One of the more successful attempts to bring Hemingway material to the screen, this story of a writer who has lost his intellectual and emotional bearings after enjoying early commercial success works splendidly under King's sure directorial hand, and is enacted with power and conviction
by Peck. Scriptwriter Robinson expanded the origina Hemingway story to incorporate several elements from the writer's own life and, despite some carping from Hemingway purists, the film was an immense box-office success.
As the story begins, Peck is shown half delirious with fever, lying on a cot in an African campsite, his leg infected with gangrene. A rich and popular author, he finds himself with little left to live for as he drifts in and out of consciousness, with his wealthy wife Hayward at his side. The
writer thinks back on his colorful life, seeing himself at age 17 in the Midwest; as a young writer living in Paris and falling in love with Gardner, on whom he bases the heroine of his first novel; traveling around Africa oblivious to Gardner's pregnancy, which is terminated when she falls down a
flight of stairs; finally being abandoned by Gardner in Spain, when she realizes he will never settle down with her; re-encountering her during the Spanish Civil War but then being separated from her again; and finally marrying Hayward, whom he initially mistakes for Gardner when he is drunk one
night in Paris. The movie ends with him coming to realize the depth of his love for Hayward, and vowing to return to serious work.
This beautifully photographed film, King's favorite, combines many Hemingway tales to make its point, and it features a magnificent score by Herrmann that captures all the exotic locales profiled. Gardner is excellent as the star-crossed lover, but Hayward has a part that is mostly lost inside the
flashbacks featuring Gardner. Peck had played a Hemingway hero in THE MACOMBER AFFAIR five years earlier, portraying a white hunter in Africa, and that film had also been written by Robinson. Although the script for SNOWS OF KILIMANJARO is a seamless blend of Robinson's and Hemingway's style,
Hemingway didn't like the film, calling Fox mogul Zanuck personally to say that it was a compilation of his stories and that it should have been called "the Snows of Zanuck."
Cast & Details See all »
- Rating: NR
- Review: One of the more successful attempts to bring Hemingway material to the screen, this story of a writer who has lost his intellectual and emotional bearings after enjoying early commercial success works splendidly under King's sure directorial hand, and is e… (more)