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The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952 film)

The Snows of Kilimanjaro
The Snows of Kilimanjaro.jpg
Lobby Card
Directed by Henry King
Produced by Darryl F. Zanuck
Screenplay by Casey Robinson
Based on The Snows of Kilimanjaro
1936 story
by Ernest Hemingway
Starring Gregory Peck
Ava Gardner
Susan Hayward
Narrated by Gregory Peck
Music by Bernard Herrmann
Cinematography Leon Shamroy
Edited by Barbara McLean
Distributed by Twentieth Century Fox
Release date
  • August 18, 1952 (1952-08-18)
Running time
117 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $6.5–$12.5 million

The Snows of Kilimanjaro is a 1952 American Technicolor film based on the short story of the same name by Ernest Hemingway. The film version of the short story was directed by Henry King, written by Casey Robinson, and starred Gregory Peck as Harry, Susan Hayward as Helen, and Ava Gardner as Cynthia Green (a character invented for the film). The film's ending does not mirror the book's ending.

Considered by Hemingway to be one of his finest stories, "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" was first published in Esquire magazine in 1936 and then republished in The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories (1938).

The film was nominated for two Oscars at the 25th Academy Awards, for Best Cinematography, Color and Best Art Direction, Color (Lyle R. Wheeler, John DeCuir, Thomas Little, Paul S. Fox).

The film has entered the public domain.

The film begins with the opening words of Hemingway's story: "Kilimanjaro is a snow-covered mountain 19,710 feet high, and is said to be the highest mountain in Africa. Its western summit is called the Masai 'Ngje Ngi,' the House of God. Close to the western summit there is the dried and frozen carcass of a leopard. No one has explained what the leopard was seeking at that altitude."

The story centers on the memories of disillusioned writer Harry Street (Gregory Peck) who is on safari in Africa. He has a severely infected wound from a thorn prick, and lies outside his tent awaiting a slow death, though in the film it is pointed out he may have acquired the infection from leaping into a muddy river to rescue one of the safari's porters from a hippo after he falls in the river. His female companion Helen (Susan Hayward) nurses Harry and hunts game for the larder.



  • August 18, 1952 (1952-08-18)
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