A big, broad screen treatment has been given to Ernest Hemingway’s The Snows of Kilimanjaro. The script broadens the 1927 short story considerably without losing the Hemingway penchant for the mysticism behind his virile characters and lusty situations.
Ava Gardner makes the part of Cynthia a warm, appealing, alluring standout. Gregory Peck delivers with gusto the character of the writer who lies dangerously ill on the plain at the base of Kilimanjaro, highest mountain in Africa, and relives what he believes is a misspent life. Susan Hayward is splendid, particularly in the dramatic closing sequence, in the less colorful role of Peck’s wife.
The location-lensed footage taken in Paris, Africa, the Riviera and Spain add an important dress to the varied sequences. The Paris street and cafe scenes, the music and noise, are alive. The African-lensed backgrounds are brilliant, as are those on the Riviera and in Spain.
1952: Nominations: Best Color Cinematography, Color Art Direction