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John M. Stahl
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 <email@example.com>
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 »
The director makes it very easy to not care about this film. True, the story is based on an essentially unsympathetic character...but there seems to be no message or point to telling the story of the wasted life of a writer who finally realizes how much frittered away his energy on meaningless definitions of success. But even that message is carried poorly in the film. The women are all one-dimensional and overly-devoted to Harry who basically drinks and throws himself into any adventure to distract himself from important writing. There is a lot of excess footage. Uninteresting and long "takes" of hyenas walking around. Vultures in trees. Musicians playing soullessly... the film is a sad waste of talent and time.
The story... if you can call it that, unfolds as a plodding series of flashbacks while Harry lies fevered on a cot in Africa, suffering from gangrene.
The fetid stench of his leg draws the attention of vultures which foreshadow his demise as well as a hyena that seems to laugh at his condition: rotting from the inside out. The title of the film alludes to a "riddle" of why a leopard carcass might be found on top of a tall mountain with snow. But Harry's "answer" is some poorly recorded mumbling about getting back to the jungle, which makes no sense. It would have been simple to say that the leopard perished trying to travel where he is not made to go... achieving pointless heights. Or even a romantic justification could be offered; the leopard seeks his mate, but he cannot find her anywhere and begins to look in places where she cannot be in sheer desperation to quench his longing for her. But no. The filmmakers saved the literary license for the ending of the film, where a rescue is implied. The film suggests that he lives, but it is a delusion of Harry's that any plane ever arrives.
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