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The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952)

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)
Ava Norring ...
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 <jlongst@aol.com>

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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:

25 December 1952 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

Ernest Hemingway's The Snows of Kilimanjaro  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Cinematographer Joseph MacDonald filled in for a period when Leon Shamroy fell ill. 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 »


Johnson: Why is it everyone who comes to Africa has to write a book about it? One silly beggar even dedicated his to me! Never came back or I'd have shot him in the pants!
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Referenced in Gregory Peck kävi Suomessa (1953) See more »


Blue Mountain
Music by Alfred Newman
Played by Benny Carter
(This melody is also known as "Love Is Cynthia" and is dedicated "To Ava")
See more »

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User Reviews

Everyone's just wild about Harry
26 December 2004 | by (brooklyn NY) – See all my reviews

***SPOILERS*** Long and tiring movie that chronicles the life and times of world renowned writer and big game hunter Harry Street, Gregory Peck. We get the story straight from the horses, Harry himself, mouth as he lay dying on a sickbed in the African bush country from a gangrenous infection. This happened when Harry jumped into a river trying to save one of the natives who fell in that was a member of his safari. Harry if anything was more responsible then the herd of hippos that attacked and killed the native by having the boat go too close to the hippos in order for him to get some pictures. Helen, Susan Haywerd,Harry's wife who's on the safari with him could only hope and pray for help in the way of medical supply to arrive in order to save his life.

As Harry goes in and out of consciousness we get to see his life story through his thoughts and feelings and how his cold and selfish personality just about destroyed every relationship that he ever had including the love of his life Cynthia, Ava Gardner. Harry met Cynthia Green in Paris when he was a poor and struggling young writer as they lived together in a one room flat that he had in the poor side of town.

As Harry got famous through the books that he wrote he became more and more detached from Cynthia that left her hurt and dejected. Finding out from her doctor that she's with child Cynthia tried to give the good news to Harry hoping that it would bring them both back together. Harry was so cold and unfeeling and at the same time so in to himself when Cynthia was about to announce the coming blessed event to him that not only did she drop the whole subject but fell or jumped down a flight of stairs causing her to have a miscarriage!

Harry, after recovering from the shock of Cynyhina's accident and loss of her and his unborn child, still treated Cynthia more or less like dirt being too stuck up on his own importance to the literary world in the books and article he wrote to really care about her. Cynthia became so disgusted of him and the way he acted toward her that one evening she just got up and walked out on Harry as he was munching on a bowl of veggies. Cynthia did that by leaving Harry for a dancer who was preforming at a restaurant that they were dining at. Harry went on his way to become more famous in the world of books and big game hunting and continued to have more and more affairs with beautiful women like Cynthia who were more or less one night stands to him. But the spark was gone from his life with Cynthia no longer being with him.

Like joining the French Foreign Leagion Harry joined the fight against Fascism in Spain to forget what he did to Cynthia and it was there that Harry was to unexpectedly find her! Cynthia also joined the anti-Facists fighters there where Harry found her dying after she was crushed by the ambulance that ran over a land mine that she was driving as a volunteer!

It in a way did bring out the best as well as human side of Harry when she forgave him for everything that he did to her and he showed real emotions for the first time as she practically died in his arms. Harry then forgot himself and ran the opposite way on the battlefield after the stretcher bearers who were carrying away his beloved Cynthia. It's then that he was shot and wounded by an officer in his unit thinking that he was a coward and deserting his post! By now nothing seems to be going right for him. Even though Harry later married he never forgot the beautiful as well as tragic Cynthia and never forgave himself, even though she did, for what he did to her.

Back to the present in Africa in the shadows of the majestic 19,710 foot high Mt.Kilimanjaro Harry waits for the enviable and as all hope is just about gone for him surviving he still manages to pull a rabbit out of his hat. With darkness falling and Harry in all probability never to see the sunrise again there's still one more surprise that fate, or the script writers, have left for him in the movie that's coming Harry's way and this time for once it won't be all that bad.

Very dull and boring movie that seemed to go on forever and ever more with Harry going through all the stages that one would go through from life to death as he's slowly dying right before our eyes. I myself felt as if I was attending his funeral without him yet being dead. The script writers just should have let Harry die peacefully instead of having the unbelievably ridicules ending that concluded the film. I don't know for sure, since I didn't read the book, that if the ending in the movie to "Snows of Kilimanjaro" was the same as the one in the Earnest Hemingway short story. But I do know that it was one of the worst endings I've ever seen in a film.

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