The Most Dangerous Game (1932)
The Most Dangerous Game (1932)
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The first of many official and unofficial screen versions of Richard Connell's The Most Dangerous Game was put together by producer Willis O'Brien and directors Ernest B. Schoedsack and Irving Pichel in 1932. Leslie Banks stars as loony Russian count Zaroff, a renowned big-game hunter who tires of stalking animals and begins hunting down the "most dangerous game"-human beings. Luring unwary victims to his remote island, Zaroff wines and dines them, gives them a few hours' head start to run into the jungle, then hunts them down with rifle and bow and arrow. As his grisly trophy room demonstrates, Zaroff hasn't missed yet. Shipwreck survivors Joel McCrea and Fay Wray are Zaroff's latest quarry. "First the hunt, then the revels!" declares Zaroff, casting a lecherous eye towards the wide-eyed Ms. Wray. The original Connell story had no heroine, but who wants to watch Joel McCrea lose most of his clothing while scurrying through the jungle? The Most Dangerous Game was filmed on RKO's standing King Kong sets during a lull in the production of that classic film, utilizing most of the Kong personnel (actors Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Noble Johnson, Steve Clemente and Dutch Hendrian; producer O'Brien; director Schoedsack; composer Max Steiner). While the plot has been reshaped and recycled many times since 1932, RKO's only official remake of Most Dangerous Game was 1945's A Game of Death. … More
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Critic Reviews for The Most Dangerous Game
The movie is melodramatic, the acting stiff, and the music overwrought; yet I'm sure that's exactly why audiences liked the movie in the first place and why we find it so much fun today.
The film initially teases its viewers as much as Zaroff does his guests (we finally see what's in his basement, and it ain't pretty) before storming full-barrel into the hunt, a potent half-hour packed with all manner of close calls and great escapes.
Audience Reviews for The Most Dangerous Game
An impressive classic suspense thriller. The Criterion disc release is a treat.
It's easy to forget how sensational this was for its time, partly because it's so hokey and partly because of the eminently graceless aging of the action genre. Still, I think it's a lot less dumb than King Kong, and though the first half of the film is dedicated to exhaustingly transparent conversations about humans and being primeval and stuff, the latter half is an at least interesting little bit of 30s action goodness. The Most Dangerous Game is a little too self-serious to embrace fully, but it's a very short watch and an important milestone in action movie history.
A very nice film adaptation of the short story. Good actors, setting, and everything. It's really exciting, it brings the story to life.
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