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952)
6.2
  • 4767
  • Approved
  • Genre: Adventure
  • Release year: 1952 ()
  • Running time: 114 min
  • Original Title: The Snows of Kilimanjaro
  • Voted: 4767

As writer Harry Street lays gravely wounded from an African hunting accident he feverishly reflects on what he perceives as his failures at love and writing. Through his delirium he recalls his one true love Cynthia Green who he lost by his obsession for roaming the world in search of stories for his novels. Though she is dead Cynthia continues to haunt Street's thoughts. In spite of one successful novel after another, Street feels he has compromised his talent to ensure the success of his books, making him a failure in his eyes. His neglected wife Helen tends to his wounds, listens to his ranting, endures his talk of lost loves, and tries to restore in him the will to fight his illness until help arrives. Her devotion to him makes him finally realize that he is not a failure. With his realization of a chance for love and happiness with Helen, he regains his will to live.

#PersonCharacters
1Gregory PeckHarry Street
2Susan HaywardHelen
3Ava GardnerCynthia Green
4Hildegard KnefCountess Liz
  • Ernest Hemingway's life and loves , being well incarnated by Gregory Peck by 7

    A successful writer (Gregory Peck) lays gravely injured and almost dying from an African hunting accident on the Kilimanjaro's skirts . He remembers his past life and women through numerous flashbacks set in Paris (Montparnasse) , Spain (during civil war) and Africa (Kenya , Kilimanjaro) . Peck's relationship with various lovers (Ava Gardner , Hildegard Nef , Susan Hayward , and Gene Tierney , Anne Francis were also considered for these roles) are the spotlights of the movie , while in a safari tent he is awaiting medical attention to save his gangrenous body and caring him Susan Hayward .

    It is an Ernest Hemingway's autobiography based on short tales , specially two novels : ¨Fiesta¨ and ¨Farewell to the arms¨, as the film creates a pastiche where is reflected the author's life . The main yarn about Africa develops an original structure in which other stories emerge . The motion picture has spectacular sets and wonderful outdoors , although there are some stock-shot from Africa . The warlike scenario is good , it's very well shot the Spanish civil warfare , we don't know if it's the battle of Guadalajara , Madrid , Teruel o Ebro , but sure that is referred to anyone those terrible wars . The picture has a little bit boring and being slow moving , in spite of different scenarios , thus it is developed in Africa , Spain , France and other European countries . Nice acting by Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner is attractive and enjoyable . Gregory Peck resisted taking the role because an earlier Ernest Hemingway adaptation he had appeared in , as ¨The Macomber affair¨ (1947) had been a box-office flop . Support cast is frankly good , such as : Hildegard Knef , Leo G. Carroll , Torin Thatcher and Marcel Dalio .

    Leom Shamroy's cinematography is stylized and colorful , as it is brilliantly shown in the African landscapes and the episode of bullfights spectacle . Nevertheless , there was some adequate second unit work shot in Kenya , the main actors shot their African scenes in Hollywood . The classic musician Bernard Hermann composes a romantic and agreeable musical score .The motion picture was uneven though professionally directed by Henry King . The movie will appeal to romantic drama enthusiasts and Gregory Peck , Ava Gardner fans.

  • Semi-Autobiographical, Often-Profound and Moving Story of a Writer's Life by 7

    Many critics and fans love this movie, the best of all Hemingway stories on film perhaps. I think this film is so because it is honest, somewhat autobiographical and derived from a splendid and mature short story of enduring fame.? The plot line of the film is simple.? In a fever because of an accident, Harry lies perhaps dying, tended by his third wife in a camp in Africa.? His delirium causes him, through a long night spent waiting for help to arrive, to relive in his mind the triumphs, disappointments, sorrows, loves and moments of his somewhat unsatisfactory life as an author. He is bitter and takes it out on his wife; but he does not KNOW that he is going to die--so he continues to pester, ask questions, make demands, and study the reverie in his thoughts--which viewers see as extended flashbacks. As Harry Street, Gregory Peck is mostly very good indeed, exactly right for the role not of Hemingway but of a man who had lived what the author describes in the storyline.? As the wives, Hildegarde Neff is cold, beautiful and skilled, showing us how she tried to control Harry and protesting that she had loved him as much as she could.? The first wife, Ava Gardner, plays her part admirably as a young, not-important woman who wants domesticity not excitement (as Harry does), wrecks their union to have a child and drinks herself to death. The third wife, played amiably and with intelligence by Susan Hayward seems almost the product of Harry's training. And if finally she has come to understand, accept and even want his way of life, we assume that finally all will be well at the end.? The medical help arrives; and Harry will live to write more; he wants in fact very much to live again. There are amazingly enjoyable scenes in this big-appearing film--bullfights, a wartime scene, Mediterranean yachts and villas, Paris, and Kenya; and more. it is beautiful, moving and often thought-provoking.? Also in the cast are veterans Torin Thatcher, Leo G. Carroll and Marcel Dalio, all doing superbly.? Henry King directed; Casey Robinson wrote the script; and Leon Shamroy provided stunningly beautiful cinematography.? Harry may feel in the film that he has compromised something to become a success; but he still talks about the snow leopard once found frozen on Mt. Kilimanjaro at 18,000+ feet. He wonders what the leopard was seeking at that altitude--Hemingway's and Harry's parable for human mental curiosity and the sometimes perverse desire to invest much to achieve eventual greatness.? The film may not quite measure up to this famous conception;? but it is grand in mental scale and interesting throughout.

