The Most Dangerous Game (1932)
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.
One of the best suspense films ever made.
Realizado simultaneamente a King Kong (com o qual divide vários membros do elenco e equipe), é um filme que estabelece um clima incômodo de apreensão ainda hoje.
Superior thriller shot on the King Kong jungle sets. A few truly gruesome scenes.
Some modern lightweight films could learn a cinematic lesson from directors Irving Pichel and Ernest Schoedshack's sixty-three-minute running time
Audience Reviews for The Most Dangerous Game
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.More
A very nice film adaptation of the short story. Good actors, setting, and everything. It's really exciting, it brings the story to life.More
The Most Dangerous Game is a terrific old barn-stormer. A horror-thriller from the same talents that produced King Kong. Indeed, the movie re-used several of Kong's sets, and was conceived in order to get more value for money from Kong's colossal budget. It is, however, a thrilling adventure in its own right.
Kong Alumni Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong and Nobel Johnson turn up here (the film was shot almost simultaneously with Kong) but the British actor Leslie Banks steals the show as Count Zaroff, Russian game hunter who has grown bored with hunting animals, and now prefers to hunt "The most dangerous game of all". Banks is a hoot as Zaroff, perpetually stroking his scar and giving lustful gazes in the direction of Fay Wray. He's also splendidly wry in his exchanges with Robert Armstrong's drunken sot, and adopts a maniacal intensity during the hunt.
Zaroff, occupying a remote island, has adjusted the navigation lights of a treacherous stretch of water to ship-wreck passing vessels. Those who escape the shark-infested waters and make it to the island are given rest, food and are eventually invited to spend a few hours in Zaroff's trophy room. Believe me, it's a good incentive for what Zaroff plans! They are given a days' head start, and then Zaroff begins hunting...
Joel Mcrea makes an engaging hero as young hunter Bob Rainsford, who eventually out-thinks and outfights the nasty ol' Count. The later half of the movie, in which Mcrea and Wray are hunted through the jungle by the merciless Zaroff is brilliantly shot and edited. Max Steiner, the composer of Kong's classic score, here comes up with another memorable main theme. Zaroff even plays it at the piano. Irving Pichel, the goon from Murder By The Clock, co-directs with Kong director Shoedsack and delivers a rousing movie. I saw this as a DVD double bill with White Zombie, and had a splendid evening's entertainment!
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