The Snows of Kilimanjaro

Synopsis: As writer Harry Street lays gravely wounded from an African hunting accident he feverishly reflects on what he perceives as his failures at love and writing. Through his delirium he recalls his one true love Cynthia Green who he lost by his obsession for roaming the world in search of stories for his novels. Though she is dead Cynthia continues to haunt Street's thoughts. In spite of one successful novel after another, Street feels he has compromised his talent to ensure the success of his books, making him a failure in his eyes. His neglected wife Helen tends to his wounds, listens to his ranting, endures his talk of lost loves, and tries to restore in him the will to fight his illness until help arrives. Her devotion to him makes him finally realize that he is not a failure. With his realization of a chance for love and happiness with Helen, he regains his will to live.
Production: 20th Century Fox
  Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
114 min

[ Man Narrating ] Kilimanjaro

is a snow-covered mountain, 1 9,7 1 0 feet high...

and is said to be

the highest mountain in Africa.

Close to the western summit, there is

the dried and frozen carcass of a leopard.

No one has explained what the leopard

was seeking at that altitude.

Look at 'em.

I wonder, is it sight or is it scent

that brings them?

[ Woman ] They've been about for ever so long.

They don't mean a thing.

The marvelous thing is

that it's painless now.

- Is it really?

- Yes.

That's how you know when it starts.

[ Man ]

They're a filthy bird...

but they know their business.

I used to watch the way they sailed

very carefully at first...

in case I ever wanted to use

one of them in a story.

That's funny now.

I've gotten so nervous,

not being able to do anything.

I think we might make it as easy as possible

until the plane comes.

Or until the plane doesn't come.

Mr.Johnson hasn't been a white hunter

for a quarter of a century...

not to know his way around.

If he can't get a plane,

he'll be back with another truck.

One way or another,

it's not very important.

I feel so helpless. I wish there was

something I could do.

You can take the leg off.

Or you can shoot me.

You're a good shot.

I taught you to shoot, didn't I?

Let's not be melodramatic, Harry.

You're not going to die.

No? I'm dying now.

Ask those things.

[ Woman ] They're around every camp.

You never notice them.

I don't see why this had to happen

to your leg in the first place.

What have we done-- either one of us--

to have had this happen to us?

Well, I suppose that what I did...

was forget to put iodine on it

when I first scratched it.

We were after the impala,

in case you've forgotten.

And with a camera, at that.

[ Gasps ]

Ow! Ow!

That isn't what I meant,

and it isn't how you got your leg.

- No?

- Not at all.

It was at the lake last week.

It was a lovely, peaceful day...

and those enormous hippos

were having their own party.

We could've passed them by

without incident...

but-- oh, no-- you had to

get so awfully playful.

[ Speaking African Language ]

Look at them.

There must be hundreds of them.

Harry, look at that one!

- Look at that big one over there!

- [ African Language ]


I wouldn't chance it any closer.

[ Shouting In African Language ]

Harry! Be careful!

- Harry!

- What's the matter? You frightened?

- Not in the least.

- [ Laughs ] Well, let's go!

[ Shouting In African Language ]

Come on. Come on!

Harry, easy.

You're asking for trouble.

Harry, look. Here. Here.

[ Squeals ]

- [ Squeals ]

- [ Shouts ]

Harry! Harry, we've lost

one of our boatmen.


[ Screams ]


[ Squawking ]

[ Woman ] And you insisted on carrying the boy

in your arms all the way back to camp.

And it was from all his blood and dirt

that you got that infection.

[ Chuckles ]

That could be the point of view.

From yours, it would be contact

with the lower classes.

Being a writer, I prefer to think

that it was a quirk of fate...

a mere prick of a thorn...

that laid the great man low.

A lot it matters now.

Harry, please.!

- Molo!

- Bwana.!

- Whiskey soda. Make it pronto, Molo.

- It's bad for you.

- No, it isn't . It's good for me.

- It's not good for you.

No. It's Bad for Me.

Cole Porter wrote the words and music.

[ Sings Lyric ]

There, that's poetry.

Oh, I'm full of poetry now.

- Rot and poetry-- rotten poetry.

- Harry.

Harry, it said in the first-aid book

to avoid all alcohol.

It's not good for you.

That's what I meant by giving up.

You must do everything you can.

Rate this script:3.0 / 2 votes

Casey Robinson

Kenneth Casey Robinson (October 17, 1903 – December 6, 1979) was an American producer and director of mostly B movies and a screenwriter responsible for some of Bette Davis' most revered films. Film critic Richard Corliss once described him as "the master of the art – or craft – of adaptation." more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 25 Mar. 2023. <>.

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