- Harry (Gregory Peck) upon finding the love of his life near death
This lavish, big-budget blockbuster combined tales from Ernest Hemingway's life with Papa's already famous autobiographical novel of the same name. As Harry (Gregory Peck) lies wounded and delirious in an African campsite at the foot of the snow-covered slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, he recounts the story of his life in a series of flashbacks. Writing, women, and big-game hunting--these are the things that have defined and dominated his existence. In pursuit of all three, he has traveled the globe from the salons of Bohemian Paris to the battlefields of Spain to the plains of Africa. Now, in the shadow of the great mountain and his own approaching death from gangrene, he tries to make sense of his failures. Few Hemingway novels play as well onscreen as they do on paper, but under the direction of Henry King, star Peck turns in an inspired performance. Susan Hayward plays Harry's devoted beau, while Harry himself pines for the love he lost in Cynthia (Ava Gardner). The romantic, sentimental, qualities embedded in the fine script are driven home by Bernard Hermann's brilliant score. Theater operators actually feared that audiences would stay away from the film because they couldn't pronounce Kilimanjaro, but the film turned out to be one of the biggest hits of 1952.
Ernest Hemingway's award-winning 1938 short story of a wounded writer dying of gangrene within sight of the snow-covered slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro is brought to the screen beautifully by Henry King. Academy Award Nominations: 2, including Best (Color) Cinematography.
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