  • Heavily inspired by the real-life exploits of Hemmingway,...yet amazingly dull and unmoving by 7

    This film has been in the public domain for years and every copy I've seen on video or DVD as well as the ones I've seen on TV all feature a pretty lousy print. Perhaps there is a clean one out there somewhere, but I haven't seen it. And, after watching the film all the way through (something I have attempted unsuccessfully before on several occasions), I could see why no one bothered to protect the copyright on this film. While it isn't exactly bad, it's so dull and uninspired that I am sure nobody even cared to worry about royalties! Now think about it,...the film stars Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner and Susan Hayward and is based on the tumultuous life of Ernest Hemmingway and it still is very dull in places and at best an ordinary film (though I won't be that generous).

    So why is it such a disappointment? Well, the biggest problem was just how cheap the film looked. The location scenes clearly look like they were filmed by a second unit without the stars and the close-up scenes appear as if they were poorly staged in front of filmed footage. While I might expect this sort of sloppiness from an old one-reel comedy, I don't expect it from a big-budget film with top Hollywood talent. It really looked as if they spent too much on the stars and had nothing left to make the film! The other problem was that although Hemingway led a very adventurous life and traveled the world, once you dig beneath the exterior, you are left with a pretty rotten person who isn't exactly cuddly and endearing. While his devoted friends and fans probably will care whether Peck survives his injury, I found I just didn't particularly care--as the character Peck played didn't care--nor did I. And what you are left with are a long series of mildly interesting of flashbacks that tell about the author. The only way the film really works is as a psychological study--not as entertainment.

  • A downer by 7

    Gregory Peck leads an all-star cast in "The Snows of Kilimanjaro," a big 1952 film directed by Henry King and produced by Darryl F. Zanuck. With a cast that includes Ava Gardner, Susan Hayward, Hildegarde Neff and Leo J. Carroll, and a story based on a story by Ernest Hemingway, one expects something more - much more - than what is delivered by this plodding film.

    Peck plays a writer with a severe leg infection. As he lays in Africa waiting for a transport while his wife (Hayward) cares for him, he believes he's dying. He goes over his past life and loves - a girl he disappoints in his youth, then Cynthia (Gardner) the love of his life, followed by Neff, and Hayward, whom he mistakes for Cynthia when he first meets her.

    Henry King mixes some beautiful scenery with stock footage of Africa. Since it's Hemingway, the movie has a macho sensibility - a lot of hunting, drinking, implied sex, and a bullfight. It's only in the last couple of scenes that the film's energy picks up - but by then, it's too late. The performances are okay - strangely, Gardner's character seems the most fleshed out. That isn't saying much - one gets the impression a lot was cut, leaving holes in characterizations and the viewer completely detached from them. Altogether, a disappointing experience.

  • Classic Hemmingway On the Silver Screen by 7

    Director Henry King is what keeps this movie from getting 10 stars. Yet, despite his poor cinematography, poor directing and failure to take advantage of scenic backdrops (yet they shine through occasionally), the cast and the story save the film.

    Peck portrays former Chicago Times journalist Harry Street, a fictional character penned by Ernest Hemmingway, portraying a strong glimpse himself . . . a bit ego-centric while feigning humility and modesty. Peck is superb at bringing Harry Street to life . . . and Hemmingway is always looming in the background of Street's character, like a phantom . . . the boozing womanizer, masking his insecurities with alcohol, egotism, aloofness toward other's feelings and needs. The beautiful, sexy, gorgeous Ava Gardner, one of the VERY few Hollywood starlets who could actually act, gives an excellent performance as the emotionally insecure, very dependent, sexually charged, less than moral, love of his life. Co-dependency could have been based on her character, Cynthia Green. Cynthia was too insecure to let Street live his life . . . Street was too self-centered and aloof to recognize Cynthia's emotional needs . . . very Hemmingway!

    As he lay delirious on a bed in Africa, from a thorn scratch infection, snow covered Mt. Kilimanjaro looming in the background, Street recalls the lost loves of his past years, with Cynthia dominating his memories, as his one true love. His current wife, Helen, portrayed by Susan Hayward, tries desperately to find her place in his life, always feeling herself in the shadow of Cynthia and a later love, Countess Liz, played by Hildegard Neff, a selfish and insecure socialite, desperate to hang onto Street. Feverishly, Street flows in and out of consciousness, the scenes from his memories playing out in his mind, as Helen compassionately wipes his sweaty brow and tries to care for him, as he pushes her away.

    This is a good film! Hemmingway fans should receive it well, as should fans of Peck and Gardner.

#PersonCrew
1Bernard Herrmanncomposer
2Henry Kingdirector
3Roy Ward Bakerdirector
4Darryl F. Zanuckproducer
5Casey Robinsonwriter
6Ernest Hemingwaywriter