The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952)

Approved  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Romance  |  18 December 1952 (Australia)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 3,490 users  
Reviews: 46 user | 9 critic

Writer Harry Street reflects on his life as he lies dying from an infection while on safari in the shadow of Mount Kilamanjaro.


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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Harry Street
Cynthia Green
Countess Liz (as Hildegarde Neff)
Torin Thatcher ...
Ava Norring ...
Helene Stanley ...
Vicente Gómez ...
Guitarist (as Vicente Gomez)
Richard Allan ...
Spanish Dancer


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. Written by E.W. DesMarais <>

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Plot Keywords:

love | writer | africa | countess | safari | See All (172) »


His Adventures . . . Like His Loves . . . Were Great and Exciting !


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Release Date:

18 December 1952 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Ernest Hemingway's The Snows of Kilimanjaro  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Ernest Hemingway disliked the film because he thought it cannibalized material from his other work to pad the story. He told friend Ava Gardner that the only things he liked about it were her and the hyena. It has been reported, but not confirmed, that director Henry King mimicked the hyena on the soundtrack. See more »


At the restaurant in Spain, prior to when Harry leaves Cynthia at the table, he puts his left hand on her left arm in the long shot. In the closer shot, he is seen to take his right hand off her left arm as he stands up. See more »


Harry Street: [talking about their African trip] There's a wonderful book in it. Maybe I'll write it some day.
Cynthia Green: Darling!
Harry Street: Don't spoil it! Don't talk it all away!
See more »


Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Gregory Peck (1962) See more »


Ain't we got Fun
Music by Richard A. Whiting
Lyrics by Ray Egan and Gus Kahn
Heard in the background during the first flashback scene
See more »

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User Reviews

What would Papa have said about this one?
16 April 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Ernest Hemingway, one of the most admired writers of the last century, was alive when this movie came out in 1952. One wonders what did Mr. Hemingway think the creative 'geniuses' behind this film did to "The Snows of Killimanjaro"? Hollywood didn't do so well in adapting Papa's novels to the screen, but who knows, he must have been able to pay for another safari to Africa, or maybe another fishing trip with the "old man" in Cuba with the money he got after he sold the film's rights. As a novel, "The Snows of Killimanjaro" was not one of Mr. Hemingway's best works.

God only knows that what director Henry King and his team had in mind when they undertook to do the film based on Hemingway's novel? Maybe Mr. King wanted to travel to all the places in which the action is set. The only thing one can say is that after more than fifty years this wasn't a good film then, or now.

The acting is bad in general. Gregory Peck, an otherwise brilliant actor, does nothing to bring Harry Street to life. The Helen of Susan Hayward is at times horrible and completely silly. Ava Gardner's as a driver for the Republican forces in the Spanish Civil War? Give me a break! There is one scene in which Harry and Cynthia are dining and drinking in a Madrid restaurant which features a male flamenco dancer who bears an uncanny resemblance to Tyrone Power, and we wondered if this Richard Allan, who is credited with the dancing and charming Ava, was in reality Mr. Power performing an inside joke? Did anyone notice it, or was it me?

At any rate, "The Snows of Killimanjaro", is a film to watch at the viewer's own risk.

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