The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952)

Genres - Action, Adventure  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Adventure  |   Release Date - Aug 18, 1952 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 117 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
  • AllMovie Rating
    7
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

Share on

Review by

A tremendous hit when first released, The Snows of Kilimanjaro has not aged well over the years. Almost any screen adaptation of an Ernest Hemingway tale is faced with a difficulty: Hemingway's strong suit is his style, which is heightened and artificial. It works beautifully on the page, but translated into actual dialogue, it comes across as both flighty and stiff, and quite unnatural. Casey Robinson's screenplay does a decent job of bringing things halfway back to earth, but it ends up in a bit of a no-man's land, not really Hemingway, but not quite the real world either. Visually, however, Kilimanjaro is a feast, with Leon Shamroy's camera capturing the full beauty of its often-stunning locations and also finding emotion -- warmth, joy, and tension -- in the "character" scenes. The art direction is lovely, and the trio of stars is very, very easy on the eyes, especially the delectable Ava Gardner. Gardner and Gregory Peck create the appropriate romantic chemistry, and audiences will be drawn in by their performances, but Susan Hayward is unfortunately wasted in a role that gives her too little to do. Despite the flaws in its screenplay (and in Henry King's direction, which is uneven), there's still enough here to engage most fans of romance movies.