Review of 'The Snows of Kilimanjaro'

the_snows_of_kilimanjaro.jpg Harry Street (Gregory Peck) lies dying from a hunting accident while on safari at the base of Kilimanjaro in Africa taking time to reflect on his life and the many woman he has known. He considers Cynthia Green (Ava Gardner) the love of his life though he lost her due to his obsession in travelling the world to seek out material for his novels. His concerned wife Helen (Susan Hayward) tends his wounds and encourages him to keep living while listening to his ranting and raving.

Based on the largely biographical novel by Ernest Hemingway “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” fails to engage at any level. Dull in the extreme we are exposed to the ranting of a self-obsessed bore who sees the world revolving around him with little regard to others. The performances of the incredible cast are good but have little to work with here in a story where the only excitement is in the (now socially unacceptable) hunting sequences (BTW, that vividly capture the experience). Despite the stellar cast, Gregory Peck as Harry never really endears himself to the viewer with his selfish and self-serving, shallow character and the woman are all little more than background noise to his character with nothing to specifically remember themselves. Even the scenery, which you would expect to be stunning, disappoints with little imagination or perhaps even enthusiasm from the director who instead appears more interested in long lingering shots of a largely unmoving and unemoting Gregory Peck bundled up on a cot in the savanna.

This is not a film I would particularly recommend even to die-hard fans of Hemingway. Dull and unengaging, “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” disappoints on all levels.

Rating: “Not great, but not the worse”

Review Date: 2020-06-05

Directed by: Harry King

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox

Year: 1952

Length: 114 minutes

Genre: Melodrama