With such a striking profile, it’s no surprise Kili made it big in Hollywood. Watch the White Mountain’s star turns in:
The Snows of Kilimanjaro
Based on the Hemingway story of the same name, The Snows of Kilimanjaro features Gregory Peck as Harry Street, a writer laid up with a possibly-fatal wound, reflecting on a life he’s come to see as wasted.
Though the film begins in a base camp at the foot of the famous mountain, the majority of the action takes place in flashback, in places like Paris, Cairo, and Spain. Some filming was done on location in Kenya, which is closer to Kilimanjaro, but in reality, a film whose framework is set in Kili’s foothills never made it near the actual mountain!
East of Kilimanjaro
Filmed on location in Tanzania (Tanganyika at the time), East of Kilimanjaro weaves a love-plot into a story of…cattle inoculation.
Though the adventure plotline (not to mention the romance) might seem a little far-fetched to us today, the stunning scenery, and the focus on the Maasai (a tribe intimately tied to the cattle they have traditionally herded), is remarkably accurate for movies of the period.
The Mines of Kilimanjaro
A secret archeological discovery, filled with mystical power, which, in the wrong, Nazi-ish hands, could destroy the world.
Sound familiar? That’s because The Mines of Kilimanjaro, complete with a 30s archeologist in a familiar fedora, is clearly an effort to jump aboard the Indiana Jones train. Spoiler alert: this is no Indiana Jones.
Killers of Kilimanjaro
Chock full of dangerous cannibals, terrifying stock footage of every safari animal under the sun, and predictably evil slave traders, Killers of Kilimanjaro is a movie even Robert Taylor can’t make exciting. Reviews at the time dismissed the movie as cliché, and Taylor reportedly called it a failure later in life.
Intriguing as an entry in the annals of charmingly-dated film, Killers of Kilimanjaro is a movie you may laugh at, but probably not with.
The Road to Zanzibar
We know, Zanzibar isn’t even all that CLOSE to Kili, but this Hope & Crosby buddy comedy also includes Bengal tigers, broad swathes of jungle, and an inexplicably non-fatal cage-wrestling match with a gorilla, none of which are all that close to Zanzibar, either.
Like all the “Road to…” movies, this is a goofy, slapstick romp that’s more concerned with the joking banter between its two leads than it is with historical (or geographical) accuracy. It won’t teach you much about the mountain, but it might get you in the positive frame of mind you’ll need to conquer Kili!
Summit on Summit
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