Based on a short story by Ernest Hemingway by the same name, The Snows of Kilminjaro (1952) is a film starring Gregory Peck, Susan Hayward and Ava Gardner. Harry Street (Peck) is a writer who has been on several adventures in various countries, including Spain and the current place he is in-Africa. However, Street has an infected wound on his leg and is certain that he is on the road to a slow and painful death. His delirium causes him to think back to what he has experienced in his life so far…specifically a past love who he now finds back in his thoughts. Her name was Cynthia (Gardner) and the memory of her is all he can think of, much to his current love’s Helen (Hayward) dislike.
Cynthia and Harry met in Paris and fell in love quickly. He told her he spent his time trying to write and she said that she spent her time trying to be happy. Together they lived in a small apartment where Harry could write his first novel. After recieving the check he earned for having it published both had different ideas on how to spend the money. Cynthia thought they’d buy a bigger apartment while Harry thought that this was the perfect time to go to Africa. Cynthia followed Harry to Africa where they hunted rhinos and explored the country. But when Harry wanted to go to several other countries, Cynthia felt disappointed as she realized that who she thought Harry would be didn’t match up to what he was really like. Eager for adventure and traveling, Cynthia wanted to stay in Paris and raise a family. Harry recounts the highs and lows of the relationship, but also the loss of Cynthia that happened just as quick as he met her.
The loss of Cynthia led to several other events happening to him..from gaining recognition as published author and writing other novels to meeting other women, one in particular who he was about to marry until he decided to write to Cynthia hoping to find her again. Instead of wanting to travel and see the world, Harry now feels like a failure as a man. Helen argues with Harry that he could never really love her as much as she loved him because he couldn’t quite forgive her or any other of the women he met prior for not being Cynthia. Throughout the rest of the evening and into the dark hours of the night Helen helps Harry throughout his pain and attempts to change his thinking about his life. This is a great film starring some very well known film stars of the time about losing somebody you love and never forgetting them but the understanding to move foward in the present.